When did the past eighteen years go by wonders Meredith, standing in the middle of her now empty home? The girls have both gone on to college and she doesn't even know what to do anymore. Maybe now she can make that long impending move to push her career ahead. But isn't it too late now? Maybe she can do the things she has been putting off for so many years now. Maybe she can do the things she wanted to but couldn't for various reasons. But wait, what is it that she wants to do? All these years, everything she thought and planned about was about her daughters, for her daughters. Now all of a sudden, faced with this question, she doesn't have any answer. She doesn't even know what she wants. Moreover, can she really start over, carry on from where she had left off at this stage of life? Meredith doesn't really know.
You must be wondering who Meredith is? Well, she's just a character from a book, Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah. While reading the book, I couldn't help but wonder if most women become Meredith in one way or another at some point in life. I couldn't help but think if I might become Meredith one day.
When I was pregnant with M, I had promised myself to never give up anything after becoming a mother. I had promised myself to never put off doing the things I wanted to do in life. I wanted to use these as guiding principles.
To a large extent, I'm walking that line too. Well, at least so far. But it is just the beginning, the real challenges haven't even started yet. It makes me realise that it's not always possible, is it? It's not always possible to be a mother and an individual as well at the same time. The former almost always takes precedence and should, I think. I guess it was just naïve of me to think that I could manage everything and do everything that I wanted to.
Not to sound negative but it's just how it is, isn't it? Somehow a mother, a parent often needs to put off some things from his or her wish list for one reason or another. Something happened which actually got me thinking about this more.
The husband came home from work last week and told me about a drive at his workplace, an exclusive drive to recruit women. It's a good thing, isn't it, companies trying to increase the number of women on their payrolls? But I digress here.
The reason I mention this is because the husband thought I should try too. The company he works in has great policies for women and otherwise too it's very employee friendly. It could be a good move for me career wise as well. Also, stagnating at one place is never good in our industry. While everything he said was right and made sense, I realised I just can't.
The first thought that came to my mind was M. I need to be there for her now and for that I need familiarity. I can't move to some new surrounding where I might not find time for her. In fact, moving to a new project in the same company too is not something I look forward to because I don't know if the people there would be as supportive.
So, no, I can't move now no matter how lucrative it might seem. Well, at least not until M starts going to school. And that's when it hit me, it starts with small things like this, isn't it?
It's not always possible to be a mother and an individual as well at the same time.
Of course, it's not such a big thing, if I think about it. I'm working in a good place at the moment. I'm also enjoying what I'm doing. Apart from that, I have continued blogging and writing, something I never want to give up. So, that's a win considering how shortchanged on time I am these days. I'm somehow miraculously fitting reading in my schedule as well. I'm in a good place, a very good place indeed. So, maybe I'm not Meredith yet.
But still, even if it is something as trivial as dropping my résumé, I had to let it go. Even if there's no telling if I would even have got a call from there, I had to let it go. Maybe this is how, in one way or another, all mothers are Merediths after all.
What do you think?