“I’m still exploring the realms of who I am and who I want to be.”

My Story…

My name is Jamie Desai and I’m currently studying Law at university. It’s nearly coming to an end and graduation is lurking around the corner. All of a sudden there seems to be no set rigidity as to what I need to do with my life and I have all these options, with no explicit guidance as to which path to take. Everyone around me seems to have come up with a conclusive plan, whether it be travelling, internships, grad jobs and I’m barely keeping up to date with my last lecture. I’m an avid believer in “following your joy” but there’s always that doubt that maybe this concept is too unrealistic for modern day society. I’m not ready yet to join the rat race of employment but nor am I ready to continue doing what I’m doing now. That being said I guess I’m just trying to find my feet and amongst all that trying to survive university, which I guess hasn’t been a walk in the park for me so far. It seems that with everything drawing to an end, whether it be relationships, friendships or my university experience, I feel like the way I perceive people, attitudes and cultures have developed. I find myself questioning certain behavioural patterns or expectations of my culture, questioning why I, myself, am the way I am. I’m tired of cultural and gender restrictions which have stemmed from witnessing the treatment of my mum within the Indian community, when she was filing for a divorce. As a 20-year-old girl growing up in the UK, I’ve often found myself stuck in a contradiction between the ideology of my culture and the ideology of western society. Although this experience hasn’t defined me as a person, it has influenced my thought processes, and to conceal that part of my life would be to conceal who I am as an individual. I just wish I embraced that the past few years. Understanding yourself and accepting the things you cannot change has helped me gain some answers to the frustrations I’ve found myself facing. Although I haven’t found all of them yet, I feel like finally I’m having that ‘a-ha’ moment where I’m realising what’s good for me and what isn’t, a process of sifting out the bad and rejoicing in what’s left of the good.

The Message to My Story…

I’m still exploring the realms of who I am and who I want to be, understanding that some temporary decisions are going to affect me permanently. Through writing about my experiences, whether it be about university, friendships, or my experiences growing up, my aim is not to gain sympathy or to be praised. Instead it’s to widen the mind sets of others and hopefully do the same for myself. For so long, it’s been taught to us to keep quiet and that the needs of a man take more precedence over the needs of our own. I want women to question when something doesn’t sit well with them, or at least question why things are a certain way. If answers can’t be given, at least let your voice be heard. We have so many platforms to now speak up, let’s use it as a means to develop our understanding of what’s out there for us and other people’s experiences. I truly feel this will allow for our progression as a gender, religion, culture and race.

-Jamie, Age 20 (UK)

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