Traveling to a new place is like taking a cold shower in an unfamiliar bathroom. First you fumble around, not knowing what any of the knobs and buttons do. This shower is too small, the water pressure is too weak, where do I hang up my towel? Then you flinch away from the cold water. This sucks. I want to get out. I miss the comfort of the last place I called home. But you know you need a shower, so you stay. You start slow, you legs and arms can take the cold water, but not your head yet. You curse a little along the way. Grab the soap, lather up. Soon enough things fall into place. You get used to the cold water. Then you are on auto-pilot. Rinse and repeat. Rinse and repeat. You have to get out. But you just got comfortable. The water just started to feel nice. Oh dear you’ve been in the shower for half an hour already. Time to leave again.
Perissa, Santorini, Greece.
Women hold up half the sky. – Chinese proverb
I had quite a liberal upbringing, thanks to parents who were more spiritual than religious, who weren’t very interested in politics, and who were less tiger parents and more “as long as you don’t get into trouble, you can do whatever you want.” Yet, as I grow older and know more about the world, there was a huge rift between them and I. They want me to aspire to marriage. Sure, a successful career and financial security are nice too, but they want me to find a nice man to take care of me.
For the longest time, I could not fathom how my well-educated, liberal parents could have such a backward view of women and their potentials. I could be anything, an engineer, a doctor, a writer, a politician, a Fortune 500 CEO, a Nobel Peace Prize winner. But I also had to be a wife and a mother. It wasn’t that I could have it all; it was that I must.
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