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I was financially dependent for years after my marriage, so after my first salary in a part time job, I wanted to celebrate the moment.
Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash
“Cheque Please!” I rejoiced as I gulped down the last sip of my filter coffee at my favorite breakfast joint. Paying a bill never felt so empowering and liberating before. Yes, I went for a SOLO breakfast date after 9-long-years!
It may sound small or even silly for most of you reading this, hence the context has to be established for your reference. I came to Pune from Khamgaon (a remote place in Vidarbha, Maharashtra) for my engineering. I was raised in a very free environment and with lots of love and trust from my parents. They have instilled a lot of self-respect in me. There were hardly any restrictions, I was free to wear my choice of clothes, groove to my choice of tunes, and make friends.
I made new friends when I came to Pune. I am a very social person that way, however, my life changed after I embraced motherhood.
I lost my financial freedom, but my self-respect in me remained intact. I was never devoid of essentials. My husband used to and still does take care of my financial needs. We both are foodies at heart. The frequency of eating out may not be very high, but we make sure we do go out twice a month. On our food outings also, there has never been any sort of pressure or restriction as to what should be ordered and what not.
Self-respect always kept alerting me, I got the habit of looking at the price side of the menu and then ordering food.
But recently, in April 2023, I took up a part-time job. And the day I got my first salary, after 8.5 years, made me feel complete. It was not a big amount, but it belonged to me. ONLY ME! I didn’t have to explain my expenses to anyone, I was free to use it the way I wanted to.
The first thing that I did after withdrawing the first amount was I bought a soft toy for my son. I birthed him, but there was nothing that I had bought and gifted him! So yes the first thing was for him and the next thing I did was I went to my favourite breakfast joint and ordered food of my choice for myself.
I wanted to celebrate that moment, but my guilt kept snapping in my head till I reached the parking lot of the cafe.
Initially, I was hesitant if I should go alone, because I have always been accompanied, and leaving my family behind was making me feel guilty. Then I thought about all those moments when I compromised and sacrificed. The guilt swept away and I sneaked into the cafe and chose to sit on the seat that gave me an outside view; Just to avoid any weird looks that I could probably get for eating alone! But, to my surprise, that happened only in the overthinking compartment of my brain, in reality, no one cared about looking around, everyone was busy doing their thing. That came as a relief.
Now, I usually visit cafes after work for an hour or a couple of them. I realized, doing something on my own, for myself was the thing I was missing. I proudly click pictures of myself to share on social media, to encourage women to take out time only for themselves from their busy schedules. It has become a therapy; the frequency of solo dates is now almost fixed for me and it makes me happy and keeps me sane! YES, I DID IT! And, if I can, so can you!
A mother, homemaker, self-published author, founder, and podcast host at Authoropod. read more...
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If her MIL had accepted her with some affection, wouldn't they have built a mutually happier relationship by now?
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