Tag Archives: money

Important things in life

I started writing a post in May 2019, but then my life took a turn and I never finished it. So another year on, I want to pick it up again and give you a life update of some sort.

I’m sorry to anyone who’s been following my journey for a good couple of years and also to the few that reached out for an update – I didn’t mean to disappear this long. Time really does fly by, whether you’re having fun or not. I can’t believe my last post was nearly 2 years ago… what have I been doing?

Once I brought myself back from the deep, dark hole that I was in a couple of years ago, my life really did turn around. I was in a really bad place and I’d hit rock bottom. And I think I’m only able to talk about it comfortably now because I’m not there anymore (rock bottom, that is). Do you know the feeling of despair? To have no hope and be at a complete loss? I truly hope you don’t, because it really is the worst thing to experience in your life. I was feeling extremely sad and so alone, I couldn’t bring myself to talk to anyone about it; I couldn’t see a way out.

I was really struggling work-wise and it wasn’t looking good. I feared I might even have to move back home, which for anyone who knows me, knows that’s literally the worst thing that could ever happen to me. I was filled with anxiety, I closed myself off from the world. But all of a sudden, I felt like someone threw me a lifeline out of nowhere. I managed to get myself a really good job, with an incredible boss and team. I started to feel respected and valued again and my self-esteem grew little by little. I honestly can’t begin to tell you how low my confidence was… I couldn’t believe how these people were hanging onto every piece of advice I gave or recommendations I made. It’s crazy how things can change in a blink of an eye. But it also made me appreciate things in my life so much more.

You get to a point in your life when you realise what’s really important to you, and it can hit you really hard in the feels. I don’t know if it’s just my age or what, but I’ve realised that I tend to draw more meaning from things I come across in my daily life now too. But my experience of hitting rock bottom allowed me to be more grateful for what I have, especially for the things I’d probably taken for granted before. I also became closer with my extended family. Life is funny like that; it takes a major life event to make us hold our loved ones closer.

As I was reading my old posts, I realised I’ve been talking about the same thing for years. Reading my post about insecurities from 2016 really surprised me. I don’t even remember writing all that, but I’m glad I did, because some things have certainly changed for the better and I’d really like to update you on that. I mentioned 4 main things – career, money, confidence and appearance.

Let me start off by saying that I am still not married. But this is mainly because I’ve been going through some things that pushed marriage right to the bottom of my priority list (as always). Although, I am also a couple of years older now, so it’s not a good look for me really… but here we are as some things never change. I do still want to get married, but I’m also incredibly freaked out about the whole process of looking for a partner. I don’t know if I can put myself through it.

However, I can happily tell you that my career is on the up and I am really content with where I am right now. The world may be falling apart around me (literally with the pandemic in full force), but my interesting and secure job is still in tact and I feel loved and valued by my work family (although I’m not so sure about my actual family…).

Money wise, alhamdulillah I am doing well now. It wasn’t looking good over the last few years because of my job being all over the place, but I’m in a really good place now. I might not have the money to even think about throwing a wedding, but I’m not struggling either. I’ve also been incredibly lucky to have gone on several amazing holidays where I was able to enjoy myself to the fullest without worrying about money at all. Oh how things have changed!

My confidence however is questionable… some days I feel like a strong, independent woman who has the world well in her grasp. But other days I feel pretty worthless. It’s just one of those things I have to continue to work on and it really can change daily.

But ultimately, the one thing that hasn’t changed is my feelings towards my appearance. My appearance has changed in the sense that I am certainly a bit older. But how has it been 4 years and I still haven’t done anything about this – especially how I feel about it anyway! I think I’m very good at ignoring the problem sometimes (read: most of the time). It’s easier to pretend you’re too busy, than to actually look the problem in the face. I know what I need to do, but I just don’t want to do it. Life is hard already, why would I make it harder for myself?

Sadly the world continues to move on whether you’re ready to do the same or not. My younger cousins are all steadily getting married off one by one, and as always, I am full of dread and anxiety thinking about what that means for me. But am I doing anything about it? The answer is a big fat NO.

