A struggle with culture

The concept of relationships and ideals are skewed across different countries. Having lived in both the East and West, I am still struggling to find a balance between all the expectations I developed around the world. In one country, a career-driven woman is respected, and in another, she is questioned.

I grew up in a country that respects a woman’s choice to focus on her career and travel instead of getting married. I am currently living in a country where, if a woman is not married by a certain age, people start to ask what’s wrong with her. Is she mean? Is she ugly? Why can’t she find someone?

See my dilemma? I don’t think that being single should be categorized as a character flaw.

I hear people talk about women as if their primary functions are wives and mothers. What if I want to focus on the family I already have instead of creating my own? Am I wrong to not want to get married at all? Although I believe that getting married would be a blessing, I don’t see it as a goal. I would rather stay single and be questioned than marry someone before I’m ready–which seems to be the expectation of me here (not by my wonderful family, of course–by society; the billboards, the TV shows, the questions strangers ask to get to know me).

It. is. making. me. crazy.

Alternatively, if people get married and give up well-paying, quickly-accelerating careers, I don’t think that’s necessarily a wrong move either. They will need to consciously decide not to let themselves regret it later, but if they make the choice, then that’s powerful in itself.

I may never reconcile the part of me that developed in Asia and the part of me that developed in America, but ultimately, I am a believer in choice.

So I would like to ask all the societies/cultures in the world: If I choose to live a life that you don’t agree with, will you let me live that life without judging me? And if I make a choice that you are unused to, don’t try to make me doubt myself.

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