You’re next! Yeahh…No.

It’s strange, how a lot of discussions in the family start turning towards the dreaded topic of ‘getting married and settling down’. Or ‘you should be learning to cook for your married life’. Or even, ‘everyone else is getting married, you should be thinking about it too. You’re not going to be young forever!’ Or the most epic one, at someone else’s wedding – ‘You do realise, you’re next? Aren’t you looking forward to it?!’ Ummm, no. The woes of crossing the 21 year milestone of your life! *sigh*

I should probably mention here that I come from an Indian family, South Indian at that. It is quite common in our culture to get married as early as at the age of 20. 18 even, sometimes. It is also a common practice to have arranged marriages. I should also mention, I’ve turned 23 recently.

My entire family had been trying to get me hitched since my 21st, and I put my foot down. I said till I turn 25, there better be no talk of marriage in our home, or they lose me. Though in hindsight, that doesn’t leave me much time. It’s creeping up in two years! But, as time has passed since then, I’m beginning to see reasons to not get married, in the foreseeable future, at least.

One of my main problems with marriage is that people don’t get that it’s not about securing a ‘safe’ future for yourself. It’s about building a future YOU wish for, with someone YOU decide to make a part of your life. Society doesn’t have a right to have a say in this. No matter how much they try and muscle-arm their way into showing that they do.

Also, I just can’t commit to the idea of dealing with another family, and changing myself because of it. I’m open to change, but not to the extent of changing the person I am. It’s not always the case for every marriage, sure. There are some wonderful families who can welcome even the most distinctive of individuals into their fold with open arms. They know you are an individual in your own right, and don’t expect you to change. But I’ve seen it asked for, more often than not. Hell, I’ve even seen it with my own parents’ marriage.

I don’t want to have the kind of marriage that my parents have. I mean, I love both of them and they’re wonderful people, individually. But as a couple, I only see a kind of respect between them, rather than love. After almost 30 years of marriage, I’ve just never felt that they were ‘in love’. I need to know that I am very much in love if and when I decide to take that leap of faith with someone.

Just because someone isn’t married to the one they love, does not mean the relationship isn’t valid. You don’t need a certificate to prove that you’re in love, or even to hope that that love lasts forevermore. Because, in life, there are no guarantees. You work, and you work hard, for what you want! If the certificate guarantees that your love would last forever, the divorce rate wouldn’t be as high as it was.

The idea of committing to another person doesn’t freak me out, not one bit. I’m a big believer in love, romance and all that. And that’s what marriage is about.

The only problem in this stand I take is…my love life. Or my apparent lack of it. People tend to believe I’m staying off men, dating, love and relationships. But I’m not. Not in the least. I have realised that if ever there is a time I will change the views I’ve aired above, it’ll be when a man who loves me enough to convince me does so. Sounds unrealistic? Probably is. If not, time will tell.

<3

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2012, it’s been a pleasure (somewhat)!

I’ve always read things like this. And never realised how much you can learn when you put your thoughts to paper (or in this case, a virtual note). Until 2012. This past year, I got back to writing, with a renewed passion. It’s not like I had stopped before, I just wasn’t motivated enough to write as much. But I did, and I’m glad about that.
Have you wondered what it would be like, to have a whole year be something you never, ever expected it to be? I always did, until 2012 came along. Boy, what a year it has been!

It’s been a year of many firsts.
I left home for the first time. And that wasn’t easy, especially coming from a background that prefers to keep “their own” a little too close. But my parents knew it was important to me, to break away, and they let me go and find my way.
I lived by myself for the first time. Being a twenty-something, I’ve wanted to experience a home of my own – away from family. I wanted to be able to discover myself. And moving to a place where I knew no one helped me do that.
I made friends with people from at least 10 different countries, for the first time. And some wonderful ones, at that. Learning about different cultures, and different ways of life, has been a divine experience. It made me realise that my hope…no, my dream, is to travel. Not just around the world. But, through stories. Through cultures. Through experiences. Through life.
I created, and stuck to creating, a blog – for the first time. It’s what made me realise how much I’d been missing writing. And how much I wanted to keep writing. It was like reconnecting with a part of my soul I didn’t know I had lost touch with. It also made me realise, I had an outlet of sorts. To hopefully never, ever lose that part of my soul again.

It’s also been a year of many life lessons…
I learnt that no matter what, there are some people I can’t win over. And that’s okay. What matters is that I tried. Friends, acquaintances or family, no one should point a finger at you and say that you never made an effort to make good with them.
I learnt what dating could feel like, outside my comfort zone. I went on dates with people who I wasn’t in a relationship with, and it was refreshing. It also becomes a part of your soul-searching, because you understand how you feel about relationships in general.
I learnt that it was okay to let people in, especially those who make an effort to come in. It allows you to let some amazing souls in your life. You make an effort to make sure the walls stay up, but these people will break them down, because they care enough to.
I learnt that people who were close to me can, and possibly will, leave. And I can’t change that, no matter how much I try. It’s a way of life. People come, people go. The ones that really care, will do whatever it takes to stay. And the ones that leave, probably have no reason to stay anymore.

And the most important thing 2012 has taught me is:
I learnt that if I didn’t believe myself that I was amazing, no one else really had a reason to believe it either. Why would they? You need to believe you are a gift in everyone’s lives, and they’re lucky to have/know you. Because you don’t need yourself to bring you down, there will be people to try that anyway. It’s the way of the universe.

It’s what life is about – firsts, experiences, milestones and memories. So here’s to life. And here’s to letting 2013 try to top 2012! Bring it on!

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