On my birthday this year (it was last week), my husband gave me a card which said “To the wonderful woman I married”. Today we were talking about the card and he said laughing, “I had married a wonderful woman, no doubt about it”. And added gently that but the woman I am today is not that. I cannot blame him for saying that. With each passing month I am becoming a crankier woman. I am hardly in a happy mood. I lose my cool in triflest of matters. I no longer enjoy any of the household chores.
Before I quit my job to move to Delhi after marriage, I had a confidence to do anything. I fiercely guarded my financial independence and it was my pride. My job gave me an identity and a sense of accomplishment. But it was my bad luck that the organization I worked for didn’t have offices outside northeast India. So when I got married I had a major decision to take. I argued that family comes first and career is not everything. Plus I knew that being the woman I would have to make the ultimate sacrifice. So I quit my job and moved to the capital of the country.
As I had already known, I enjoyed the first couple months at home. I liked doing everything around the house, taking care of things and people around the house. But I also knew that it was only a matter of time. In the meantime I was doing my job search and realized it was not easy as I had thought. It is a jungle out here. I took up a part time job but practically it didn’t make any sense.
Having my career at a standstill has several implications on my personal life. My forced idleness makes me feel inadequate and wasted. I don’t feel like doing any household chores either and I just do it out of compulsion. With my financial independence gone I feel crippled and useless. I don’t broach the topic much with my husband because it starts making him feel guilty. So it’s just me. And this feeling of helplessness is eating away my head. My idle mind is becoming the devil’s workshop. And he is happily hammering away my happiness.
I try to keep myself occupied by reading books, writing, watching movies and trying out new recipes. But for how long? Without a professional career, I am incomplete and unhappy. I feel the original me is slowly withering away. I am scared that this new cranky and unhappy me will take over completely. For I know the woman I originally was is dying bit by bit with each passing day.
P.S.: I wrote this piece while I was between jobs and stashed it away. Today I stumbled upon it and decided to post it. I am sure working women who had put their careers on the back-burner due to personal reasons, can relate to what I went through at several points.