Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Secret

Today a very dear friend said something to me that touched me beyond words - " I dont know if ive told u this, but im sooooooooo happy for you. your married life fills me with hope and i dont feel as scared anymore". You know who you are, one of the few who actually reads my random rants, so thank you!

I don't quite know what to say about married life. Something about it reminds me of that book that I saw everywhere called "The Secret". I know it had something to do with being happy but I didn't know what it really was about (probably because I never read it beyond a couple of pages!). I have no idea how that analogy even fits but oh well, my blog, my rules! But in seriousness, I don't know why I was so afraid of it for so long. Like it would mean the end of life as I knew it, the end of freedom, the end of my own identity. It's ridiculous when I think back to how I used to feel. It hasn't taken a single thing away and yet has given me so much. It hasn't taken away my identity but given me someone who appreciates me exactly how I am. And it hasn't been the end of life as I knew it, but the beginning of life as I knew it and life as I didn't. As for the 'freedom', well sure I have more responsibilities and am not at free will to make my own stupid decisions without thinking about it, but that was a ridiculous kind of freedom anyway wasn't it?

So why is it kept such a secret? (Just like that book, where it could change your life people said, but noone knew exactly how) Sure people say marriage will make you happy, but noone says exactly how or why. Most of my friends who got married always said 'married life was great'. But I dismissed it as 'well, what else are they supposed to say'. And my mum must have said to me a million times about how marriage was a good thing and having someone to share your life would be really nice. Blah blah I thought. So much lip service and no real explanation on WHAT it is about marriage that makes it so great. But now I get it, there isn't one specific thing that can be talked about. It is the whole idea of having someone to share your life with and share everything with. Having someone to take care of and having someone to take care of you.

I used to dismiss these things when my mum said it with a simple 'I have the two of you, why do I need anyone else to take care of me'. But well, after just a few months of being married, as I told the same friend, I've realized one thing - no matter how much you love your family and how close you are to them, after you are married, it is you and that person, and the rest of the world. And the existence of that identity and warmth it provides is truly The Secret

Friday, March 12, 2010

Being a woman and facing life?

I haven't written here in 8 months. Though I did start a separate blog in the lead-up to my wedding - that one a tad more personal. But even with that it has been over 6 months since I've written anything. I'm not quite sure why...laziness, lack of substance?

Either way, Vatsa's blog (and her tag) inspired me enough to write. I absolutely loved how she focused on how great it is to be a woman and how success for a woman is not the woman's alone. It's such a common phrase to say 'behind every successful man, there is a woman'. But what about behind a successful woman? Well, I don't know if I consider myself quite a success yet, but I hope I can one day. And if I do, I will have not one but two absolutely amazing men behind me - my dad and my husband. In saying this, I do not want to take anything away from my dear dear mum, who to me is and will always be my best friend. I can't imagine what my life would have been and who I would have been without everything she has done for me and the influence she has had in my life. If I have turned out a good person (and i hope I have), it is completely due to my mum. I can go on forever, but that for another day.

Back to the two men I talked about. My dad has pushed me to achieve from my earliest memories of him. And actually even before my earliest memories - I have seen photos of my 1-year old self perched on his lap with him reading out to me and heard stories from my mum about how he would read everything from the newspaper to random books out and teach me to count even before I could speak. At every stage in my life, my dad has encouraged me (sometimes a tad forcefully and with a lot of yelling and screaming from me!) to go beyond what I thought I was capable of. Putting me in school early (and they tell me it wasn't because they were tired of me being at home!), ensuring I didn't lose a year (and rather gained one when we moved to New Zealand), convincing me that I was capable of it, when the option to skip an year was before me. Even when I was in doubt, he never was. I know no parent ever doubts their child and in that he is no exception. Yet there was something in his ways that went above and beyond. To the point that there were times I would be on the verge of hating him for pushing so hard (there is a fine line between love and hate sometime isn't there!), but I know how much love and patience it took on his side to always provide the best to his daughter. From fighting with the principal of the best school in Pune to get me in off-cycle to fighting with me to apply for an MBA to the top 5 schools in the world (which I never believed I could ever get into). There has been a lot of fighting involved in my 24 years of living with him, but well, there is nothing I would change. My relationship with my dad is so amazing and that fighting (usually because we have such similar sometimes-pig-headed personalities) is such a vital part of it. I have heard many say that fathers and daughters have something special together, and for me there is no better example of it than us.

And then I come to the second man in my life. I never thought anyone in my life could take my dad's place, and well I guess in a way no one every could. But if anyone can even come close it is the wonderful man I married. Gosh I had a penny for the times I have said to him "Oh my God, you remind me so much of Papa!" right from his romantic cheesiness (i guess I shouldn't really give that away about him or my dad, who btw is the most romantic 50something in the world) to his craze for every new gadget that comes on the market. But most of all, for how much they both love me and look out for me. Until I got married, I never worried about anything because in my mind if something went wrong "Papa will take care of it". Yes, I was quite the spoilt brat. And I unfortunately cannot make claims to be the modern independent 21st century woman. I was quite a wreck wondering how it would work out and whether I would have to suddenly grow up after getting married. But thanks to the amazing man next to me, I can be exactly who I am! I am not the most responsible person in the world and am terrible at managing finances and filling forms and any of the adult grown-up stuff. And no, I'm not afraid to admit it (do I heard all those feminists turning in their grave). We both have our strengths (I absolutely love to cook for instance, and would like to think I'm good at it - yup there is definitely some turning going on!).

But I digress (I can't help it - I have so many things I would like to say about him). I was talking about success. Well, the point to me is that after getting married, it has never been about his success or my success, but about ours. We moved to the city we live in because he is training to be a nephrologist. I commute for work many weeks, but there has never been a complaint out of him. I have heard men talk about the 'sacrifices they would be happy to make for their wife's career' and while I'm glad to hear it, the thing I love most about my husband is he has never talked about making a sacrifice. Even when I apologize for having to be away from home so much, or for having to work late occasionally, he dismisses me as being silly. He cares about my progress in my job as much as I do, and sometimes more. He will push me to get the best projects, even if it means I spend more time away from him. And in that he really is like my dad. Helping me succeed even when I doubt myself.

In all - no being a woman and facing life has not been difficult. Success (and whatever I have of it) has not been tough to achieve and life for me really is a bed of roses. And yes I am a bit of a spoilt brat - blame those wonderful men in my life!

But in seriousness, If I ever can call myself a success, that success can never be my own. I would attribute it to the two men in my life much before I give myself any credit. As for me - if I had my way, I'd probably be a lazy thing lounging around the house all day...but according to them, it's apparently not an option! darn it!