Role Model

I heard some words today that really touched my heart and I didn’t know how to process it. It’s not every day that you hear someone say that you’re their role model. I was quite taken aback and not quite sure what to say or do.

I have a young, impressionable relative, who has a heart of gold. At a very young age, she’s had to mature very fast and become a support for her family. Her and her siblings have been through things that no kid should ever have to experience, yet they have made it out of this awful situation, stronger than ever, and are continuing to live their life really well. And most importantly, growing up to be great human beings. I really admire these kids. Not only that, on top of the pressure of school and college, they’re pursuing hobbies, teaching themselves skills and putting themselves out there. These kids are truly a force to be reckoned with and are actually a huge inspiration to me. They are half my age and already are these amazing, kind and thoughtful people, even after going through so much. I often think, if they can achieve all of this despite everything they’ve been through, then I have to try to be at least half as good as them, which spurs me to keep going. Honestly, I can’t praise them enough.

So when I heard about this particular conversation from someone, I automatically choked up. It’s very easy for people to say things they don’t mean these days, whether it’s good or bad. But when you know they genuinely mean it, you feel quite wonderful… and a little bit scared.

This kid told her mum that she looks up to me. She said that the fact that I work hard for what I’m passionate about, and despite being a ‘brown asian girl’, I moved away from home to pursue a career and do what makes me happy; she really admires me. Her and her siblings are looking forward to the day I get married, because I’m a really good person. I’m her role model…

I mean, how can I not get emotional after hearing that?

I went through many tough hurdles in my life a few years ago when I was searching for my happiness. I had to break away from cultural norms and fight for my rights. And then over the years I’ve had many ups and downs, but you kind of get busy with life and end up losing that sense of purpose. And now as I get closer to another milestone, I am anticipating tough times ahead – the pressure of marriage. So I often reflect on my life and wonder, what have I achieved? Have I been making the right choices? Am I a good person? Am I happy?

To then hear these kind words… I didn’t know what to do with myself. It was incredibly lovely to hear that there are people out there who think I’m doing a good job in life. But to be 100% honest with you, I really don’t think I’ve been doing that well. If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you will know that I’ve been struggling quite a bit with so many insecurities. Not forgetting the pressure that a family naturally puts on an unmarried ‘girl of age’; I’ve felt suffocated at times. The thought of being this beautiful kid’s role model just scares me. I feel a pressure to live up to this title, yet I know I am lacking in so many ways. I don’t see myself as ‘successful’, I just feel like I’m bumbling through life.

If only this wasn’t an anonymous blog, I would share this post with her too. She is the one that people should be admiring, not the other way round. I truly believe that kids these days are so much smarter and more empathetic than my peers and I were at her age. They see the world in a different way and I admire that sparkle in their eyes. I need to get me some of that!

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5 thoughts on “Role Model

  1. Listener says:

    I wish you would post daily or atleast weekly because I like reading your blogs.
    It is so refreshing to hear your stories because I can relate to it. I feel less of a freak as you know, women over 25 in the Bangla society are called leftovers and people say there’s something wrong with them. It’s just really depressing.
    In relation to your article, being called someone’s role model is nice. Sometimes you need to hear words of affirmation from close ones just to get through another day.

    • Hello, thank you for your kind words. It really means a lot to me when people come across my blog and reach out to me. And I know exactly what you mean because it also makes me feel like I’m not alone in this.

      I wish I updated this regularly too! Life just gets busy, and time passes quickly with a blink of an eye. I will try my best to update more often, but can’t promise it will be daily/weekly.

      In the meantime, remember that there are many people like us out there who are going through similar life circumstances – hang in there!

      • Listener says:

        Hey! You’re welcome. Yes, time does go quickly. I was 20 once and now I recently turned 28. My age and career ambition kind of puts Bengali guys off .. But surprisingly, that has not stopped men of other races of similar age contacting me. I told my mum that I’d likely marry a non Bengali man because he’d be more open minded, supportive and accepting of who I am. That’s another battle for a Muslim Bengali girl.

        I understand that you cannot update as regularly but you have a reader for life!

      • I’m intrigued to hear what your mum’s reaction was when you mentioned you wanted to marry outside of the Bengali culture?

        I think my mum has got to the point where she’s just desperate for me to get married, so will probably agree begrudgingly if it really came down to it. But I would always be labeled as the rebel for doing it. There really is no win-win situation in this.

        I do however truly believe there must be the right guy out there for you who will actually respect and admire your career ambition, Bengali or not, so don’t be disheartened for sure. The guys that have been ‘put off’ obviously weren’t great catches themselves…

  2. […] my last post, I spoke about how much pressure I felt after being called a role model. I wasn’t doing that well, so I didn’t feel like I deserved that title. So now I […]

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