While doing the previous entry, I was stumped at the section “7 physical traits you look for the opposite sex.” For some reason, I didn’t have any. Am I blind? I asked myself? Do I really not care? Would I really say “No” if Brad Pitt proposes to me?
I remember asking friends, particularly those who have not found their mate, what exactly they look for a man. And one friend’s answer just floored me. “He must be tall,” was the first thing that she said to me. Tall? Is that really important? I just didn’t really understand that.
Then I remembered the time before I left my homeland to study abroad. Many people, including my mum’s friends, and even the Singseh whom we often patronize, told her that her daughter would come home with an Ang Moh as a husband. It really puzzled me why these people would jump to such conclusion. So I asked my mum, what she thinks I should look for in a potential husband. Does it matter that he is Malay? Would she accept if it was an Ang Moh?
The first criteria she told me, was that her future son in law is a good Muslim man. She said, it doesn’t matter what race he is, as long as he is a good Muslim person. I did ask her why. She said, “So he knows what is Halal and Haram, and the religion prescribes the roles of the Muslim husband and wife.” I did ask her if he has to be born a Muslim man, she said, “Not really. But are you confident enough that you have the knowledge to guide the other person in the religion? If he has the inclination for the religion himself, then that’s different. But if he is merely converting just to marry you, then that’s something else.”
So I did go away, had one or two non Muslim boyfriends. And somehow things didn’t work out. One said he was willing to convert but did not take any serious step towards learning what the religion was all about. The other well, he was a recent convert to Chr|st|an|ty himself.
Four boyfriends later, I found someone whom I thought I could share the rest of my life with. So I told my mum. And this is what she said to me,
“Whatever your choice is, its for you to decide, because in the end, its your life. However, you have to think long and hard and make sure by embarking on this next leg in your journey of life, that your life will be better.”
“I always believe that whenever we move on in life, the next move should be better than the previous place. If being married to this person is a move that will make your life better, then it’s a worthwhile move. But if your married life will be worst than your single life, then perhaps you should reconsider your decision. So think long and hard before you decide.”
Whoah! What does she mean by “better move?” So I had to do some soul searching myself. I had to ask myself what “better” means to me. Is it being economically better? Physically better? Geographically better? Emotionally better? Which criteria was most important for me?
More importantly, how would I know what the future will hold for me? How would I know that my life will be better?
So I had to ask myself, what is important to me in my life? I decided that happiness is very important to me. What’s the point of having loads of money when one is miserable and have to share your husband with 3 other women? Or have a rich husband who don’t really care about you, but only of himself? Or have a good looking or famous husband whom many women were trying hard to get their claws on him? What if he’s so engrossed in himself or his work and has no time for me? Whats worst than being single and alone is being married AND lonely!
What do I want in life? What makes me happy? I had to ask myself long and hard. Did some soul searching, and asked him some questions about his views on things.
And if anything, my mum has taught me a few things from those conversations. That I am responsible for the decisions that I make in life.
Whenever we are about to move to a different country or a different contract, I often ask myself, will the next move be better for us compared to the current life we are leading?
She has taught me that in life, in everything, we do have a choice. And we are personally responsible for the choices we make for ourselves.
I guess if or when the time comes, I would pass her wisdom on to my child(ren), especially to my daughter when she tells me she has a candidate for her husband.