I am a 24-year-old working woman with a BS degree. I was living a pretty normal life, and things were good at home and workplace. Then, my elder brother got married and the environment of our house changed substantially. We have to be careful what to say in front of our sister-in-law, as she is not from our community and we cannot discuss family business in her presence. At work, I had a very good relationship with my colleagues, but one after the other they left the company for better prospects. After they left, new people were hired but they are dull and boring and are not fun to be with. With my old colleagues, work was easy and fun but now I have to deal with everything on my own and I feel lonely. The new people tend to hang out together, and are courteous and I do get along with them but I don’t feel close to them. It’s not that I don’t get along with my other colleagues; it’s just that I’m not very close to anyone of them. I am looking for another job, but the job market is very competitive and few offers that I received were not financially viable. I want to go for higher studies to England, but my parents don’t want me to go alone since I am single.
I feel unhappy with my current state and my mother thinks I’m ungrateful and should count my blessings. I’m still very young and want to achieve and experience a lot more but I feel as if all doors are closed on me now. People have money, good jobs and beautiful lifestyles, and I want the same. Most of my cousins and friends are married and have good husbands, but at present I don’t even have a decent marriage proposal. You see, nothing is working out for me! What should I do?
Distressed and Lonely
Dear Distressed and Lonely,
If you do what your mother tells you and count your blessings, most of your problems will simply disappear. Starting from your problem at home, if you would only accept your sister-in-law as a member of your family and stop hiding things from her, you will have the relaxed atmosphere in your house that you all enjoyed before your brother’s marriage. Don’t treat your sister-in-law as an outsider. How reasonable it is to expect a girl to think of her husband’s home as her own when her in-laws keep trying to hide family issues from her?
About your workplace problem, my dear, people come and go, and you just have to take this in your stride. Your previous colleagues and you were similar in temperament, so you were happy with them. But, just as you are not comfortable with the new ones, isn’t it possible that they feel the same about you? All people are different, and you cannot always be among people who are like you. So, if you want to have a good time at workplace, try to be friendly with the new ones, and I am sure in no time they will accept you as their friend.
It is good that you want to go for higher studies and had you got permission from your parents to study abroad it would have been great. But, the option of studying in Pakistan is always there, and we have some very good universities that you can join. Plus, you can always go for distance learning.
Don’t worry about delay in getting a suitable proposal, as you are still young and have time to wait for the type of proposal you have in mind, but just a word of caution: keep your expectations realistic and you won’t be disappointed.
Problems that need a solution? You can e-mail Prof. Nadine Khan at [email protected]
Write to Prof. Nadine Khan, c/o Editor ‘You!’ magazine, The News,
Al-Rehman Building (4th Floor) I.I. Chundrigar Road, Karachi.