Have you ever wondered if marriage gives you a new identity? Or, how about if your current job role or your educational background defines who you are? Well, I wouldn’t have been inclined to ponder these if I were not faced with the situation I was in.
A few months back, I got married to a very bright guy who I was dating over the past few years. He is a scientist working as a postdoctoral research fellow at a prestigious United States university. I too am an accountant in a reputed company in my hometown. We had plans to settle in the United States after the wedding. So, we moved in together. One fine day, hubby darling got a call from a university in the Bahamas to fill in the position of an associate professor. Now, the rule in the Bahamas is: they would not recruit an accountant with a different nationality. (The islands are populated by less than eighty-five thousand people and they have a lot of accountants on the islands, it seems!) I was completely devastated and was in a state of denial for the rest the day when I came to know this. What am I without my job? My over-active frontal lobe (the part of the brain that makes you think critically) took the question to a whole new level. I began to hatch plans to go back to my hometown to the comfort of my paternal home and start working as an accountant once again. I would take a detour from here before going on with my story because I want to draw an important comparison.
Many of us are faced with similar situations; from people like me and you to mighty nations: being “stuck or bound” and not being able to bounce back even though we have the ability to. India, for example, had the resources to overthrow the British yoke sooner than she did only if the all the visionaries executed a better coordination in understanding the former greatness of our nation and believed in our indigenous resourcefulness.
Similarly, I was considering my own limited options very carefully. I had a few to consider: a. going back to my hometown; b. ask my husband not to take up the job; c. staying on the island with my husband doing household chores (yes, this one too). All of them were frustratingly difficult for me. But for my husband, nothing is and ever will be too bothersome. From time to time he kept on pestering me with “Hey, why don’t you blog full time?” or “Hey, why don’t you complete your psychology course? You know I have your back, don’t you?” He was very sure that I was talented enough to flip my life 180 degrees for the better. But I was neither in the state to listen to him nor could I come up with a solution. I was quite literally “stuck”.
In the midst of this mental chaos, my husband suggested that I start painting to keep myself from going into a depression (I had bouts of clinical depression in the past). I have loved everything artsy from as early in my childhood as I can remember. So, I began by collecting seashells and turning them into cute stuff- stuff that you would like to get someone as gifts. I continued this for about six months and until I had a beautiful collection.
It so happened, one day, that, I got invited to attend the Governor’s luncheon. I had packed a few of my painted seashells in a nice and presentable casing for the governor’s wife as a token of my gratitude. Little did I know that my life would take a different turn, a small but a significant one. Over the lunch, the Governor and his wife very casually suggested that they could use my art to raise funds.
Well, I don’t make millions off what I do- I barely make a few thousands. But, I am happy because my earnings contribute to the greater cause of nation-building maybe in a very small way.
From my situation, I have learned an important lesson: to be free from the limitations that are placed on us by what we think and to break free of them to be a truly independent person. In this age, nobody is limited by their background, level of education or anything for that matter. We just have to figure the way forward and save ourselves and our dear ones from the mental agonies that our own limiting beliefs create.
This blog post is a part of #LetsDiscussFreedom Blogathon. I would like to thank Snehalata from https://blogsikka.com for introducing me. I would now like to introduce Nayantara from http://mommyingbabyt.com and recommend you to read her views on the prompt, ‘What Does Freedom Mean To You’.