I feel as if I am constantly fighting an ongoing battle with myself, with my family, with society about what it means to be single. Does it mean that I am entirely alone in the universe with no one and nothing to save me from myself? Is my existence ultimately determined by the presence of some sort of significant other that makes me more palatable to society’s standards?
Why is it that in a day and age in which universal suffrage exists, that women are free to be leaders, purveyors of change that the outside world still judges their self-worth on whether or not someone is standing by their side? Is a woman ultimately judged against success via marital status?
Being of South Asian heritage, every trip back to my ancestral homeland is one in which I am subjected to a flurry of questions – all of which focus on only one narrow concept. Does it matter that my career is thriving? That I am doing something I truly love? That I have the opportunity to travel, to interact with people on a deeper spiritual sense? What about the fact that I continue to challenge my mind by pursuing further education? That I have achieved wonderful successes, experienced tremendous challenges and yet still overcome. That I am an independent, spirited and impassioned human being who is making her mark on society?
Or is all of this clouded because of what my gender defines me to be? Are you interested in my successes? Or is it all relational? Is my success to be found, verified and validated within a couple? Do you define me by my marital status? Or do you see me for me, and value that above all else?