Nobody tells you growing up is this hard

It has been a week since i came back form London. Although I was kind of sad to leave an easier life in London and come back to Saudi, I’m kind of adjusting. I moved to London last year to get my masters degree and I can proudly say I have successfully achieved what I desire. Even though I spent last year mostly in the library or class, it was fun. I did not only gain a masters degree, I actually felt that I grew intellectually (and physically. Damn those laugh lines!).

I feel that I have a new perspective on woman in general. I start questioning those idiotic old fashioned common practice we willingly practice in Saudi. I started viewing marriage from a whole new angle. I used to feel sorry for women who reach 25 and are still unmarried. But now I feel sorry for myself for ever thinking this way. I mean I’m not against marriage. I actually want to get married someday to the right person. But I’m not willing to settle just to please others. 

My sister, a mother of three, did not visit me in London because her husband did not “allow” her to do so. Which may I add was only because I was a single woman in a foreign country, but if I had a husband it will be a different story.  All relationships around me paints a bitter picture of marriage. I don’t want to be that cynical single women cliche, but I can’t help but question it. Why was everyone around me rushing to get married so that another human being who’s equal to me in every way expect that he has a Y chromosome would control every aspect of my life. I started adjusting to the idea of not ever getting married and settling in London, even though I’ll never be with someone, at least I’ll make my own decision. This was what I believed I want until I got back into my own room in Saudi. 

Even though I’m keeping myself busy with preparing to publish my first paper, I cannot help but drift off every once in a while thinking about getting married. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, what happened to all the independent crap I used to tell myself! maybe because every congratulation I received was accompanied with a small prayer hoping that I get married? The way it works in Saudi is, no matter how much a woman achieved, if she’s not married everyone will feel sorry for her. Even if she was single by choice, no one would believe that. Everyone would assume that she is unmarried because nobody wanted to marry her, never the other way around.

Do I feel the same way? I know that I always feel that I’m lacking something others have. I still can’t believe I got a distinction and waiting to hear back from my university “oh. Sorry, it was a typo”. And I still can’t believe that my supervisor thinks my thesis is good enough to be published!

Maybe I feel this way because I think I’ll never live up to my parents’ expectation unless i got married. They never actually said it, they always tell me how proud they are. I don’t know. What I do know is I want to get back to London someday. And by someday I mean next year. I function better when i’m out of saudi. I’m more independent and confident and at least I’ll be doing something with my life instead of writing in my journal about wanting to get married to please society like a pathetic teenager who don’t have any friends (Correction: I’m a pathetic 26 year old with no friends). 

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