So really and truly, have I made much progress since my last post…? No, not that much. Damn, other than feeling old as hell, I am still running away from responsibilities. Can’t I just remain in my content, oblivious bubble for a little bit longer?

You just wait until my mum is back on my case! She’s been too quiet, and too good to me, for far too long. We haven’t had any family drama in a while, so this news of another cousin getting married (who is 7 years younger than me) is about to kick things off nicely. Battle mode: ON.

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Insecurities about marriage

I’ve been in a weird place for a while. In my previous post I mentioned some of the things that have been bothering me lately. But I wanted to talk about some things that haunt me during the day and night, and that’s my insecurities.

It’s no secret how much I dread talking about the ‘M’ word that is marriage. It’s inevitable; it’s part of culture, society, religion and life! I know it’s expected of me to get married someday, and the truth is I do want to get married. But there are so many thing’s holding me back, and they all come down to the insecurities. So I wanted to give a breakdown on some of the areas of my life that I feel these insecurities come from. Get ready for a long and bumpy ride.

Career: If you’ve read any of my earlier posts, you’ll know how much my career means to me. I’ve worked hard to fight for my right to have one. Even though my family is in no way against girls working, whether they realise it or not, they’ve never really been one to encourage girls to be the best person they can be. They’d rather you opt for the option where you ‘act like a girl’ and do any job that doesn’t require too much commitment, therefore resulting in an ‘easier’ life all around. And because ‘you’re a girl’, you’re supposedly only doing this to keep yourself busy and get some money to put towards your wedding…

I fought for my right to go to university – my dad wanted me to just get a job locally because ‘What’s the point? People only go to uni to then get any odd job afterwards anyway’. I fought for my right to do my placement year in London. I fought for my right to move to London for my graduate job. I have been fighting this good fight to make a name for myself over the last couple of years and develop a successful and fulfilling career that I could be proud of. I wasn’t doing it for anyone else, I was doing this for me. So what does this have to do with marriage? Well, everything. Even though it’s been a little while since I graduated, I’m still at the early stages of my career. The stage where you have to work your butt off to be noticed and so I’m nowhere near being a leader in anything just yet. How can I put my career on the back burner and make marriage a priority? Because trust me, looking for a life partner is like taking on a second job.

I called my mum yesterday and she asked what I was up to. I gave her a generic response, as you do, and said I’ve just been busy working. For some reason that really annoyed her and she took that as an opportunity to start having a go at me. ‘When are you going to be “unbusy”? You need to quit your job and become “unbusy”. When are you going to sort your life out? You need to think about these things seriously now!’

Wow. There goes feminism and girl power down the drain. Thanks mum.

I know she doesn’t mean it in a bad way – she’s only being the typical bengali mum that she is and thinking about how I’m getting old and soon no-one will want me (which is probably true). But I’m finding it harder and harder to explain to her that, right now, my career is the most important thing to me. I know I have to realise there is a point where I can’t put my career first, and that’s usually after marriage when you’re then expected to have a home and children to fill it with. I’m just in such a funk with work at the moment, how can I focus on anything else?

Money: This slightly links to career. But when I moved to London, I was just so happy to have a job away from home that I accepted whatever salary they gave me. This was tough because it was barely enough to survive on and I would consistently have to dip into my credit card to make ends meet. Slowly my pay increased, but that wasn’t enough to save, it was just enough to start paying off my student overdraft and credit card interest. A few years down the line, I was able to clear most of it, then a holiday mishap happened (it’s a long story) which led to even more debt. So then finally, I landed this amazing dream job, I even negotiated an awesome salary (woohoo, girl power!) and managed to clear pretty much all of my debt. But things on the work front is a bit shaky right now (another long story) and this is where I’m at. I’m not in debt, but I also don’t have any savings. I know you didn’t need to know the ins and outs of my financial history, but the point is, life is so unpredictable. I don’t owe anyone any money, but it doesn’t mean I have the ability to magically save anywhere close to enough money to pay for a wedding. How am I supposed to do this AND find a life partner AND get married in the next 2 years (or so)?

