@agentsofishq’s ‘An Evening of No Regrets’ gave me pause. Do I truly have no regrets?For most of my teen years & adult life, I’ve tried to live a life free of regret. Early on, this meant being cautious about navigating gender pressures & unrealistic expectations. The thing about growing up a girl & experiencing abuse & violence (which sadly are often the same thing) is that you become an expert at seeing 20 steps ahead, weighing risk (though not necessarily against benefits, only greater risk).

Maybe because of my gender, my emotional, personal, social, political & professional are connected in ways where the slightest move in one causes tremors in the others. Maybe that is the natural way & not compartmentalisation is a facet of patriarchy.I’ve lived a better life in my view (and whose else’s truly matters?) than most women I know. This is not because I’m richer, prettier, stabler, healthier, safer or more successful. Quite the opposite. It’s because I’ve fought to find my ground, to discover myself, to stay true to that self. This is pride.

It’s getting harder to keep regrets out as I get older & accumulate more wounds, lose to age-tracking as well as gender discrimination. Backlash & resentment grow in compound interest but personal rewards do not. Wouldn’t my life be easier had I not an education to recognise discrimination? Would it have been better without my personality, abilities & opportunities so I’d never have had the chance to face disappointment? Might ignorance have been bliss (or whatever a woman can have)?

No, you can’t answer that for me. My life is not an inspiration saga any more than it’s a porn film for anyone else. Expectations & microaggressions are designed to stall me. I will not allow that.It’s like swimming. I’m at my most likely midway point of life. No point in turning back now, no way to stop. So I move forward (and I suspect others like me do) simply because it’s the only way. And when you’re battling lifelong systems against you, trying to heal as you move, regrets are just too heavy to carry.

#IWear: Checked linen saree in a pallu-less kashta drape + @kgafest teeshirt.

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