A couple of days ago I met a wonderful person. She’s twice my age. Has a daughter about my age. We connected almost immediately. Musically, and even just core values in general.
I have this feeling often – I connect with women sometimes who teach me lessons that I never learn on my own, or from my own mother. And I like it this way.
I like expanding my horizons. Learning different lessons from different mothers along the way. Different perspectives, different parenting approaches. It’s not so much to compare and contrast to see which is better, it’s just to see a variety and hopefully learn something new from it.
And that’s what happened yesterday. When I had her met her initially Tuesday night, we talked about music, and colors, and culture, and just a brief history of her life. My sister and I left in a daze, we never thought we would have so much fun having a great conversation in such a random place. Couldn’t stop thinking about her, we were looking forward to see her again. She owns an Indian apparel store in my town, and we were looking for outfits for an upcoming engagement and wedding we’d be going to throughout this year. Wednesday we strictly browsed, we didn’t want to make any final decisions. These types of clothing can be compared to picking a prom dress – where there may be tons of selection, as well as variation in extremely high prices, (for something you may only wear once).
We didn’t think we would go again yesterday – we figured Sunday at the earliest, but these stores stay open until about 8pm, and I finished work at 4pm, so we figured we could slip some time in since we had already narrowed down the stores we liked, as well as the pieces we liked from each. By Wednesday evening, we were on a name basis, “Hi ______!” I’d say as I walked in, and she’d say our names in return. It was a great feeling! She was really happy to see us again. She told us how she couldn’t stop talking about us on her way home, and how she told her kids about us, etc.
It’s at this moment when you realize you never really know who you could have an impact on.
I know my ex has told me this before, but actively being observant about it makes it even more apparent.
Anyway, ______ and I got to talking again, this time I asked her how she met her husband, who owns the store with her. Even though she was born in India, she came to Canada when she was about 3 years old. There wasn’t a cultural barrier between us, so it was really easy to vibe with her. Before I even asked how she met her husband, I was hoping for a particular answer. I was almost hoping for her to prove my point. I was hoping that her being the eldest in her family, and also a First Generation Canadian in her family (with all her extended family still in India mind you, just like my family in Malaysia and Sri Lanka), that she would ‘rebel‘ in a sense (not that rebelling is necessarily a bad thing, but that’s a whole other conversation).
To my dismay, she gave me an answer I almost feared. She had an arranged marriage. A completely traditional Indian custom. She didn’t resist either. I asked her how she felt at the time when it all happened, and she just went with the flow, she was happy to do it. And from the way she told me the story, she didn’t seem to do it for the happiness of her parents (though of course that may just be a factor that was obvious and needn’t be mentioned). She said she was travelling with her mom to India in her youth, and her mother came to her one day saying “oh my goodness! ______! I found the perfect guy for you!”. And how she held the cards she was dealt with was what astounded me. I didn’t need to say anything, she saw the expression of shock on my face when she was telling us how it all happened. And she said something so absolutely simple and true:
“You can never really know anyone.” She went on to explain that you can meet a perfect stranger, and it’s easy to love a perfect stranger; but no one is perfect.
And her parents finding someone for her, would be just as good as finding someone on her own. She is also a big believer in fate – she felt that if this is what was in store for her then this is what it is. And just when you thought the lesson learning was over, she said something even more provoking;
“I don’t want to be loved, I want to be liked. The only people that truly tolerate your absolute worst, ugly, and undesirable, is your family. When times get rough for you, they’re the only ones that don’t leave you, they still love you unconditionally. And they are the only people who will love you. Everyone else only needs to like you, they will never match the love a family gives you. And that’s why I want to be liked. Being liked is more consistent, being loved has so many ups and downs and uncertainties and I’d rather just be liked because it’s simpler.”
And then, as if a light bulb sparked above my head I immediately applied that lesson to my own life. I love simplicity, but I’ve been chasing something so complicated; Love. So turbulent, so confusing, so messy. Love really does involve a lot of ups and downs. My mom has been through the ringer with me. I am nothing like the woman I met at the store. Despite being the eldest first generation Canadian in my family, I have been everything but compliant. And even with my ex. Since he broke up with me, we came to an agreement to remain friends. It’s not what he wanted, but we’re both getting something out of it, and none of it being ideal whatsoever, but believe it or not, I’m happier than I was being out of an official relationship.
I put so much pressure on myself, to be the girl he wanted – which I couldn’t achieve, I put pressure on myself to fall in love and just have the life I wanted with him. I put pressure on my expectations to be fulfilled so badly. Expectations that only existed in my daydreams. And of course I put pressure on him to be a guy that he just didn’t want to or couldn’t be for me. With that being said, why are we happier now? Actually no. Why am I happier now? He was happy then, and he’s still happy now. What changed? A mere title? Yes. Why did that have such a huge impact on me?
