Hi there, my friend.
So, how are you doing?
How many times have you been lectured by your parents, relatives or friends on getting married saying “the time is running out”?
So, how many times the long-distant aunts criticized your choices in life because your choices are not same as theirs?
How many times did people label you as “bechari” because they felt that you are not happy with your well-paid job, successful career and independence?
And, how many times have your colleagues questioned your choice of being single and forced you to gulp down some unwanted dating advice?
If the answer is quite a few times, then I just want to tell you to keep striving and thriving.
In case you feel tired while standing against the world for your choices then I want to share my story to tell you that you are not alone! There are many like us, who are hoping that we don’t give in to the pressure of societal norms, who are hoping that we don’t let the world dictate who we are! Hoping that we thrive in our thirties despite being single.
Like you, when I entered into the golden 30s, most of my friends were either married or those who weren’t, were in the constant search of a partner.
For me, my late 20s were more about finding my calling in my profession. I personally, never felt the urgency or need to get married. At multiple crossroads, life gave me a curveball to make a choice between marriage and career, and, every time I asked myself what would make me happy. And once I got the answer, I gathered the courage to build my life around that answer.
So, here I am – A 30 something single woman who is in love with her career and her self.
And while I have an open mind to accept a partner in my life whenever that happens, I haven’t put any aspect of my life on hold for it to happen. And contrary to popular belief I don’t find anything missing in my life. Every single day when I go to sleep I feel content and happy with what I have achieved.
My Adventurous Journey to Single 30s
The journey hasn’t been that easy so far. Lesser avenues to hang out with friends as they get busy in their lives, or the times of being the odd one out in the parties where everyone appears with a +1, are just the tip of the iceberg.
Sadly, the world in which we live doesn’t welcome the fact that you can be different. We call people misfit, outcast or rebel if they don’t follow the norms set by the world centuries ago.
I want to make it clear that I don’t feel there is anything wrong with women making a choice to get married. Marriage is a beautiful institution. And, like many others, I do believe that we are born to connect and form long-lasting relationships.
But, what I am not fine with – The world telling me that my time to tie the knot is soon going to be over. Or, passing judgments on my choices at all the social gatherings. I feel aggravated when my long distant relatives question my parents about when I am getting married rather than discuss my recent promotion.
Also, I feel irritated when they label my parents as a bad example because they raised a liberal and an independent woman.
I had a candid conversation with my parents & friends (who truly wanted me to be happy) about how my personal brand of happiness looked like. I explained to them how my choices can be different from theirs but that doesn’t make me wrong! They appreciated my thought process and accepted my choices. After that nothing else mattered.
Why am I writing this letter?
For centuries, the world has been regulated by the process of conditioning in which women are supposed to put others’ needs before their own. They have been conditioned to be caring daughters, generous sisters, responsible wives and selfless moms. And to ensure we follow what society expects, we are asked to celebrate role models like Goddess Sita, who is the epitome of selflessness.
We never celebrated women who broke the rules and follow their heart. And, that’s the reason why most of us feel the unnecessary pressure of getting married as we cross 25.
We feel scared of staying single and becoming a social outcast. And, this fear gets strengthened when you don’t find many stories of women who made the choice (to stay single) and are happy & proud to share so.
And, that’s the reason why I am writing this open letter. I want to tell you that you are not alone. There are many like us, who would like to carve out their own happy endings.
For, while many might be happy about being carried by a handsome prince on a white horse. But, few of us love taking that journey while driving in our own convertible. Don’t we?
More from I For Her: Read her story of being an ordinary woman in the world of extraordinary men
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