I have been a little distant from you for the past week. I was gathering my thoughts and trying to prioritize. I have been clearing my mind, my confusions in the meanwhile and staying away from communicating to anyone (except God), therefore even you. I have achieved the clarity to this confusing dilemma of balancing life in a way where I can live peacefully within my world as a wife, a daughter, sister and daughter-in-law versus my independent persona. The constant expectations of keeping up an image was becoming some sort of a drag. I was exhausted beyond my own realization and once I started becoming a bit secluded, without the act of pleasing everyone, I felt calm and more in control of myself and my life. I wouldn't call it selfishness, because that is the last thing I'll ever be. My intentions are still clear, but reality is that I am not able to fulfill every single expectation or every task that is thrown upon me. Yes, I am eager on completing it, but at times when my condition does not allow it, there is nothing I can do then to just give in. The selfless "me" was taking a toll on health, love and happiness.
I was not happy. Even though the outside world was perceiving my happiness and measuring it up by materialistic gain, my inner self was not happy with the constant depreciation I was facing. Luckily, my marital bond is strong enough to overcome these hurdles in life...but the bitterness, exhaustion and disappointment was seen in both our eyes and we felt so alone. Together, but alone. The loneliness I was experiencing was a loneliness of various layers of depth; a meaning so deep that I could only sense and experience. Everyone else, was accepting my "responsible" role whereas I as a woman, was slowly drowning into the state of depression followed by the uncertain responses of my better half, not knowing what to do or how to console me. I would only answer in tears.
The beautiful four walls of our new home was sensing a bitter-sweet moment, where we felt happy and blessed, but couldn't gather the prying eyes of those that perhaps weren't showing their happiness or understanding our achievement. It saddened us, although our sense of humor was alive and we were there for each other, there were times when we felt alone, carrying all the responsibility with all the extra added responsibility that was snatching our moment of glory away.
In those days, I was closest to God. I felt a desire to connect with Him and pour out all my feelings. This was right around the time our annual competition at the Mosque was taking place. I was in desperate need to gain back my confidence and get out of the depressing dark hole in which I'd cry my eyes out at night, so I contacted our president and requested to at least get a recital. I was given the opportunity to perform the recital of the Holy Quran in the opening session. I was thrilled and felt great in reciting the Holy word of God, not for the sake of showing off, but to connect with my spiritual self and most importantly, for God.
My confidence rose as I was looking at all the contestants participating. I hadn't had the chance to participate in the first round of competitions, the local ones, so I was not chosen to participate in the annual contest. It felt weird to me, since I participate every year, even when I was a newly wed last year...unaware of the people around me, I HAD to participate. Call it a childhood tradition or something that has become a part of my life now -- a passion I carry for these activities. Luckily, I was able to participate as they were looking for a third contestant pertaining their chapter. I stood up, made the impromptu speech on the topic of 'increasing attendance in our meetings' and walked off the stage feeling confident and happy. The joy I felt, when delivering this passionate speech, was indescribable, especially at a time when I desperately was yearning for it, in the house of God.
I also participated in the recitation of the Holy Quran in which I won the 2nd prize. For the impromptu speech, I won 1st prize. The workshops were a lot of fun in which I fully participated and made sure to voice out my opinion. I could sense the agreement in people's eyes when looking at me. I was not trying to be controversial, but just honest and genuine and it must have struck a cord with the audience when they listened to me silently and intently.
Public speaking used to be a pain for me and now I've noticed how much I am able to thrive on it. The issues that are real to me and I am trying to convey to the younger and older generation, is not something I necessarily 'thrive' on, but knowing that I can speak for others in a sensible manner, makes me want to change a mind or two. With God's help and guidance I was able to clear my confusion and believe it or not, I have laid out a plan for the future, a plan that may take a couple of years in becoming tangible, but the hard work is necessary to make this happen. Focus, hard work and a vision that I have to hold onto; a woman is stronger than she thinks she is, even though a man is always known and acknowledged for his accomplishments, we slowly fade away in the background. We, as caretakers.
In a world where a woman is constantly proving herself of being a man and a woman at the same time. A proof of intelligence & independence is parallel to the proof of domesticity and femininity. Multi-tasking our way into such dimensions with no help, but ourselves, one is bound to dwindle.
I will achieve of what is expected from myself, from my talents, my intelligence, my creativity...it will certainly NOT go to waste.
My plan? To conquer and release.