Why Does It Cost To Be Different In Our Society?

When I was to be arranged in a marriage, my sheer work profile would scare off any prospective suitors. I remember my mother telling me that someone saw my profile, but they felt I was too fast and had seen quite much for my age!

Off late, I have been thinking of the price of my choices in life. The age-old saying that every choice costs something, either a penny more or a blow to your image or a lessening of your circle. Something always weighs in when you make a choice that is defying the herd.

I, for one, have always lived in a herd and also had friends in a herd, but ever since I was a child I had this streak of being the different one amongst the group.

I remember when I was in grade 5, although living with a joint family system in India there were many things one had to share, I was adamant about a study desk and a study corner. Of all the material desires any young pre-teen would have, I longed for some stability during my studies.

Why am I the nerd of the family?

And my parents arranged for the same, I still remember my excitement of having something that was mine, and I didn’t have to share. But it came at a cost of being so different from my family, instead of asking for a fancy wardrobe or a bed I asked for something that labelled me the Nerd of the family.

There would be many days I would silently sit at my desk and have small tears come out as I would make my timetable, because of a comment someone said earlier that day. But that didn’t stop me at all, I enjoyed studying and till the time I was in academics I was always much above average and yes the first in my family to get the grades that I did in some very tough subjects.

Prospective grooms got scared by my profile!

Fast-forward to a few years into my early twenties, my life was already decided by my parents, but little did they or I know that my choices would again lead me down a different path. Taking jobs in very exciting profiles that required me to travel to unknown places within and outside India, the wealth of knowledge that I gathered, and the independence that I saw completely changed the course of my life.

That was the age when I was to be arranged in a marriage, but my sheer work profile would scare off any prospective suitors. I remember my mother telling me that so-and-so saw my profile, but they feel I am too fast and had seen quite much for my age.

And I would wonder, so is that a bad thing?

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To be good at what you do and also get a chance to build your character and life skills set?

But being different comes with its labels!

Even now that I am married to a progressive man, leading my independent life with choices we both make for the betterment of our lives. I still have to face labelling from people. In Indian society, there is very less place for a woman who wants to be an equal in her marriage, and who wants to prioritize mental peace over age-old traditions.

Here if you see a woman wanting to work, live separately from her family, and make bold choices for her life. There is bound to be a label.

Expectations cost individuals a lot

Honestly, living in a borderless world, I see so many cultures through different mediums and I have realized one thing. In every culture, there is an expectation. But that expectation costs individuals quite a lot. It is up to every person to choose not to follow something just because they are forced to.

Of course, being called a nerd, ultra-fast and headstrong for my choices were labels that hurt me, but at the end of the day I have to live with my choices and if I can go to sleep each night at peace with my day.

Well, then being at peace is a label worth fighting for.

Image source: sinseehophotos, free and edited on CanvaPro

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