Marriage is a phase of life. Everything changes all of a sudden. One fine morning, you find yourself a woman. You accept that fact happily and believe that that’s how you shall remain for the rest of your life. You will be happier than you were before. You will have a beautiful family, an awesome husband, and pretty little kids.
Before you realize it, your kids and work become the prime focus of your life. Everything you do or think about revolves around them. It is definitely joyous in its own way, but when they start dominating your life to the point that you start erasing your own personality, that’s where the trouble starts.
Five to ten years from that day, things are not the same. The woman you are starts looking for the girl you once were. Whether in the big things or small things, you start yearning for your old self. At first, I feared such thoughts were unique to me and that something was seriously wrong with me. To my relief, many women around me felt the same way.
It’s a big challenge, especially for stay at home moms. Just giving up on working itself is a big decision. Having worked hard to reach an academic level and then just tossing it over is a BIG DEAL. It’s like abandoning your harvest after having tilled the land for so long. The feeling of loss, after months or years, starts to kick in. Husbands and families won’t understand it, no matter how much they claim they do.
We make tons of compromises to accommodate our spouses and kids. We may never use the word accommodate because it makes our loved ones sound like intruders, but that’s exactly what we end do. Then we grow tired of accommodating, we start looking for our original self that we dissolved somewhere along the way. At that point, after having pushed away many important things, it’s terrifying to look back. There is the gripping fear that all that was before is lost.
And then when you do gather courage and dig yourself out, you will be surprised to find out how much is remaining. This quest, however, is something else. Trying to rediscover your old personality brings about a phenomenal maturity in your character. The things you did on a whim, you do them deliberately. Things you took for granted, now you value them more than ever.
You try to preach to your friend who is about to get married that life isn’t really about this one moment, but it’s probably useless. If you put yourself in her shoes, you wouldn’t have listened either.
So as a person who got married early and looks back at others with some belittlement, my advice is to go through this ‘marriage phase’ just like that. You can’t change it anyway. Lose yourself, but only enough to be able to gather up yourself later. And once you want to gather, make sure to pick yourself up thoroughly and preciously. You can’t really return to being a girl like before, but when you try you might find your true self.