This is what it finally comes down to! The rebellious ones get away with almost everything, while the slightly-sincere ones become victims of emotional distress caused by your very own people – your family, and to be precise, your parents. You need to be a rebel, strong-minded and clear about what you want and what you don’t. If you are not, they will lay an entire plan for you, which sounds absolutely perfect when they hear about it themselves.
A small price that we pay for being their children, their life-long projects. The constant nagging, the pressure to do things that seem perfect to them, because you are not an individual who has the capability to learn from life by yourself.
You need directions. They cannot be optional ones. In fact, these need to be mandatory directions, if you are to have a perfect life – never mind the fact that your ‘perfect life’ may be made up of ‘perfect lies’. If you follow the step-by-step instructions given to you, you are bound to lead a smooth life ahead. Not even you yourself can hamper it (well, you better not!).
No matter how old you grow, you will always be a child to them. This is great if it means that their love for you is unconditional and that they are your solid support system who will always let you make your own decisions and support you if you trip or fall.
However, if being a child to your parents means that the relationship is a one-sided flow of instructions, expectations and their unfulfilled dreams, it becomes a liability. In such a case, your biggest support system becomes a burden that you either suffer living with, or, take radical steps to cut ties with. This is where it hurts – it’s an extreme relationship where there’s either too much or nothing at all. Moreover, it’s difficult to find one person to blame in such cases. After all, they too were brought up by their parents (who saw the same things in life) in a similar way.
If you look at life from your parent’s point of view, that’s their little world. That’s all they have seen – there is nothing beyond it. However, if you have a larger experience of life, you can give that space to your child to develop into the person that he/she is meant to be. In fact, I have seen many ‘cool’ parents of my friends. My parents were also ‘cool’ and relaxed until I grew up. This was the time I had to stop doing everything else and only do the things that were ‘socially acceptable’. You know, things like getting married, in the first place. Isn’t this a hard time in every girl’s life?
I am 27 – well, technically not – but who cares if I am 26 or 27! My life is going to end if I don’t get married. I can’t start anything new, can’t think of new career options or a new business idea and can’t travel (on my own) because I should do that with my husband. In fact, there are no second thoughts about these issues.
If I don’t get married now, I will become very strong-minded and I won’t be able to adjust with anyone. From then on, my whole life will be a disaster. Then I start wondering, what if all this is true? Will my life really go down the drain if I don’t get married? Is that the escape I need to get away from the constant drama? Maybe. Maybe not…
So how does this work? You follow one instruction after the other, because it’s absolutely never-ending. Indian society is generally so repressed and so accepting that we don’t see the wrongs in anything. Once the ‘marriage mission’ is over, the family gears up to indulge in domestic problems, because well, that’s a part of marital life.
Whether you live happily ever after or not is not the issue, any longer. If your marriage takes care of your socio-economic needs, the other ‘smaller issues’ can easily be dealt with. The other ‘smaller issues’? You mean, the most critical of them all – like getting along with your partner and his family?
It’s not an easy task to deal with any of this on a day-to-day basis. It spoils your relationships with people at many different levels. It destroys you, and you start questioning your worth and your place in the family because you are never ‘asked’ or ‘heard’. You are only ‘told’! And no one wants to be told what to do.
If I had to get married, I would have. If I have to, I will. Till then, if you accept me as your daughter and an equal member of the family – great! If not, I will not surrender and be a part of this sort of ‘getaway’. Thanks, but no thanks!
A small note to all the women out there who are living a life of uncertainty regarding whether to get married – get over the whole fiasco once and for all! Do yourselves a favour and build your own career. Put your heart into it, because no one can take that away from you.
Once you start seeing marriage beyond the social and economic fulfillments, think about it only when you want your physiological and psychological needs to be fulfilled. As Sadhguru says, “Marriage is not a social prescription.” Not all of us have to do it. Not all of us have to live without it. Choose the time that is best for you. The clock is not ticking for this. You marry only when you are ready!