My Dearest Rumya,
These thoughts have been etched in my mind and echo in my head from time to time. As we celebrate another Daughter's Day, I want to pen them down, not just for me, but for you to understand the journey I've walked as your mother—a journey that has shaped my identity and, in turn, has influenced yours.
When you were just a young child, the world often told me that my existence should revolve solely around you and your siblings. Society suggested that I should be content with being just a mother, nurturing and caring for her children. But I made a choice—a choice to carve an identity for myself, one that could coexist harmoniously with the identity of a mother.
It wasn't an easy path, Rumya. There were moments of guilt, frustration, and self-doubt. There were times when I had to make choices that felt incredibly difficult, choices that blurred the lines between self-care and selflessness. I often found myself questioning if I was doing the right thing.
But now, as I look back on this journey, I realize that these choices were not in vain. They were not just choices for myself; they were choices for you and your siblings as well. These choices, even though they carried their fair share of compromises, have had a profound impact on the world you know today—a world that, I hope, is more open, accepting, and empowering for you and your generation.
I made compromises to maintain sanity within our family, but most importantly, I made choices for myself that have had ripple effects far beyond the walls of our home. These choices allowed me to be more than just a mother; they allowed me to be the role model, the source of inspiration, and the advocate for pursuing one's dreams that you see in me today.
However, I must confess that there were moments when I made decisions for you—sometimes out of love, sometimes out of fear, and sometimes out of the desire to shield you from life's harsh realities. If I had the power to reverse the clock, I would go back in time, and instead of making those choices for you, I would empower you to make them for yourself.
You, my dear daughter, are a strong, intelligent, and capable woman. You possess the wisdom and resilience to navigate life's challenges, just as you've witnessed me do. As a mother and the incredible chef that you are, you are on a similar journey now, facing choices of your own.
In this phase of life, I urge you to make yourself a priority, to choose yourself before you let yourself slip away into the responsibilities of motherhood. Choose your passion, choose to do things that scare you, choose to be the oddball that society may deem weird, and most importantly, choose to be who you want to be.
I may still nag you at times for the decisions you make or the ones you don't, for that's the mother in me. But every time I do that, I want you to remind me, again and again, that you choose to make yourself a priority. Remind me that you are choosing to be the person you want to be, rather than the person I want you to be.
(Author: Dr. Rema Ramachandran)