Guest post by Sonal Chauhan. Read more about Sonal here.
I’ve never known what “I wanted to be when I grew up,” but there’s one thing I do know: I am—and will always be—a caretaker. I’ve always wanted to be a nurturing mother to as many children as possible and provide a financially stable future for them, in addition to becoming a brilliant wife to the most wonderful father to my children someday. I thought and hoped that I would be married by 21, have my first child by 24, and be living the dream—my dream, anyways.
The problem was that I had no idea what my values were. I wasn’t connecting with my inner-self, just going through the motions of life, many times confused why my choices were never fulfilling. Sometimes those choices left me upset, sometimes resulted in ambitious spontaneity, and sometimes making me just plain angry. It wasn’t until Juan, our friend Alex, and I spent an evening devouring cheap wine, cookies, and Indian dip that things began to make sense to me. It was a starting point of self-discovery and acceptance: the point I needed to begin at.
Who would’ve thought that my deepest, most sincere desire of being a wifeymama was actually at the core of my personal values: compassion and nurturing. Because he was able to spiritually connect with me and read my energy from the get-go, Juan knew these values were at the core of my being, but it took those troubling experiences in that year of my life for me to finally identify them. I learned that my deep compassion for others and natural instinct for nurturing must be aligned in all that I do in order for me to feel contentment and peace.
Fast forward to the present day. Here I am, 25 years old with two degrees that I never thought would have my name attached to them. I ultimately pursued those degrees in order to fill the void left by not being a wifeymama, with a career that is grounded in the same values I’d be aligned with if I were doing the wifeymama thing. The choices I’ve made in my professional life and my personal life, including the people I spend time with and the role I play in those relationships, all align with my compassionate values.
But the truest form of living those values—the form that I want more than anything—seems so out of reach.
Not being a wifeymama has been the biggest obstacle for me to overcome every single damn day. I haven’t “settled” yet, so I won’t settle today. I know I’m waiting for the right partner that will not only validate my values, but also connect with me in an even deeper way. I know that type of connection can exist and I’ll wait for it until I feel it. But there are some days that I do feel utterly hopeless—not in the hormonal, melodramatic way—but because I feel I’m not fulfilling my true potential and purpose.
Where does this monologue leave off? Not with a gift-wrapped happy ending and a bow on top. Life doesn’t always work like that: my life is messy, wild, and inconsistent while I struggle balancing all that reality throws at me. But when those values do align, it’s magical. It’s what keeps me going. I know my spiritual bliss and full alignment are coming.