After the election it became harder for me to keep a positive outlook in my posts and I could not get myself to preach negativity because that's not who I am … slowly I’ve weaned off of the constant news updates about our 45th president’s temper tantrums but I’m writing this post with all the recent political noise in the background.
Last night, lady liberty’s lights shut off? Was this a sign? Could it be that Lady Liberty — one of the nation’s most recognizable female figures — is participating in #DayWithoutaWoman?” Regardless of the reason, the timing seemed just right.
My entire life, I have seen my mamma work day in and day out, regardless of it being professionally, personally, or even if it was sacrificing both for the sake of her family. It’s not Mother’s Day but she’s the strongest most powerful woman I will ever know and want to dedicate this post to her.
|My Mom & Nani - My Very Own Statues of Liberty|
I got to where I am today with the consistent support and encouragement from my parents but also my best friend, my confidant, my husband Salman. I cannot thank him enough for being a feminist, for wiping my tears when Hillary lost, for waking up at wee hours of the morning to make me a cup of coffee to start my day, or dropping me off at work so I’m never late, for picking me up so I never have to bear the terrible wrath of mother nature, for accepting me for me, and most importantly only wanting my love in exchange for love.
Sadly in India and many other countries around the world, having a daughter is looked down upon, as a burden that will never be lifted. In the early 1980’s my parents immigrated, left their families behind, and all that they knew in this world to move to America-- land of dreams -- to give their future children a better and brighter future. This has been the constant attraction to our beloved country, hasn’t it?
My parents looked at me and hoped I would achieve all of my hearts desires and they would let no obstacle come my way. Flash-forward almost thirty years – despite all of the societal pressures to have a son “who would carry on the family name” they were content with their one child, who happened to be a daughter. Never did they think she would be any less than a boy, their aspirations for me were always more than just the difference between a girl and a boy. My dad always told me, there was nothing a boy could do that I couldn’t, I wasn’t just a daughter I was his daughter who was equal to anyone’s son, if not more. And I truly believe that, till this day!
It was both of my parents that allowed me to chase my dreams. If I fell, they helped me back up, just as they would a son, who would be a “breadwinner” of his house. They encouraged me to be an independent, strong, yet humble woman. As an entire community it is our responsibility to bring these values forward. Our future generations learn from what’s taught at home. My dad never let anything be gender specific, whether it was chores or hard labor outside the house. He’s shoveled just as much snow as he’s ironed clothes and taught me to do the same. Some of you are wondering why I’m mentioning these, in an Indian patriarchal home – women and men have their divided individual responsibilities, household chores being a woman’s responsibility only. My dad has empowered me by consistently showing that support to my mother and this was BIG for me!
Dream… Believe… Innovate.. Diversity…Equality. These all are major values of being American and the Greatest Country of the World, right? A country of Immigrants, since 1942. In 1988 my parents and grandparents proudly announced the birth of their first (grand/)child. There was no shame, no burden.
Women -- we are powerful, compassionate, resilient, full of love, and have the strength to create life. We all come from different backgrounds and incredibly different upbringings and have succeeded. So at what point do we get celebrated with men equally? The hurtful truth is that regardless of what we achieve, we’re always held a nonsensical expectation of perfection. No! Stand up to it. You do you, not what the world thinks you should be doing. Follow your dreams, don't let anyone hold you back. Love and cherish those who cheer when you succeed. Keep the supporters close but don't forget they need support too!
A special hug for all those women in our lives who sincerely inspire us and lead us to better. Thankful for all those women who have fought for us this far but my fellow women -- you and I and our future generations to come -- You have to be even stronger. Trail-blaze new paths on this road call life for the rest of us. We need you on this journey towards equality.
I know that International Women's Day is all about celebrating women and how we've gotten so far as a gender, but I wanted to shine the light on the great men who support the women in their lives. A heartfelt thank you to all the men who have stood by me: My grandfather for raising a smart, fearless, and determined lady – who I have the honor to call mamma. My father for raising me like he would have raised a son. And my husband for constantly and consistently supporting my rational and irrational decisions in life, for meeting me half way literally every single step of the way. Thank you to all the strong superwomen in my life, my mom, my nani, and my best friends for being the queens you are and always fixing my crown.
Happy International Women's Day Super Women <3
|| Happiness Never Goes Out of Style ||