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I put all my career aspirations on my husband when I got married, and have had a good life as a fauji wife, but now I catch myself shifting them to my daughter.
It was during a casual conversation about work culture and career growth in the corporate sector with my colleagues, that I realized for the first time what I had compromised to marry the man I loved.
The same year we got married, my husband was posted out of our city. I just decided to relocate with him wherever he went and whatever it takes. That was in 2004. It has been 14 years now.
Yes, it was my ambitious self and my career goals that I had buried somewhere long ago. But those aspirations have now starting resurfacing again. Having lived a fulfilling and happy married life, I wonder why that ambitious self has come around haunting me now.
We were a complete family, blessed with a daughter when he was posted in Chennai. For an outgoing and fun loving person like me, it has been a perfect lifestyle throughout – packing and unpacking, new places, different cultures, varied cuisines and climates, diverse work cultures, and a husband who loves exploring new places, has an extremely fine palate and loves cooking. I feel there has been a perfect fit in my expectations from life and the fauji way of life.
Hadn’t I agreed with myself to not think about a full-fledged career but also never give up on working? I did abide by this agreement all these years. I always said NO to bigger responsibilities and higher positions at the work place as it would demand relocation and staying away from family. Instead, I kept picking up whatever job opportunity came my way in every new city we lived in, moving almost every 2.5 years.
There has been no room for complaints so far. But now my heart starts sinking when I see a work stressed husband come back home. He seems to have hit the glass ceiling in a top heavy organization and planning for resettlement. It is now that I understand the cause of this restlessness inside me.
Those aspirations were never buried. I had invested those aspirations into my husband and his career. It must have been easy for me then. But now dealing with it is difficult. What scares me now is that I see myself shifting these aspirations from my husband and placing them on my daughter.
That’s how our society has conditioned us. Success is defined by excellence in academics and a steep career growth. I do not want to burden my daughter’s individuality and creativity with my aspirations of doing the best and reaching the top. I hate myself when I see the embarrassment in her eyes for scoring average marks.
I wish I could give some better direction to these resurfaced aspirations. Searching for solutions…
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An academician by profession and a traveler by passion. Believes in reaching rather than preaching.
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