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I’m 23, am currently pursuing my PhD in Translation Studies, and have authored 3 books.
However, according to certain people I know, all of these are minor things. Why?
Because I’m not married yet.
Why is marriage such a big deal?
Most people I know literally divide their lives into 2 timelines: pre-marriage and post-marriage, as if your life peaks on the day you marry, and everything else you do is defined by that.
One of my colleagues was recently saying that she’s 24, and so she needs to get married before it’s ‘too late.’ She looked surprised when I told her I have no plans of tying the knot till I submit my thesis, because I don’t want to get diverted.
She, on the other hand, plans to get married during the course of her PhD, because otherwise it will be ‘too late.’
What is ‘too late?’
I know people who are 28, and have just completed their PhD or are still studying, and are in no hurry to get married. Why are women given a shelf life of 24-25 years, beyond which they are ‘old?’
Also, I find it funny how people doing something as credible as doctoral research, or pursuing the career of their choice, always rank marriage higher up on the merit list than what they have achieved with their own brains and talent.
Milestone, not achievement
I’m not anti-marriage- I believe that when you feel ready and have found the right person, nothing should stop you from getting married.
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However, marriage is an important milestone in your life, not an achievement.
Why do people feel that who you marry, how you marry, how much money you splash around while marrying, all defines your social standing in some way?
I also don’t understand why people keep saying, “I’ll do that after marriage, or my mother will let me do that after marriage.” After marriage have you suddenly morphed into a new person who is way more respectable than your unmarried self?
You’re still the same person
Yes, marriage can be blissful when it happens with the right person at the right time. However, I wish people, especially women, would stop seeing it as the biggest achievement and aim of their lives.
So many women spend months and years growing their hair, getting into shape, and building up their achievements in order to be likeable to their groom and in-laws. Once the knot has been tied, many don’t care about themselves anymore, and completely let go in the self-care department.
While I agree that marriage is a momentous milestone and a day to be thoroughly enjoyed and made memorable, so are other days in your life, like the day you graduate/post-graduate/get your PhD, the day you take an important resolution to better yourself, the day you achieve a goal you’ve been working towards for a long time, and so on.
Yes, you may be living in a new home, your last name may have changed, your routine may have changed, and some situations may demand that you dress differently.
However, you’re still the same person inside, and even though there are new priorities in life after marriage, you shouldn’t stop caring for yourself, chasing your goals, and celebrating other personal achievements with equal happiness.
You were not born just to get married. If you do get married, that’s great, and I hope you are very happy. But don’t see your marriage as what defines you. Be your own person, and live your dreams, and never stop working on yourself, and doing what makes you happy.
While marriage is certainly a high point in life, it’s not the peak. You have places to go, things to do, and your own self to impress with your skills, intelligence, and talent.
You are way more than just Mrs.So-and-So. And your Mr. should be supportive of you pursuing your goals.
Image Credits: Google Images
Find the author online at: @samyukthanair_