I feel a huge load off my back knowing that I don’t have to be in love with him to be with him anymore. That we can just fuck and I can just really like him and that can be enough. I like his personality, I like the way he looks, I like the way he makes me feel, and I like the way he fucks me. I don’t know if I love him, and that’s where it gets confusing and scary, I don’t know if he’s “the one” if that even exists. And if I learned anything from my lesson with the wonderful woman at the store, it’s that it obviously doesn’t.
She had an arranged marriage with a random man and they’re going strong on almost 35 years. They have a beautiful family, they have monsterous fights once in a while, and more often than not, they have times where they get along just fine.
“Life isn’t anything like a bollywood/hollywood movie – and you don’t want it to be – trust me” is what she said to me.
And she’s completely right. Again, those movies tackle love – the ever so turbulent, dramatic, and confusing – feelings we all hang on to. Finding that “perfect person” or that person that fits all the ideals you have in your head. It’s just not going to happen. My ex learned that lesson waaaaayyyy earlier than I have. Mind you, he spent months trying to teach me and here I am learning it over and over again – it’s a sign; I’m not going to stop meeting people who teach me this lesson until I’ve learned it. I’ve been holding on to Love like people hold on to religion. I really really believe in it. I really want it to be real, amongst everything I believed in my childhood growing up; Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, God, and whatever other fantasy I’d believe in, Love was one of them. It just felt with the way people talk about it, and the way it seems to make you feel – felt so real.
And I wanted to be in love so badly. Oh so badly. I wanted that stupid fairytale. I wanted that happily ever after. I wanted to escape everything I had in my life and just run away with someone and start all over. And it’s weird because the only person I can imagine doing that with is my ex. I’d love to just start a new life with him and leave everything else behind. But that’s not realistic because I don’t want to be completely estragnged from my family, or his. I wanted them to be a huge part of it if we were actually together.
We also want different things, at different times. Which really sucks. I feel like I’m just keeping a spot warm for the woman that will sweep him away from me. And there’s nothing I’m doing about it. Cause at the same time, I can’t be the woman he wants me to be. Or maybe I can, I don’t know it’s conflicting right now.
I have a part of me that really wants to travel, and just take the time to be me before I settle down and have kids. And yes I’ve been doing that long enough, and I’ve been lagging behind my ideal schedule, but I don’t think I can move forward until I actually experience the world the way I wanted to, I’m sure I can do it with a family by my side, but that’s a different experience entirely.
Ever since I started working with kids at the clinic, I’ve learned things about myself. I definitely love kids, they may get on my nerves at times much like anyone else I may bump into, but ultimately I love them. I probably would be a great mom. I’m just this big ball of energy waiting to expend it on someone. A child would probably help me be a little less hyper, if anything – I probably get along with children so well because I’m just a big giant kid myself. Which is a little embarrassing, but it’s who I am.
I’m just this big kid until I come to terms with the fact that being an adult means leaving the fantasies and dreams behind me. Leaving behind all my ideals that I had for my career, and love life, and family, and life in general.
And I want to move on from it. I don’t want to be stuck in the past, I don’t want to be stuck trying to achieve something that doesn’t exist. I do want to travel, but maybe it’s just not meant to happen for me. It would be great, but given my financial circumstances, and the other goals I still have to achieve before comfortably travelling, are more important. Maybe I can do it when I retire? Or when my kids grow up?
Goals as of Today:
- Finish School -_- (this is a whole other fucking conversation let me tell you. Blog post pending)
- Pay of my debts (I feel like with the jobs I have right now, The major debts I have will be paid off by the end of summer [if I’m lucky!])
- Get a full-time job. Sigh. Commitments.
- Save. Save. Save. SPEND LESS ____! SPEND LESS! I’M SERIOUS!
- Move out – just be independent and self sufficient for a while – just to see if I’d survive
- Help out my mom and sister
- Maybe buy my own car if I can afford it.
And anything else that happens along the way I guess is secondary. Unlike my ex, having a wife and kids is just not in my goals right now. I can’t even commit to a job let alone a husband. I don’t even know if I’d be a good wife with the way I am right now. I mean, yes if I lived with a guy, I’d probably be awesome to live with, but right now? Probably not. Sigh, I know I’m probably contradicting myself one way or another, but fuck it. It’s how I’m feeling right now, and I don’t make sense, but I’m learning! And I’m going to change! I swear.
…Who am I swearing to, you ask? Myself. Bitch.