My March


The past few weeks have been a rough but well learning ride. Apart from embarking on finding myself, and what I want from/in life, I also neeeded clarity. I needed clarity regarding the life I was choosing to live, on those who are/were a part of my life and who I wanted to be and what I was willing to go through in order to achieve that. 

Life’s hard and it’ll always be. I expect it to be no different to me. Once you make the right choices for yourself though, there is a sense of calm, peace and happines. I had been longing for that, for far too long. It isn’t easy to decide to end relationships that you’ve been a part of for years, and to find a new path to follow for yourself. We live in a world and I live in a country where the society and community is everything and it’s hard to not follow what is declared normal. Be mindful enough to be able to clarify what and identify what you want and what the society wants. They are most likely two VERY different things. And that’s okay. 

I know now that I can never or hardly ever live up to others’ expectations of myself. I am beyond that. It’s important to me however that I simply live up to mine. Social normals and realities aside, it’s important to find out what is normal and right in my eyes. How do I see myself? How do you see yourself? I know it’s easy for someone to advice you against listening to others and yet, take it fro someone who knows when I say, you really shouldn’t. It’s easy for the mind and heart to fall prey to words that are uttered in shame, anger, pain and disappointment. It does not howevr mean that they are true. Let people talk. They always will. Try not to let it affect you. I’m trying. Words hardly ever die, but a ruined peace of mind is hard to find and nuture so hold on to it as best as you can. 

It may sound ignorant or very stubborn of me, but a close friend told me I need to be thick skinned during hard times. I’m grateful for that piece of advice. It’s gotten me through rough days and harsh criticism. The negativity is hardly ever going to stop when I’ve chosen to do something out of the norm or against what is expected of me. That’s okay too. I can make my peace with that. I choose to let the negativity fall behind my back and continue to move forward. Life does not stop or wait for you. You’ve got to keep moving. 

Finding stability at a hard time and wen you’re just about discovering youself is a bit daunting, but once you start focusing on all the good things in life, stability will follow. Having a job or career that you enjoy, a great support system and friends you can always count on are geat ways to ensure your life continues to go on as best as it can. 

I tell myself, that it is okay to depend on myself. The voices around me misjudge and criticise me for it. All I often hear are the many ways it is a wrong choice to make and the many regrets I will have in my old age. I do it anyways. Why? Because I’m doing it for myself. I owe myself that much. My parents or relatives or friends aren’t always going to be there for me. I know that. This is my life afterall – I come first. Everyone else is secondary. I tell myself to have confidence in myself an to trust that I will be there when I am needed most. Life isn’t about what othes would do for you. What about what you would do for yourself? Be your own confidant, your own friend. Once you believe and trust in yourself, you will be unstoppable. 

What if I gravely fall ill or meet with an accident? Ive been asked these questions countless times. They are possible scenarios but I try not to get too caught up in them. Is the solutin finding a partner so that I can be taken care of? I don’t intend on being cocky or over confident, but I trust that I can take care of myself. I know wahat I am capable of and am not stupid enough to take wild risks. I know when to depend on myself and I know when to ask for help. As long as I am clear on those two terms, I know I have nothing to worry about. 

Xxx

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On marriage…

Is marriage important in today’s age and time? I find that the answer to this question is really complicating. Putting aside what religion says, is it really a necessity?

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Too many friends (couples) and family members (married folks) seem to be falling apart nowadays and obviously it makes one question if marriage is all that important. “Marriage has almost become a negative term today. In our days and age, we married out of love, out of necessity and out of respect. But today’s generation has it entirely wrong. People fear the word marriage because they feel like it ties them down. Going into a marriage with this sort of fear is not going to help strengthen the relationship and bond between a husband and wife. It’s only going to cause tension and doubt,” said Kathy (62)

The thing about fear is spot on. Today’s generation is afraid of getting married. The life-long commitment, staying true to one another, the responsibilities, managing finances, thinking about starting a family and so on are serious concerns. Of course, there is no guarantee that every marriage will work out but that’s what makes marriage so special – the need to constantly work at it to keep it strong.

Married couples in the yesteryears kept their marriages afloat and strong with sheer love, determination and a lot of hard work. Two individuals coming together isn’t entire a blissful combination. That is why marriage takes a lot of effort. Couples strive to keep love alive by making sacrifices, compromising when the necessity arose, by respecting one another, and also vowing to be there for each other in both difficult and good times.
“It isn’t the case today because people have become quite selfish. I find that people only think about themselves and what they want in life. But in a marriage, it should be about both individuals. If it comes to a point where you’re only thinking of yourself, then you need to get out of that situation,” said Sam (27).

So again, why get married in the first place?

“If you happen to find someone compatible, someone who understands you and loves you for who you are, then go ahead and get married. But if you’re looking at the wrong reasons – for financial gain (as an example) – you’re going to be one unhappy soul. You’re going to be miserable and constantly arguing so why put yourself through all that? I somewhat agree on a live-in relationship beforehand in this case because then you’d get to know what it’s like to constantly be in each other’s space before taking that big step in life towards marriage,” confided Shehan (30)

Live-in relationships

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As much as it’s a taboo in our society and culture, today’s generation does opt to live with their partners before getting married….or not get married at all. It’s almost like being married but not just quite there. What’s convenient about live-in relationships is that one can walk out on the other if he or she wants to. There’s nothing to hold you together and people tend to find that (as confusing as it is) comforting. They want to be able to know they can leave when the going gets rough or when they feel like this isn’t what they signed up for. For people with that kind of mind -set, marriage is out of the ballpark. A live-in relationship is a safe bet.

What about starting a family and growing old with someone you love and who loves you? “People can still do that. People ARE doing that even without being married. It’s not so much a taboo for two people to have a family without being married anymore. Yes, there is talk about the community and society but today’s generation are a bunch of tough cookies. They don’t really care about what the community, society or (sometimes) even what religion says. They are the new generation that gets to keep the cake and eat the cake too,” said Shanya (28)

Bringing in religion to this aspect, a live-in relationship is out of question. If you’re in love with someone, you’ve got to get married. If you want to start a family with someone, you have to get married. If you want to be in a relationship with someone, you’ve got to get married (ha!).

Marriage does not guarantee a lifelong relationship but sticking to the religious and cultural aspect, both individuals have to work it through. If you’re going through a rough patch, the immediate thought shouldn’t be divorce or separation. These two words should be out of the equation. When you do that, what’s left is to continue to work harder at making a marriage work. Each day is going to be a lot of work; you have to go through the good, the bad and the ugly to really come into your own.

“I don’t like a lot of things about my wife. Her messiness irritates me. She can’t cook to save a life and she has this annoying habit of misplacing things. But that does not mean I do not love her any less. I love that she’s unlike any other woman I’ve known.

I love that she ‘tries’ to make the bed look less messy when I get back home from work and ‘pretends’ to have cooked a meal even when I know its takeout from a cafe. The fact that she does those little things for me makes me love her even more. I’m not a perfect individual either and I know she deals with my shortcomings the same way. That’s really what marriage is all about,” said *Anushan (34).

**As published in the Ceylon Today newspapers**