A few years ago, on the Promise Day of Valentine's Week, I entered into a wedlock that seemingly promised me a lifetime of happiness. The very next year, I decided to file for divorce on the same day. And this time, I promised prioritised to myself—my happiness and well-being. Fast forward to today, and here I am, writing this story as a happily divorced single mother.
Promise Day is no longer the day that promised me a married life. It is a reminder of the challenging past that I have overcome. It is a reminder for me to keep up the promise I made to myself—to prioritise myself over everything. My happiness, well-being, and peace matter.
Promise To Prioritise Yourself
When my marriage went haywire, society told me that marriage is a promise to stay together for life no matter what. And women don't break that promise. Then what about me? I thought. What is life without happiness or peace? Why should I sacrifice myself for society? So, I promised to prioritise myself—my happiness and well-being—over everything.
We have come a long way as a society, but divorce is still considered a taboo topic by the majority. That is why India tops the list of countries with the lowest divorce rates with just over 1%. Society called me a bad daughter for ruining my parents' honour; a bad mother to my child; a homebreaker who ruined the peace for two families; and a self-centered, opinionated, arrogant, and rebellious woman. Well, if promising to prioritise my happiness, peace, and well-being is going to come at the cost of these tags, I honestly don't care. Call me whatever, but I know what I'm doing. I know what I have gone through and what pushed me to make this decision.
Our society associates divorce with shame, family dishonour, and failure. Regardless of what patriarchy has ingrained in our brains, we fail when we deprive ourselves of the happiness that we deserve. We should be ashamed of ourselves when we let others treat us like doormats. A family's honour is trampled when it doesn't prioritise the happiness and well-being of its daughters. I promised to prioritise myself three years ago, and making that life-changing decision that many fear to make has transformed my life today.
The journey was hard, and it continues to be. But prioritising myself has allowed me to make amends for my mistakes, learn, and evolve into a much better person. The challenges that I faced made me bolder and more confident, and they helped me identify the real people in my life. Over the past three years, I have learned to survive, while repairing myself emotionally, discover my true potential, focus on my growth, follow my passion, become more compassionate, and hold on to hope.
I'm a better daughter and a better mother today because I kept the promise to prioritise myself—my happiness and well-being. If I'm writing this today with no inhibitions, it's because I'm continuing to keep up with the promise that I made to myself. I may not have healed, as healing is a lifelong process. There will be numerous things that are going to remind me of the past. But I've reached a place where I can talk about my past without breaking down. I've moved on, and that's a win for me.
I'm grateful for the mishaps that happened in my life because, if not for all the catastrophic incidents, I wouldn't have become the person I am today. Yes, I'm a happily divorced single mother, and I'm proud of the life that I've created for my daughter and myself. To everyone who is reading this today, on Promise Day or any day, promise to prioritise yourself—your happiness and well-being—because you deserve it!
Views expressed are the author's own.