Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Marriage is...complicated

Such high expectations are a normal resultant of a whirlwind romance. Love resulting in marriage seems to be a common reality - and the ultimate goal. Finally, its legal and you can be together forever (hopefully). If you are lucky the honeymoon phase can last up to a year...and then before you know it, the excitement of a new life, the coming together of a new family, different career goals, families, vacations....and when you do get the time to look back, everything has changed. 

How did you get to this part of marriage, nothing seemed to change and suddenly everything is different. The love, the thrill, the adrenaline rush, and even the person you wake up right next to is not the same...makes you wonder if you yourself has changed also. If according to the movies and friends status on Facebook, your life seems to be lacking all the glamour that is associated with happily married people (if there is such a thing).

Marriage like life is complicated. No two people journey's are the same. Its not really a competition, its not a charade or a  fairy tale. Marriage is work. It takes conscious effort to choose to stay in love with the same person everyday. It takes work to find joy in small things - the big thrills are just punctuation in the daily life and not a sustainable way to be. It takes work to raise a family and manage the finances. It takes work to grow, to bite hurtful retorts and fight fair. Its complicated -and it should be. 


Times indeed change.

I remember when I used to revel in being away from everyone, in discovering new places, in freedom from family, friends and the tiny claustrophobic place I call home. Every time I travelled, my sense of wonderment grew, I could not get enough and I hated going back to the place called home to face the familiar way of life as it has been for forever. 

Yet now, thousands of miles away from everyone, with everything I used to think I valued and all I want in my noisy, dusty, bustling claustrophobic place I call home. I miss everyone so much and so worried that I may lose touch that I find myself more plugged and more in sync now than when I was physically there. 

Loneliness surrounds me. 

The new place has lost its thrill. It is not all that I hoped it will be. It is much harder than I ever imagined it to be. To start afresh in a new place where everyone has everything figured out. All friends are formed, clicks and I am the odd one out. I realise I have changed. It took all this loneliness biting at me from all angles to realise that I am not the same person I used to be, and that is neither a good nor a bad thing. I am different. 

Challenging times ahead. 

Finding the balance between wallowing in loneliness and going out to meet new people who are not interested and feeling like you have to convince them that they should have you in their life is proving to be quite a struggle. Making new friends just for the sake of it feels like such a waste of time when you know once this specific time is over, meeting them again is going to be hard. My heart is divided in enough places across the world to do it anymore. Yet we are social creatures. But in the meantime I am going to just be focused on me. Being my own friend, talking to the voices in my head, and try to unplug from my constant conversations from home. 

Life moves on.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Family is God's way of showing you that He's got you. Imagine at a day old, a mushy bundle of joy with no means of communicating and yet God provides you an angel that will understand you, hold you, care for you and love you. You come into this world already knowing all the important things about her, you know her voice, her scent and importantly her heartbeat - all from the inside of her. As you cringe your face and cry at the unfamiliar world, you eventually get to meet compilation of people who have something in common with you. You share the blood bond. There is the dad, grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles and many others. You the new addition to the clan and already you belong. 

Yet how do we move from that moment into abandoning our families. Not talking to our cousins. Petty family drama that we allow to define our lives. We chose to let go of those who held us when we needed someone. Why do inherit the hate or misunderstandings of others and absorb them into us? Because suddenly we have our own family that we created for ourselves, our friends. While they are amazing and seem to love us and be there when no one will. Yet we are more willing to let them get away with hurting us more than we would ever let our family. We hold our family with a higher standard of conduct yet we easily hurt them, because we know what can they do? Ostracise us? 

Being so far away, I seem to see everything clearly and differently. My mother was right, we should try and make friends out of our family, it deepens and strengthens the bond. To be in a place where you can make as many friends as you want yet have no one to call your own, is a foreign feeling. I catch myself searching for my mother's face in a strangers face. The snoring of my husband from the next door neighbour I can hear through the wall. The laughter of my child in all children I meet. The bickering of my cousins in the carefree gossipy teenagers. Sometimes I feel so lost. The loneliness gets overwhelming when you have always been surrounded by loved ones, always a short walk or drive away. I have gained a deeper appreciation and understanding. I tend to gravitate towards the people who are in the same predicament and we find ourselves giving each other love that we miss.   

How to do you let go...

As I listen to my friend tell me the lows in her relationship that she is even afraid to admit to herself, my brain runs in a million different directions on what I should say, how to comfort her, to empathise. I tell her I understand what she is telling me, but in reality I can only imagine. I have no idea what is going on or the circumstances that led her to this position in her life. 

How does one feel when you are eight months pregnant, and 2 year old toddler driving her crazy with a husband that decides that he no longer loves you and wants you to leave, after you gave up everything for him and the faith in your love? Me, like you had no idea what to say to possibly make this any easier for her or help her make sense of it. So all I do is tell her I love her so much and I am here for her, for whatever she needs. 

Typically of me I start imagining this situation and what I would do if it were me. I found it easy to tell her that if the man wanted you to leave, just go. Go back home to your loved ones who always have no choice but to take you back. But how is that possible? If you fought the whole family who didn't think he was good for you but you decided you knew him better, decided your parents, cousins and everyone were just jealous and didn't want to see you happy. How do you then face them again to tell them they were right and you were sorry? Not easy but its the only way. It reminds me of the Indian movie Yaadein, when the father tells his orphaned daughters that they can marry whomever they please, but they will afford the part in choosing the family they marry into. Why? They ask? He replies that when you get married, wife is not the only title you get, you become the daughter in law, aunt, sister in law et al. All these relationships will at one point or another affect your life. 

My question becomes, how do you get to this place? It cannot be just one thing. It has to be a million little things. The little digs. The unsaid things. The thoughts you secretly keep. The others outside showing that you can do better. It is the marriage. It is the kids. It is money. Responsibility. It's all the things you say and don't say to each other. Is it fair to say that he has changed, that the money he is making is going to his head yet you held him down when he had nothing? What is her play in this? She assures me that she is not to blame and that she has remained the same person she has always been, the woman he fell in love with. Yet I try to make her see her part in this mess something she cannot see at all. We are always blinded by what we do and unaware how our actions affect others. How do you let someone go at the time in your life when you need them the most, someone that you would give your soul to keep?
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