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  • Writer's picturekeerthana paulraj

Listening with Love #5:

Updated: Dec 10, 2022

Dear Community,

I am in a place where I'm still figuring out what I would want to do with my career. The expectations my family has for me, is something that i will always never live up to. However I do not clearly see my future. I have been married for 2 years and I do not see any growth in my career. I have always wanted to pursue higher studies in abroad and probably settle there. My partner has been giving me mixed responses to the whole situation. Initially he was encouraging me to chase my dreams. Recently the societal pressure got to him and he wanted to start a family. I could not handle that idea because my career will be at stake and financially we are not in a good place. I cannot afford to take a break now. We agreed to adopt a child at some point in time.

At this point, I'm afraid to start a family because it's physically, emotionally and financially demanding. On the other hand, pursuing a course in my early 30s seems challenging too. But I'm sure if I work really hard , I can make it to a good University.

I would want a future in which I will not regret my choices in life.


Arbitrarily Close (She/Her)

Listener #1:

Dear Arbitrarily close,

I am able to connect with your fears, worries, and relate to what you must be going through.

I did my masters in my early 30s and it was the best thing that happened to me :) I was mature enough to really learn and let it impact not only my thinking but also who I am as a person!

Hopeful that your family supports you in your endeavour ! :)

What would your concerns look like from a vantage point?

Listener #2:

Dear Arbitrarily Close,

Thanks for sharing with us.

One thing that you seem clear about is that your current job is not for you.

Regarding choosing between having children and pursuing higher studies, I think you're seeing the choice as an either/or.

The reality is both these decisions are worth making on their respective merit. Each can be made when the time feels right and you feel ready. They both have many perks.

Talking about my experience as a parent and a masters student, fear was a natural ally. It helped me consider the possible costs each choice may have. As I called out and acknowledged each fear, surfaced it, I found a strategy to cope with it.

In hindsight, none of the fears were as big as I had imagined them to be before the decision. My resilience was the real factor determining my experience, much more than externalities.

Both decisions can be life changing in their ways - Parenting a lot more than higher education because of how it teaches you grace, trust and acceptance and how relentless it seems at the outset.

That said, your experience will be uniquely yours and how you respond and perceive each turn will play the biggest role.

Wishing you wisdom and courage.

Weighing the pros and cons while allowing for emergence.

Several listeners also offered their kind gentle presence by just listening to Arbitrarily Close's worries, and responding in the form of hugs, warmth and love.

Listening with Love :)

About Listening with Love

As a group of community weavers, we have been wondering what it would mean for everyone in the group to share our worries, challenges, joys and fears here with vulnerability and honesty while feeling safe and not feeling the burden of having to reveal ourselves to the group. These may be questions, thoughts or feelings about the past, present, or future; about ourselves, our loved ones or strangers.

Hence, we are starting a new thread called "Listening with Love" to help community members find perspectives on their situation.

If you have something on your mind, you are welcome to share it with us using this form. We will tap into our community's compassion and wisdom on your behalf.


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