I’ve known what I’ve wanted to be the majority of my adolescent and adult life. I’ve wanted to write, professionally. I even completed a bachelor’s and master’s in creative writing. I wrote a lot in my late teens and early twenties, but I didn’t make much movement in my career.
I had too many distractions. Friends, parties, side jobs and mostly, boys.
As a woman of Indian descent, I knew at some point in my twenties, I would get married and have children. It was inevitable. This is very traditional. mindset, but it is also something I strongly wanted, whether or not that was due to conditioning, I’m not sure. What I know is that I wanted it so badly that I serially dated then committed to a long-term (too long) relationship with the wrong guy at 21, moved in with him, and almost married him. Even though I was dabbling into my career in bits and pieces by writing and doing stand up comedy along the way, my career wasn’t my priority.
Getting the ring was my priority. I made getting married my career goal.
Fast forward to 2013 when I finally met my husband and knew pretty quickly that he was the guy for me. During the first year of our relationship, I thought my career goals and dreams were not just put aside, but over before they even got started because I got my end goal of being married. Boy was I wrong.
Getting married, to the right partner, gave me the opportunity to finally focus on myself.
It sounds like a very unpopular opinion when I type it out, but I needed to find the husband and have the babies in order to focus on my career.
My entire adolescence, I had always heard through the aunty grapevine about girls who were career-focused and not yet married in a negative manner. Aunties talked about babies, how it would be too late, and that there would be no good guys left. Then they would bring up the girls who did the “right” thing and devoted their lives to their husbands and families.In my mind, I never understood why one was better than the other. Girls who went for their dreams and girls who chose to have kids were both amazing. I would sit there conflicted because I wanted both. I wanted to be a mom yet I had an abundance of dreams I wanted to pursue; dreams that would take years and years far beyond my ovaries would like.
Until I experienced it for myself, I didn’t know doing both was possible.
I didn’t know that I had the ability to dedicate myself to my family and have the career of my dreams.
When I got married, all of a sudden I had a lot of time to myself. I was living in Long Island where I didn’t know a single soul and my husband was working countless hours in his Residency program. I went through a terrible depression, but this low also helped me find a way to myself. I started writing again, bits and pieces. Nothing I was proud of quite yet, but I was working towards something. All the work I did in those early, lonely years of marriage is paying off now because my self-growth directly correlated with me becoming a better, more confident writer. Now I’m creating, blogging, being funny, and I’m writing amongst the hustle and bustle of daily life with two toddlers. Soon enough, I’ll be published. I know it because I’m finally focused on it. I’m determined to make this my career.
At 22, I had a job that gave me so much flexibility I could have written a new novel every 90 days. I could have honed in on my craft and already been a successful author, but then I wouldn’t have these kids that I can’t stop cuddling and kissing. I wouldn’t have a husband who puts me on a pedestal because he believes nothing is out of reach for me. They are the pieces that truly made me feel whole. I’m finally focusing on myself and my career when I have so many others depending on me. It seems like bad timing to many, but it honestly couldn’t have been timed more perfectly.
My children and life experiences have made me a better writer.
I am writing this because I want every Desi girl to know it doesn’t have to be one way or the other as we were conditioned to believe. You don’t have to be the career woman who ends up alone or the married woman who puts all her dreams aside. With the right partner to lean on, you can truly have both, and let me tell you, I like to have my cake and eat it too.