I’m writing this letter to you on behalf of all the daughters who are being forced to get married. Don’t get me wrong; I am thankful for everything you’ve done for me so far. In a society where being a girl child is considered a burden, you took care of me so well. You educated me, sent me to dance classes, taught me music, helped me discover my love for traveling and my love for painting. You gave me the freedom to choose my hobbies, to choose my career path and make my own identity. Because of you, I have become who I am today. You taught me to stand up for myself, be brave, and not shy away from asking for what I deserve. As a little girl, I cried and came to you when my friends made fun of my ambition of becoming a “space scientist” and you told me to chase after my dreams and not worry about what my friends say. You told me that you will have my back in everything I do and be my support system when the world fails to. I took comfort in your words and believed you. I chased after my dreams, my future and my happiness. I learned to live a life filled with courage because I knew I had you to fall back on. And I did. Until this year, until I turned 25.
Yes, I’ve become a year older. Some might say I’m too old to be single, to be unmarried. But you’ve raised me as a self-assured young woman who can decide for herself if she is ready for marriage. Right now, I have so much to accomplish in life. I have dreams I want to chase, places I want to travel to and hobbies I want to explore. I’m too young to shoulder the responsibility of a family and I am not ready. You raised me to ask for what I deserve. I have grown into a strong, young and confident woman because of the way you’ve encouraged me all my life. You were the one who told me to chase my dreams, didn’t you? I know I am not ready for marriage yet. You told me to pay no heed to society’s cries but to live life on my own terms. What changed now? Why are you letting the pressure of society dictate your decision about your little girl’s happiness? So what if I have reached a certain age? Do you not have the confidence in me that I can decide for myself when to get married?
It pains me to know that you were the parents who wanted me to follow my heart, my dreams. You once told me that I can be anyone I want to be, I can achieve anything I want to even if I want to run the world. All I have to do is be brave and believe in myself. You told me that the world will try to cut off my wings but you will stand by me and help me fly, again. I believed you then. I grew up with your encouragement and sought after my career, my dreams, and my life.
I understand the pressure you face as parents. I know you feel like you are answerable to society when they ask you why I am not married or if you are going to get me married soon. I’ve heard the questions they ask you about my marriage, my age and my ability to have kids after a certain age. But I want to tell you what you once told me— you are not answerable to them. I know you trust me and want me to live a happy life. But when you force me to get married when I’m not ready, it makes me feel like I’m a burden to you, like you want to get over with the responsibility of sending me away to another house and sometimes, like I do not belong in my house anymore. Am I not your little girl anymore? I understand it is not easy to disregard what that neighbor says or that distant relative from your hometown says. But you taught me to stand my ground and I hoped you would do the same for me.
I am here now asking you for some more time. Please don’t get me wrong, I do want to get married. I want to fall in love, head over heels, with the person of my dreams. I want to have a happily ever after and I want to bring you happiness by giving you the grandchildren of your dreams. All I’m asking for is some time and trust. I’m still your little girl who wants to explore her passion, her dreams and become someone my younger self would be proud of and I hope that you support me through this rather than conforming to the demands of society.
Your Little Baby Girl
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