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Women's Day Special : Apologetic For Being Me?

Women's Day.
I am in a contradiction. How can I encourage other women to get freedom in their life while I haven't really got?

Image of Yoshiko Inoue for MIRCHI KOMACHI blog post "Women's Day Special : Apologetic For Being Me?"
Ever since I became an adult, I have been living against my parents' expectations. For everything. They have given up to change my way early because they knew I would not. They had no choice but to let me go, but they were (and 'are') not happy. They went through bitter heart disturbances many times.
Their concern was not about 'how a woman should live' but my secure and respectable life as a person whom they 'love'.

For decades I had been leading my life as my heart dictates, till I got married. I got married because it was the only way to live with the guy. I haven't shifted from one family to another. But suddenly some people started holding expectations about how I live, wear, behave. This time, the point is clearly 'how a woman should live'.
I am not me when I am with them. Yet. They are crystal-clear about their beliefs and they expect me to follow the same (well, 'the same enough' if not 100%) since I am their 'family' now, since they 'love' me, since 'that's how all we (they!) do'. Hence, they would not understand if I take a different way.
The typical way recommended by my guy is to disguise superficially and avoid conflicts, but I am not happy with that. If I start being me in front of them and officialise what I do and what I don't do against their expectations, all they would do is to have their feelings hurt. Because they are crystal-clear and are simple and innocent like kids.

image for a blog post "Women's Day Special : Apologetic For Being Me?", a heart and iron bars
What is 'love' anyway? If it doesn't let a person happily live her/his true self? Is it any good to one's life, or a big rock on one's way?
And am I being 'apologetic' in an old-school women way? Maybe. I was never happy hurting my dear and only mum, and I am afraid to hurt the innocent-as-kids people this time. Maybe it is the same kind of apologetic feelings for which many women compromise their life. That's what I really hate to see, that's what I wanted to help 'liberating' them from, but I found myself also in the trap.

It is easy to write 'Yeeeey let's be brave, let's get freedom!!' in social media, but what if I am not doing that in my personal life? OK, 'yet'. Because I cannot live like this for the rest of my short life.
Probably it is always the matter of communication with other lives. I did that in a very very rough way with my parents, but at this age, I should be able to do that a little better. Let me try.

There is at least one thing I've found. If I have never had any conflicts with liberal families and partners, I would not be able to understand those who are struggling with the apologetic feelings while getting freedom for their lives.

I would appreciate so much if you could share your experiences and thoughts.

(Picture credit: qthomasbower, in Flickr)

Other blog posts:
What's "women's roles" in India
What I ain't sorry for
About short hair - Who are we trying to please?


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  • Thank you so much for your comment, Ms. Sanghamitra!
    This was the post I wrote not in a calm mind but pretty much in frustration. I have re-read it and found my writing pretty tough to understand! I really appreciate you have found it, read it, understood it correctly, empathised, and spent time to write a comment.

    Being oneself and seeking for freedom to be so is what I’m concerned about most in recent years. Whatever I do as MIRCHI KOMACHI always has this at the basis. I’ll keep thinking, learning, and writing. Please kindly give me your thoughts again (and again)…

    Thank you so much once again, and a big hug to you, too!!

    • Yoshiko Inoue
  • Hi, This post resonated with me so much. I am also currently based in Mumbai. If possible, I would have met you and given you a big hug.
    Sometimes, it is so difficult to express onself and the working of one’s inner self even to our own self, let alone others. You have written those unspoken and unexpressed feelings that I often feel in my mind. Thank you for sharing.

    • Sanghamitra