The Prison We All Call Family
Being a Pakistani young female, literally means the constant talk about marriage. Our dreams and aspirations are supposed to evolve around our husband, in laws and children. Anything else is just an inconvineance. Another day, another argument regarding how not wanting children is going against the sole purpose of existence. And for someone who is the only one who has different views from everyone else, it gets quite annoying to constantly be told that I’m stupid for wanting more.
Marriage, to me, is magical. It’s something sacred, something special. A life long journey with two people, aspiring for different dreams but following the same path. However, some where down the line, the bright coloured picture transformed in to a murky grained one. A part of me will always believe that having your own family is beautiful, but for me, my own family leaves my heart feeling heavy. The future doesn’t look too good when I think about being tied down to a person. It feels bleak.
I’m afraid of continuesly living in a world where I feel really insignificant as a being or even worse, of getting the “freedom” I’ve worked so hard for get taken away because my other half doesn’t want me to have it. I’m afraid of seeing the same people over and over again, of living the same thing over and over again, because I married a relative. I’m afraid of not having anything except children who will lead their own lives without me. I’m afraid that the cycle of “family” I’ve tried so hard to break free from will always have it’s chains yanking me back.
I have come to accept that being a Pakistani young female, marriage is actually inevitable. Sooner or later, I will be attending my own wedding and knowing my culture it’ll probably be before the age of 25. Although the thought itself haunts me, I am learning to come to terms with it, correspond my life with it. I don’t have anything against marrying young, in the middle of university etc. I have a problem with how nothing else but marriage matters. There is a possibility I will not be able to continue providing for myself or having an education because they are not seemed necessary for a young female. And that to me is more frightening than the dark.
I want my life to involve more than children and a husband. I want to be more than just a wife, a mother and daughter. I want to see the world, run around in a field and Stargaze without worrying about crying babies. There is so much more to life than maintaining a family and it’s unfortunate that Pakistani young female are only told that success equals marriage and children.
Perhaps, my education is actually the reason why marriage no longer appeals to me as it did once when I was 16. I’m no longer blinded by the illusion displayed by arrays of sunlight and roses. Or perhaps I’m still 16 year old Taiba who’s afraid of everything.