by Sufia Ali
I spent 10 years living as a typical brown housewife, a SAHM (stay at home mom). The only places I would leave home for were to pick up and drop off my kids at school or to get groceries. My nights consisted of watching Pakistani soaps back to back with extra shots of chai and biscuits on the side. The weekends consisted of some kind of family social gathering and my highs were getting the house to look spotless for at least two hours and having extra meals ready for the next day. Double whammy for me if we got to eat out! Life was perfect, right?
The truth was, I was living in a perfect illusion. I tricked myself into believing this was what life was meant to be like and that I had it all.
One day, I found myself reminiscing about how I imagined my life as an adult when I was a pre-teen. I had always seen myself as a career oriented, strong but soft-hearted, financially independent woman. I thought about how I would dress “future me” up in business casual attire, with four-inch heels, and my hair done in perfect waves bouncing up and down on my shoulders as I walked out the door with my briefcase in one hand and coffee in the other.
My heart smiled. I looked out the window and wondered what the world was like. Suddenly, I felt myself longing for it. Yearning to see what life was like outside of my so-called perfect abode. I regretted giving up on all my hopes and dreams. And just like that, my perfect world was not perfect anymore. I felt so hollow. So, lonely. A little bit afraid.
I ventured out on my journey to find that steadfast and bright-eyed woman I lost so many years ago. After much trial and error, I finally stepped into something I was passionate about — real estate. The idea of being my own boss, working my own hours, getting to interact with a wide audience, striving to make my clients dreams come true, watching families start new beginnings in their new homes, and that feeling of accomplishment struck me like a jolt of lighting. I studied for months before passing my exam and finally gained the opportunity to update my Facebook status:
“Sufia Ali has now started working as Realtor at Prompt Mortgage and Realty”
Many likes, comments, and thumbs up stickers later the real work began.
I walk out the door every day with my laptop bag in hand. My curls are wrapped slightly around my face, enough to contour the excess cheek fat I’ve gained over the years. My shirt is tucked in lightly and the four-inch heels have converted to wedges (Hey, I’m old now!). Oh and that coffee in one hand? Well, it’s an 18-ounce thermos filled with water. A woman’s got to do what a woman’s got to do! Hooray for me!
[Read More: Our Twenties: A Decade Full of Quarter-Life Crises]
For the past few months or so, I’ve gotten to know so many people of different cultures, religions, values, interests, and views. It’s opened my mind up to a totally different world. We live in a world where people help people make the world go round. From those that are homeless to Syrian refugees, to students, to millionaires; I don’t think my heart felt so whole than it does now. This part reminds me of the song from “Aladdin,” “It’s a whole new world…”. This world, it’s nothing without the contribution of each and every individual.
So whatever you’re doing, working or not, get up and do something. Get educated, volunteer, lend a helping hand to those in need, apply for a mentorship, listen to someone talk about their stressful day, go to a Christmas party even if you’re not Christian, host a neighborhood get together, get out of your comfort zone. JUST DO SOMETHING. Put those soaps on record and save them for a rainy day. It’s amazing what a difference it makes in opening up your mind and exposing you to possibilities you never thought existed. The world is a scary place, but it doesn’t have to be if you decide to be the change in it.
Put those soaps on record and save them for a rainy day. It’s amazing what a difference it makes in opening up your mind and exposing you to possibilities you never thought existed. The world is a scary place, but it doesn’t have to be if you decide to be the change in it.