I’ve never been too open a person, but I think I should take a step towards opening myself by penning down a few things I’ve never told anyone over here. I guess it’s easier sharing things anonymously.
I’ve been pursuing theatre as a little more than a hobby, and I feel the need to hide it from the only family close to me – my mother. The reason being that she’s from another time in life where the general thought was; a woman should stay home after work-hours because she is a woman.
I started to work at a very young age of 16 to take care of my mother due to a financial crisis at home. Although I have two siblings, they didn’t care too much about what I felt was my responsibility. My father was not too “family-oriented” either. I started with part time jobs, while pursuing a degree through correspondence. I lived like a robot from the time I was 16 to the time I was 32, just to earn a decent pay to take care of bad debts and taxes over that. I was also in a relationship during that time. To get my mind away from my failed relationship, and also to keep my mind and heart stimulated in order to keep myself moving for the purpose of keeping up with all my responsibilities, I started to pursue theatre as a hobby, which soon became a passion. I was into it for about 6 and a half years. Later, I felt my mother feeling distanced and neglected by me due to theatre, even though she didn’t know about it, which I absolutely couldn’t stand. I eventually quit it. After all the struggle, I now finally have a well paying and somehow fulfilling career. I even met another man, and things got to talks about marriage as well. Everything was going pretty well for me. However, his parents somehow didn’t find the fact that my mother was a divorcée very comforting, and me being year and half older than their son did not do any good either.
Eventually, I realised that you don’t need a partner to feel complete. Of course, it would be nice to have someone who understands you, wants to make you happy, has the same maturity as you and accepts you for who you are, but it is okay not to find them. I know that I can be complete by myself with the help of cultivating passions, having a great set of friends, being a better person to yourself and society, and giving back.
I am now 34 and still single. Most men find me interesting initially during first date, and somehow seem to get apprehensive when I tell them how old I am. They tend to think that if I’ve managed to be single at this age, there must be something wrong with me. Once I tell them my story, they do sympathise but somehow lose interest in me romantically, even though at a normal social conversation, they would claim to be broadminded an open. I’m also often asked how much I’ve traveled, and hence often judged for not having traveled much, without digging deeper and knowing how difficult it was to even put food on the table for us. People fail to travel within their own selves and throw around their weight about having traveled different countries and experiencing the “bliss”, “fun” and “freedom” – things that didn’t come so easily to me, to put it lightly.
I felt lonely and isolated by people for a while. But then I’d think about my life so far and it has been pretty interesting: I got to know what working for a living was at a fairly young age, I was more familiarised with how the world works, I was able to raise the way society looked at my mother for being a divorcée with bad debts, I had the opportunity to grow and learn, even if it was the hard way, and I also had the opportunity to secretly pursue my passion for theatre. I’ve managed to get the best out of life through my struggles. One guilt that I live with, though, is that my passion for theatre had to be a secret from my mother. But as my theatre director said to me, if what you’re doing in your personal interest doesn’t interfere with others negatively, a white lie about it is completely admissible. Plus everyone has secrets, I can have just this tiny one. Today I’m a better person than I was before. I have the freedom pursue what I want, with the security of a well paying and fulfilling job. I’m pursuing yoga to become an instructor at the side as well as cross training, running, and hopefully restarting theatre.
I’m 34 and single, and I’m alright with that. There are more relationships to build in life than just romantic ones. So along with my hobbies that keep me going, I’m also opening up to building new relationships through networking socially, and it has been very interesting so far: getting to know people, their dreams, and how diverse everyone’s interests are as well as the similarities we share.
I’m not quite sure what I’ve conveyed with my write-up here, but there are 2 quotes that I keep close to my heart.
One is – “All trees grow at a particular place in the same soil and water. They have wind, sun, rain inhibiting them every now and then; despite heavy winds, rain or heat, the trees stand tall. Some stand tall lookijg lush and green, some stand a little bent looking weak and thin, some stand dry, some perish. The trees that stand strong, lush and green show the strength they drew from mother earth, wind, and sky.”
And another is – “When you construct a temple, most temples complete and become open to everyone, forever. But there are a few unfinished temples, temples whose constructions were given up upon, but haven’t lost their fortitude. There are certain people who are like these unfinished temples, who are unaccepted by society, but are still strong and beautiful.”
The latter is dedicated to my Amma, my friend for life and the strongest woman I know.