Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it turned into a butterfly.
Having lived all my live in this city, I have experienced extreme stagnancy in my career and individual growth a number of times. Albeit I have tried to seize whatever opportunities came my way, I still felt the need for something more. Working on and off on my projects and having completed major part of my education besides having and raising two kids, has kept me insanely occupied. Yes, It gets weary and, even today there is not a single day when I do not wake up with almost twenty to-do’s and must-do’s hanging over my head. In countries where the social structures of gender are deeply rooted, it does become difficult for both women and men to defy them and do things out of the box. Few things are a norm hands down. A man represents leadership and authority (yes, the times are changing but let us talk about the masses here!) and, a women’s primary job is of a nurturer hence, she represents love and compassion. In such a case even if a woman is working full time, her primary job does not change, she has to be a homemaker first. For her working is not a necessity especially if she hails from a privileged background. For her working means she has the freedom to quit whenever she wants. Working means perhaps she was bored and wanted a change. Have you ever heard of the phrase “there is too much on your plate”? I have heard it almost everyday. Almost every day someone or the other would advice“for my own good” to give up on my career and look after my health and that it is not needed. These were the times I envied male friendships when there peers are always talking about opportunities for growth and better prospects. Why wouldn’t anyone tell a man to stop working and look after his health! Or take a months break from work and go for a vacation. Well! We all know the answer.
Self identity is not only important but eventually we women should recognise the need to know who we are. Hundreds of women in our country face depression due to identity crisis. Especially post 40s when the kids grow up and the “primary role” takes a back seat.
As a researcher I have found emptyness and vacuum in every day lives of women. And trust me, no magic can change a particular mindset, but it is only an individual’s inner strength and the power to go against the odds that changes life.
And, something I always emphasize on, the need to to prioritise identity over beauty.