Fantasy vs. Reality

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

The great timeline. In my teenage years, I had my whole life planned out regarding when I would get married, where I would go to school, who I would become, and when I would have kids as well as how many. There would be a happy ever after and I would buy a house with a picket fence and life would be perfect. By the age of 25, I would complete a family medicine residency and get married so that I could have kids by 27 or 28 living in that perfect house with my perfect husband. It was a beautiful fantasy perpetuated by all the older women around me encouraging me to dream this dream into reality. 

    I find this fantasy of mine even more entertaining by the fact that my life up until that point was anything but perfect so why did I so firmly believe that my future would fall into my lap just as I had planned? The optimism of a child is ever abundant. I blame my wild and colourful imagination and reading too many novels to the point of perfected escapism. This was my vacation from reality because everyone seemed to tell me things would be better once I am an adult. All the fun things I wanted to do would be done with a husband without any mention of responsibility. In our culture, there is a very common saying among mothers when they don't particularly agree with a certain activity or want to see their daughters traveling or spending time with friends that "you can do all this after you are married to your husband." In an indirect way, they mean that your antics will not be our problem anymore and once you are married your husband and in-laws can decide whether you are allowed to do these things. However, being young and wild, I interpreted this to mean that once I am married, I will be able to do whatever I want whenever I want. 

    Can you imagine how exciting the future seemed when until college, I had very limited freedom in how I spent my time? I did not grow up with the concept of a curfew because I was not allowed after-school activities or allowed to visit my friends’ homes in the afternoons unless they were family friends, and even then, it would be a reluctant and rare allowance. Because of this, I did not make many strong friendships in high school because there would be no progression of the friendship outside of the school when everyone would get together and have fun. I remember skipping class for the first time in my life in grade eight and it was a thrilling yet terrifying experience. We hopped on the bus from the bus stop in front of the school at lunchtime and went into the city center where we walked around and enjoyed bubble tea and long talks. We roamed around the streets of downtown and walked through the mall in blissful joy and I took the time to absorb the sight and sounds of my adventure. That was the thrilling part. The terrifying part was when we were running late and could not figure out where the bus stop was located for the bus that would take us back to school. My friends were not too worried other than a little confused whereas I was in full-blown panic mode with a racing heartbeat and cold sweat because my parents would be expecting me to be home at my usual time since I had no excuse to be late. We did eventually make it back about twenty minutes late and of course, I lied about some assignment holding me back after class ended. Luckily I walked home from school so my parents were not waiting at the school to pick me up because that would have been a very different story. I did not skip class again.

    This is why the future looked amazing to me because of the concept of having a choice, in what I do during the day, where and with whom, was a novel yet an exciting concept. I accepted a marriage proposal at the age of fifteen to a man nine years older than me at the time because I was ready to embrace a whole new world. It was then that I learned that marriage came with a completely different manual of rules and regulations that would be used to continue the ritual of control. The parents of the groom did accept that I would continue my studies but they also wanted children as soon as possible. They also expected that we would live with them and take care of them as well. So where was this "do everything YOU want with your husband" part that continued to be touted at me? It was just a ploy that I and many other girls continue to fall for. Nobody talks about the responsibilities of pleasing two sets of parents instead of one and always putting your ambitions and choices on the back burner for others. My priorities, whims, and wishes would never matter. 

    Despite knowing that marriage would not be a good fit, I was effectively brainwashed into moulding myself to their desires. However, despite all that, a part of me would always crack through my mask and I requested to complete my studies before I started having any children because I would be only 17 by the time I was married. This did not sit well with them and the parents broke off the engagement even though my ex-fiance did not want to. But like me, he had little say in his future and when I asked him why he did not stand up for me, he said he was helpless and would drown his sorrow through video games. That was the end of that. 

    My parents were furious and blamed me for the breaking of the relationship because it was my defiance of authority that led to it. At this point in my life, I became more confused as ever because the fantasy about the future began to crack. The hairline fractures would shatter my rosy view on what adulthood had in store. It is then that my "defiance" grew wings. My parents were quite confused because they could not understand the change in my perception and questioning of their views. In their eyes, their pretty picture about my future would also break leaving all of us grasping on how to handle the present state and what to do next. This would begin a learning period for all of us and it would affect my siblings who would watch this power struggle between me and my parents. 
    I refused to marry anyone until I knew I was settled in a career and that was my final say. My parents were not happy with this decision but allowed me to continue studying and delaying marriage. This major decision of mine brought many new beginnings of trial and error for me because navigating university proved to be a challenge in more ways than I anticipated. Nevertheless, my pursuit of happiness led me to where I am today and I am satisfied. 

Until Next Time,

No comments:

Post a Comment

Powered by Blogger.
Theme Designed By Hello Manhattan

Your copyright

Copyright © 2020 TheWanderingGypsyDoc. All rights reserved.