Divergent Paths
Photo by Inspired Vision

I know I’ve focused my latest blogs on dating, but by no means am I trying to suggest that marriage and committed relationships should be anyone’s priority in life. While society has given an elevated status to wives and mothers for centuries, this trend has recently been changing quickly. It is now much easier for women to live independent lives and be happy. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that everyone is going to be accepting immediately, if at all.  This makes it harder for women to choose an independent life if they want to and easier to succumb to the pressure for marriage and children from well-meaning but misguided family and friends.

What if you desire to spend your life traveling? Or devoting yourself to your dream job? Or you simply have no desire to have children or spend the rest of your life with just one person? You have a right to choose the path that is best for you, no matter how nontraditional it may be. The only thing stopping you is yourself.

No, your friends and family are not the ones stopping you. You hold yourself back when you lose yourself and CHOOSE to cave in to external pressures. Listen, as an Indian-American, I know how heavy the guilt and obligations our families lay on our shoulders can be. Maybe your parents struggled to make a life for you and your siblings here, had no opportunities back home and just generally got screwed over by life repeatedly.  It’s understandable given their experiences why they would be extremely anxious for their children.  But they don’t get to pass their anxiety on to you. Their anxiety is their own and it is extremely healthy for you to put up barriers to keep yourself from absorbing them.

I used to tell people that there were three paths my life could take. The first, was the traditional route of marriage and family. It was my top choice for obvious reasons (the path most traveled, most traditional) and whether of my own innate desire or by social conditioning, finding someone to share my life with and raising children to be the best human beings they can possibly be are top goals for me. However, I know that life can sometimes be disappointing and dreams may be shattered. Fortunately, I have more than one dream. A second path I have strongly desired is one as a nomad. I never sketched out the details, which is completely against my type-A personality, but traveling the world and really learning new cultures and languages was also a dream of mine. If I ever decided to settle down, a third path for me was to open up a tea shop somewhere. Initially it was to be in NYC but upon further travels, I’ve fallen in love with the idea of starting the business in Bar Harbor, Maine 🙂

This is the way I see it: we’ve only got one shot at life. We don’t get to go back in time and undo mistakes and get rid of regrets. If you have dreams, you owe it to yourself to do everything in your power to make them come true. That’s why I take no shame in online dating or encouraging you all to do it; it is a means to accomplishing my goal, one that is shared by many. I’m proud to have many interests, goals and dreams because I know that if one is shattered, all is not lost. There are so many ways to find happiness if we’re willing to look outside the box and look deeper within ourselves.

If you know what you want but lack support to follow your dreams, I’m here for you! I know what it’s like to order milk at a bar with a slice of chocolate cake with all of my friends looking at me like I was super uncool and have only me, myself and I to cheer me on for being true to myself. I wanted milk with my cake, goddammit! And guess what? I’d do it all over again and feel a great sense of pride for holding onto myself in that moment and not giving in to peer pressure. Because seriously, beer with cake would have been so unsatisfying!

Hold onto yourself. Dream big. Don’t let anyone hold you back, especially yourself, and I’m here if you need the support.

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