My #TakeCharge Story
“I was a small town, middle class girl who dreamt of making it big. But ‘Man proposes, God disposes.’ Life toughened me and that helped me achieve my dreams.
Way back in the nineties procuring a doctoral degree was a marvellous feat. Armed with a doctoral degree in science and dreams in my eyes, I was ready to make it big.
Coming from a lineage of working parents, it was a given that I would work. I was academically bright and aimed for the stars. I wanted to work as a lecturer in a good college or university.
I had started working towards my goal. While I was busy,my family felt my biological clock was ticking fast, so they started planning my marriage. They assumed career and family could go hand in hand. My protests went unheard.
A frantic search began for a ‘suitable boy’. At last one was zeroed in and I was married off. I had always been apprehensive about working after marriage but my parents hoped it would work out.
My husband is a geologist and that meant being away from home for long periods of time. His work demanded him to be in remote areas and he could not come home regularly.
I had lived a sheltered life, always living with my parents. To manage everything on my own was an arduous task. My husband was employed with Government of India, so being posted to different places was a part of the job. Meanwhile, I was trying to get a good job but within a year of being married, I was expecting our first child.
The minute my son was born, my will to work was being put to test. We did not have any support from our respective families and I was subjected to a big test,whether to work or be a stay at home mom.
In fact the minute I took this decision, people found me foolish. My in laws instead of backing me, showered me with acerbic remarks and started treating me shabbily. I turned a deaf ear, started bringing up my child single handedly. Soon I was blessed with a second child.
Now I has the dual responsibility of both the children. I had to be their mother and father. From cooking, feeding, taking them to school, teaching them - I was always there.
We had started life on modest means, so there were no luxuries of cars or servants. Cellphones were unheard of and calling was expensive. Access to my husband was rare and we were not in regular touch. It was harder, when kids fell sick.
These were low periods and I often found myself cursing my fate. Despair took me over and my health started deteriorating. I had panic attacks and insomnia. I had morbid dreams of someone hurtling me down a precipice. Iwanted someone to pull me up. Seeing me in this condition, my husband came to my rescue. By now, the children had reached senior school. A sense of semblence began to return.
I had a passion for writing, ever since my school days. My husband signed me up for an online creative writing course and a month's basic computer course. While I took computer classes, he managed the house. People at the centre were impressed with my will to learn. My dream to become tech savvy had come true. I had always felt left out when my husband and kids spoke about computers. It was Greek to me. But I learnt fast and was confident that with knowledge of computers and writing skills, I could make a mark for myself. It was like finding a rainbow at the end of a tunnel.
I started surfing the net to locate writing sites. I even managed to get published on a few sites, started blogging, writing for magazines and national dailies. In fact my story found a place in the Chicken Soup Series. I was a nobody. But with dreams I have managed to carve a niche for myself.
Being an empty nester, I have developed a new perspective to live life. I have managed to procure online proofreading jobs. I work from home and edit science books for university levels. During my leisure time I do creative writing. I can boast that I wield my ladle and pen with elan.
I have become an active working professional and have found my peace. My work gives me joy and I feel connected to life. The burden of hardships is gone and I live life with a sense of #takecharge! Hope someone out there finds my story closer to theirs. I am happy to chat – connect with me here."