I, Finally Said, No To Them (Act Youth Force)
This series is in collaboration with Act Youth Force (Visit AYF) where we focusing on the write ups by different students write inspiring stuff. This is the second part of many more! Read the first part here
My numb fingers wrapped around the hot mug of coffee, body guarded against the cold by a shawl and blanket, glasses sitting properly on my nose, a tight messy bun to avoid the curtain of blonde hair falling on my face, I sat on my warm bed in front of my laptop and surrounded by books.
Technically, I was studying surgery for my final professional exam of the 5th year of medicine. But, my mind was playing around somewhere else. I stared blankly at the blurred figure of someone on my laptop screen, supposedly Dr Asad giving a lecture on incisions. But, not even a single word entered my memory. My brain was rather bombarded with those moments of my past when the light had gone out of my life when I took that decision which changed my fate, my destiny. I rather tried to ignore my thoughts, and considered taking a break and listen to some music.
Next, to love, music is the best solution to any problem. Music feeds the heart with what it needs in the moment. I played several songs with empowering and encouraging lyrics, but it was, certainly, of no help. I was stuck with my past which was forcing me to act upon a decision to change my future and make it better for myself. I need to change my future so that people around me realize, that I have the right to make decisions for myself rather than changing myself. My decisions should not be influenced by others. They need to be mirroring my logic and thinking.
For the next hour, I kept thinking about how insensitive someone can be to make your own daughter stop pursuing her passion for music and study medicine, instead. The usual line that everyone must’ve heard is “log Kya sochein gay…” or “music bhi koi kaam hai kya? Society main kya izzat reh jaye gi?” Surprisingly, these people are the ones who spend half of their lives admiring singers and celebrities. However, something outside the box is completely intolerable for them! Why do we even care about the society? Why do we fear about what the society thinks? Why are we generally compared to other successful friends and family members of ours? There is no comparison between the sun and the moon. They shine when it’s their time.
A few hours earlier, my parents talked to me about marriage as I turned 23 this year, and I am now considered to be mature enough to get married. Yet again, “what will the society think if I don’t get married?” But I can do nothing at all. The only option I have is to accept what my parents decide for me and find happiness in it, or maybe what the society decides for me because I belong to a middle-class Pakistani family and our future is decided upon what the society thinks about us.
I opened Facebook to try overcoming this thought when I came across a saying:
“I felt like crying but nothing came out… It was just a sort of sad sickness, sick sad when you can’t feel any worse. I think you know it. I think everybody knows it now and then. But I think I have known it pretty often, too often.”
I felt as if this saying was meant for me as if it was directed towards me, and I need to stop fearing the society. I need to have my own opinion. I need to make a decision, uninfluenced by the people around me, by the society around me. I need to act upon it. There’s plenty I need to learn in a night… Tonight… To change tomorrow! I need to learn that saying yes to happiness means to say no to things and people that stress you out.
I, finally, said No to them and moved on with my life.
Written by: Laiba Tariq | Cover photo Credits: Photo by Ben Blennerhassett on Unsplash