I went to a psychic once and she told me that I liked to be in control and the boss of everything. She said that recent changes in my life were going to be good for me.
I would always ridicule that profession and laugh about how I never believed in such things. To be fair she lived in a drafty old apartment on 9th Avenue in New York City and greeted me in her pajamas, but a part of me wanted to believe everything she said. A part of me wanted to hope that the dreams that I had for myself would happen.
So I paid her a customary fee of $15 which she used, to buy groceries from the deli downstairs and I told my husband about the good fortune that we were foretold to have. He scoffed, of course, because he’s such a sceptic but that night I kept going over what she said, hoping and somewhat praying that it would be true.
Like most 20 somethings, I am confused about what I want to do in life but it’s not just that. You see, coming from where I am, from Pakistan. Ah how do I explain it? I have been with my now husband for a few years now and I love him more than anything else, don’t get me wrong on that. However, I’ve been through almost similar things he has and we love the fact that we have so much in common. But being from a traditional family and from a country that's patriarchal-but-somewhat-progressing, like Pakistan (and even though we dated and we were in a relationship and it was a love marriage), there were so many things that seemed out of my control. The fact that our families are so traditional and it’s not their fault! It’s the society that we grew up in. We always loved the fact that we were so understanding of each other’s needs and dreams and wants and we were best friends. But then once our relationship became official, it was mostly about what and how everyone else expected us to be and how to act. For me to be the submissive and compromising wife and for him to be the sole breadwinner and the macho man of the family.
I mean I would always support my husband in everything and anything and he means the world to me and I want him to succeed and be happy but… my dreams? It almost felt like and from what it seemed was that all everyone cared about was him succeeding and realizing his dreams and me just being there…in the background.
I worked so hard to get where I am, against all odds. But yet everything I did seems so insignificant and diminished. I seem to have no purpose. I am happy for him, but I have to put everything that I ever envisioned for myself on hold. And that would be okay from what people say a “healthy marriage” is all about…COMPROMISE. But the way I see it, everything that I worked and dreamed for, revolved around him and what our families expects of us. Because at any time that any life decision has to revolve around me, that would upset that balance of our lives as we know it and I would probably have little or no support from any of the people that are close to me.
Again, don’t get me wrong, I AM BLESSED. I am blessed and grateful to be with the one that I love and be in a conducive and “happy” marriage. I put that in quotes because to me a happy marriage should mean that both parties are happy. I am happy to be with him, my soulmate, but I am NOT happy to be just that. Just a wife, just a daughter in law, just reduced to relations. I want to be so much more. To be able to make a difference in this world, to utilize myself in constructive ways, to do the things I am so passionate about, but alas, I can’t. My life is on hold and I don’t know what to do. He ridicules me because he thinks that I am too good for taking up volunteer work. But I don’t want to aim just for that. I am just as, if not more, qualified than he is, but fate has other plans for me and for the life of me, I don’t know what.
I have been patient, I have been diligent in trying to steer myself towards my goals but fate doesn’t seem to agree with me. I wish I could do more. I wish I didn’t care about what people thought about me and I just dove into things that I cared about. I wish I could be fearless. But somehow, I feel so insignificant and weak and resigned. My fate or from what it seems right now, is to just do nothing. Be there for him and that’s it. I can do that, but I need something of my own to look forward to. I don’t know if that makes me a bad wife and impatient but it’s the darn truth. I love my husband and I want to see him rise to the top and be the best at everything, but how is it selfish to want the same for me?
Is it selfish, really?