Life Redefined: Here's to all the Magical Women and their amazing journeys!
We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already -J.K. Rowling
Come March 8th every year, and we are swamped with amazing stories of women around the world that are inspiring beyond imagination. Some of them are doting mothers, some of them beloved wives, some others are great social workers and others might be accomplished working women. Nonetheless, there are others who are no less inspirational but they go unnoticed. I feel there are so many stories filled with courage and strength surrounding us and they can touch the soulful parts in all of us. I believe my journey so far has taken the shape of one such unnoticed story and what better occasion than Women’s Day to share it with all those who celebrate and applaud womanhood on this day.
Like any other teenage girl, I had always dreamt of a loving and happy family, but destiny had carved a very different path for me. My life changed when my marriage of 13 years started falling apart due to my spouse’s infidelity and violent ways. After years of futile efforts to reconcile and convincing him to change his ways, I was left with no other option but to start afresh in a completely new city with my 11-year-old son.
I had anticipated that living alone and being a single parent will be full of struggles and judgement but life was going to harsher than my anticipation. In fact, the initial few years of managing work, my son and household responsibilities alone made me lose patience and self-confidence at times. I had to often push my limits to ensure my child is fed well and received the best education possible.
The only thing that kept me strong and going was my work. I worked hard and progressed in my job as a School Principal. Being in close proximity of numerous children and understanding their upbringing, made me a strong advocate of the belief that it takes something extraordinary to raise children right and give them a life full of self-respect and peace.
Having experienced an abusive relationship for years, I always had a fear of judgement and could not express myself freely. Going through this transition in life, I realized the importance of open communication in relationships, and hence, always encouraged my son to speak his heart out to me. My parents and brother stood by me as a rock during all these years and it restored my faith in family and love. It took time, but I made peace with my past, and at the same time, ensured that the future was different and better.
A decade later, all the hard work and perseverance has paid off. Today, I am a successful educator and Principal of the leading K12 School chain, Orchids The International School. I have grown tremendously in terms of understanding life and its complexities and it would be unfair on my part if I don’t dedicate a part of that growth to my school. I recently attended my son’s graduation ceremony at Christ University, Bangalore, and I could not contain my happiness looking at him in a robe with his first class management degree from one of the best B-schools in India. Besides, he is now pursuing his passion for photography and is working with a famous film making studios in Mumbai (Life’s pleasant surprises never end).
We have also added more love to our family by adopting our little Angel, a delightful black pug. She has been a loving sister to my son and my little baby for more than past 8 years now. She has made us understand the value of true love and companionship, and has been the reason behind both of us turning vegetarians after years of consuming non-veg food. We both are proud animal lovers today.
Having been focused upon familial issues, my son’s upbringing and professional responsibilities for so many years, I haven’t paid much attention on my physical and mental well-being in the past. Few weeks ago, when I was hit by the contemporary virus for the first time, I realized how much I had neglected myself in these aspects. I wasted no time further and immediately enrolled myself in a Diploma course for Fitness and Nutrition and will soon be able to take complete control of my body and mind. I aspire to pursue the role of a wellbeing coach in the times to come (You can surprise life pleasantly anytime).
As I look back at my journey, I realise that it’s important for every woman to understand that violence is NEVER right, regardless of the situation. I also acknowledge the significance of females having faith in their choices and being brave and decisive. Judgements will be passed; eyes will be rolled. And you will get past all of it! Be reflective about your past and at the same time open to what the life has to offer you in the journey ahead. Keep restoring and enhancing your sense of self-worth through the tiny changes that you consciously make in yourself and your surroundings every day.
Achieving financial empowerment is a goal that no woman should underestimate. At the most basic level, it makes women feel safer and confident and in the process helps their children adapt to a more gender-neutral society that does not look at women as mere homemakers.
Talking about the children, I strongly believe in giving the young generation the right resources, exposure and freedom to carve their own path, while standing by them, without necessarily walking them through it. All they need is to be heard, trusted and accepted the way they are.
Remember that being a woman, whether single or not, is learning about the magic you didn’t know you could create, and the courage you never seemed to have!
Happy Womanhood; today and every day!