A friend of mine uses an Urdu/Hindi word that roughly translates to “episode,” usually used in the context of a medical condition, like a seizure, to describe what happens to our relationship with our families from time to time. My family and I went through such an episode today. I’ve finally hit a state of relative calm and happiness after several rather difficult months, and they’ve decided that this is the perfect time to start pressuring me over getting married…Again.

It’s been a long battle spanning several years. My parents started on this subject when I was very young, soon after I graduated from college. It’s a very difficult question on both sides, and we always hit an impasse. I hurt my parents by saying I’m not interested in getting married right now, getting married is not a priority in my life, and particularly not to someone they introduce me to simply because that person is a descendant of a lineage with the same ethnic and religious background as mine. I refuse to restrict my dating pool to my ethnic group. It’s just not how I was made to be.

As far as they’re concerned, I’m betraying them, their expectations, our culture, and really hurting them by a) not wanting to get married right now and b) by refusing to restrict my dating pool based on ethnicity and religion.

They’re terrified I’m going to regret my choices, and wake up one day and realize that my choices were all mistakes. My greatest fear is that I’ll give in to something that is fundamentally wrong for me because of the pressure and then wake up one day to realize that I hate my life because I didn’t fight for my own choices. At least if things go wrong in my life now, I’ll only have myself to blame.

The most constructive effect this has had is to jolt me into being productive. Yay, angst can be turned into something positive.