Three Worlds

There are three worlds: the one you want to live in, the one that’s good for you, and the one you actually live in.”


***


Even though I did refer to women’s stories in some of my posts I have never actually written about gender issues. Maybe because I have never been interested in this topic enough to write.


I have never divided people by gender, race or nationality. I’m more cynical. For me people are either meaningful or meaningless. Regardless if they’re men or women.


My one and only place of work – Foundation A, where I spent two years of my life and changed in so many ways, I will not be able to count – was not only perfect because of the work I got to do and the people I got to meet, but also because of one person there – my boss.


Besides actually teaching me how to do my work he was also a close friend, someone I could tell about my problems, concerns, and fears. After one of such conversations he told me something I keep in my mind ever since: “You have two options in your life: (1) To become your mom; (2) To become yourself”. And I knew exactly what he meant by that.


***


D. is an absolutely amazing person. Because of her capacity, attitude and natural networking skills, she can make friends with literally anyone. She was a popular kid at the university. She would travel around the USSR and meet people everywhere she would go.


She got married at 26, which is considered pretty late for an Azeri girl even today. Her husband was 12 years older. Right after the wedding she had to quit her job, since the husband wanted her to stay home with the kids. She did not mind – it was the right thing to do.


Two kids and several years later her husband lost his job due to an unstable situation in the country and principles he could not break. He went abroad to earn money. She stayed.


She was 42 when she found her first job after a 15-year break. She changed several places of work and positions in six years. She worked in a bank, insurance company, concrete factory and perfume company. She learned how to use a computer and had to overcome all kinds of difficulties coming her way. And every day she would come home to the apartment that was not actually hers, to see her two teenage kids, an empty fridge and think what to do next.


When her husband came back after two years of absence and unsuccessful attempts to do something he was not meant to, in order to earn for his family, she had a good job and at least some confidence about the future. Several months later he received a good proposal and everything went back to normal. And of course, he asked her to quit the job again. She did.


Today, her life is mostly about her family, online friends and going out to karaoke or dinners with friends on weekends. And the huge potential she still has is lost somewhere in the labyrinths of everyday routine. Nothing more, nothing less.


She’s happy. Or at least seems so.


She is the one I take my inner freedom from and the reason for my commitment issues.


She’s my mom.


***

I have never divided people by race, nationality and especially gender. Simply because some examples around me clearly show that both men and women can be equally strong or weak, special or ordinary, meaningful or meaningless.


I am lucky enough to have a non-
traditional Azerbaijani brother, who has always respected my right for privacy and would never interfere in my life. I grew up in a family that tried to understand me even when it was a difficult thing for them to do. I would also meet people who would try to take “me” from me and I had to lose parts of myself again and again.


But lucky as I am, I woke up before it was too late. I brought myself back together, realized who I am and chose my path, full of new territories, right and wrong decisions, different people and self-
analysis. I am trying to be meaningful.


I’m neither woman, nor man here.


I’m me.


And no one can take this away anymore.


***


There are three worlds: the one you want to live in, the one that’s good for you, and the one you actually live in.


Choose one.


Written for www.women-forum.net