Appearance: This is probably the hardest thing for me to talk about and the most insecure area of my life. I’ve always said I’m a realist on this blog. I don’t make ‘negative’ comments about myself for attention or because I’m trying to make out that I’m ‘uglier’ than I actually am. And this is why I find this the hardest thing to talk about because people always come up with the same kind of response to ‘comfort’ me, and you know what? I hate it. Literally, please don’t say these things thinking it’s the right thing to say, because actually, it makes me lose respect for you. Look, I’m not saying I’m an absolute monster, but I have many insecurities for a good reason. A lot of guys think they care about the person on the inside more than the outside, but let me tell you this, they are absolute liars, whether they know it or not. Everyone cares about the outside, we all do. I’m not saying you don’t care about the inside too, but don’t kid yourself in thinking that the outside isn’t a big deal, because it is. I am saying this because I have ‘experienced’ it.

I haven’t really spoken about it on the blog and it’s probably a post I will write about soon, but not so long ago, I decided to give online dating another go. I tried it a few years back, hated it and never wanted to try it again. But I did it again, and hated it all over again. That’s a story for another day, but I’ll tell you one thing that did happen. This muslim dating website gives you the option to have your photos on private and allows you to give access to this photo album if someone makes a request. So naturally, most people choose to have their photos on private. So I re-wrote my profile and was being upfront and honest, and hopefully it came across genuine and refreshing. I’m a strong independent lady, I don’t want to fool a guy into thinking he’s going to get that perfect little housewife (although, I am a damn good cook, but that’s not the point). So a few guys contacted me, and I got chatting to one and I’m like really nervous… what if this is the one? I read his profile, he seems cool and normal and likes similar things as I do. It’s weird. We message back and forth with some banter and it’s nice. Then he respectfully asks if he could request access to my photo album and I’m like, oh god, here we go. I say sure, but I tell him how nervous this makes me feel. He laughs it off, saying don’t be silly. I bet you can just imagine what happens next. He takes one look at my photo and never messages me back ever again.

Now, there are 1,001 things I want to say about this whole exchange right now, but I don’t want to go off topic, but I will just tell you a little bit. Look, I totally understand and respect that everybody has their own taste and sometimes that spark just isn’t there. I didn’t expect the guy to fall in love with me, far from it actually, but I wanted him to have the decency to message back and in a polite way say ‘thanks, but no thanks’. Don’t get me wrong, I would HATE him regardless, but I would hate him just a tiny bit less if he had the courtesy to respond, rather than him just disappearing off the face of the earth and leaving a girl hanging. That’s just rude and really not nice.

The point I’m trying to make here is, I know I’m not everybody’s cup of tea, and yes, I hope there is someone out there who thinks I’m alright. And to my credit, I actually used my personal social media profile picture which got over 80 likes and 25 comments! None of my photos have ever had that type of response. This goes to show there is a reason why I have these insecurities. I’ve said it before, I’m not your typical Bangladeshi girl. I’m not slim, slender, skinny, thin, trim or any other adjective the thesaurus could come up with. It’s something I’ve been insecure about my whole life, and have tried to change and not had much success in, but that’s a story that I won’t depress you with today. I’m also not conventionally pretty. Don’t get me wrong, I can make an effort and whack on a whole load of make up and look half decent, but let’s just say, the face and the shape match. I get compliments about my ‘pretty’ eyes all the time, and it’s something I’m really happy about, but that’s where the list starts and ends really.

Confidence: When it comes to many things in life, I will be your champion as well as mine. I am confident about so many things, especially my career. I may be in a bad place right now, but I have faith and confidence that I will achieve my dream and that in turn will help the money ‘roll’ in. However, appearance is something I do not have confidence in, which in turn doesn’t give me much hope when it comes to marriage. It’s all to do with taste, and I do not have control over that. I know there are things I can do to start feeling more confident about how I look, but until I am happy with myself, how can I put these insecurities aside and look for happiness in marriage? No-one else can do this for me, and with my mother on my case all the time, reminding me that I can’t afford to be picky, can you blame me for feeling this way?

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