The Inspiring Stories Series where we bring stories of everyday men and women who ignite a spark of inspiration in all of us. Today we bring the story of Richa Sankpal who is a female, 30+ and yet unmarried in our society.
When Stylewhack approached me to write this article – I was much flattered and somewhat bemused. I had never imagined that mine would be an ‘inspiring’ story – and that too for simply taking life as it came to me! I still am not certain – but I loved this opportunity to narrate my experience.
Let me begin by accepting that there are challenges in remaining unmarried past 30 – irrespective of gender or nationality. I can speak from personal experience on only the woman’s side of it, though I have given sympathetic ear to many a male friends in similar distress. Social convention is only one of the many pressures – parents want daughters and sons alike to find a suitable partner who will accompany their child after them.
Once all my contemporaries started tying the knot, the inevitable question gnawed at my mind too – would I be an old maid? I remember the cold fear I felt at the prospect of being unmarried at ‘27’. But somewhere along the line, I think I learned that getting married was only one of the many milestones in one’s life. An important one – but by no means the only point from which all of life’s avenues would be charted.
Was I always this pillar of strength prepared to stand my ground? Not really – I’ve had my weak moments, and I’ve swayed with the tide. I’ve kissed my share of frogs, suffered my share of heartaches – but in the end, I believe I am richer for the experience! And I had some excellent real-life role models in the form of my friends. They helped me see that there was no earthly reason to put life ‘on hold’ till I found a companion! So I started reading more, writing more, dancing more, painting more, living more!
Fortunately, I was doing well in my career. I met great managers who gave me opportunities to lead teams at a young age. I traveled to the United States on a Business Visa with merely 2 years of Work Experience; a brand new experience that opened new horizons! I have since travelled abroad several times – for work, for pleasure, with family, with friends. When you’re out on your own – finding your own home, figuring out your meals, turning strangers into friends – the independence is heady! Yes, companionship offers different joys – but I feel lucky to have had a chance to fight it out on my own – if only to be certain that I can do it again if needed. I feel lucky that I had the opportunity to earn, invest, and enjoy!
Being unmarried never held me back. Does this mean marriage is pointless? I wouldn’t say so. In fact, confession – I’ve always found it terribly romantic that someday somebody would choose me to share their life with! But then again, the operative word is choice – mutual choice. This isn’t something one can be pushed into, because of ‘what society would say’ or a ‘ticking body clock’.
Marriage is for life. Once you sign up for it – there is no going back. So make the most of your single years! Make time for your family, make time for yourself – discover who you are! I think the game-changing realization for me was – If I’m not happy alone, there’s no way I can be happy in a relationship!
|Richa is an everyday girl who chooses to live life her way. She manages IT Operations for a livelihood, paints to see Life – and is equally passionate about both. A trained classical dancer and amateur writer – Richa someday hopes to combine the two to grow as a Dance Journalist / Critic. You can follow her writing at – http://shouldvegottenheresooner.blogspot.in|