The other day, I was furiously hunting for caption for my presentation on the college Women’s Cell when I overheard a bunch of my male colleagues talking about being an ‘ideal man’ for girls. One colleague said, “You just have to accept them just the way they are. Just let them be however they want to be. After all, every woman wants a man who accepts them just as they are!!”
I was up to my neck with work for the upcoming program but curiosity got the best of me. And without me realizing it, that old thinking cap flew out of nowhere and snugly fits itself into my well groomed-formal- Monday-hair. Statistics and the inspirational speeches on International Women’s Day flew out of the window as four words kept plaguing my mind. JUST AS I AM.
If you ask any girl about her ideal man, there is one line which you must always brace yourself to hear. “Someone who accepts me just as I am”
I don’t beg to differ and I’m no rebel without a cause. But need I wash my dirty linen in public and stress on the fact that I failed (humiliatingly so!) on a relationship (of five years) with a person who accepts me ‘just as I am’?
I was once the starry-eyed girl who dreamt of finding a man who accepts me ‘just as I am’. But after the relationship headed for a doom, I buried that girl on wounded knees. Burying her was the best decision I have made in my life.
Looking back, I never fully blamed the failure of our relationship on him because the ‘just as I am’ me wasn't someone you would want to spend the rest of your life with. The ‘just as I am’ me was an 'unnegotiably' proud individual inflicted with the disease of self-righteousness. Even I would never settle for the ‘just as I am’ me. ‘Just as I am’ refuses to compromise, refuses to budge or walk in the other person’s shoes. ‘Just as I am’ refuses to grow up or change for the better because she believes that she is already the best just as she is. Pride never allows progress with ‘just as I am’. 'Just as I am' is an island. She's not fit for a relationship.
It takes a fatal heartbreak and hitting rockbottom to make me realize that I never want to spent the rest of my life with someone who accepts me ‘just as I am’. Because ‘just as I am’ me has never been matured enough, responsible enough and selfless enough to be a half of a whole.
I told myself, if I ever fall in love again, I would fall for someone who inspires the ‘best I can be’; someone who will work with me to grow into a better, responsible and a more matured person.
I don’t remember falling ‘head over heels’ in love with my husband. In fact, I don’t remember ‘falling’ ever. I do remember growing in love with him. In fact, we still are, every day. Each new day rises with a tiny new reason for me to love him.
My husband deserves my best. He doesn't deserve a stagnant person who’s hell bent on being accepted ‘just as she is’. My husband deserves a selfless wife whose attitude and world is not limited to her ‘queendom’.
I am not perfect ‘just as i am’. I know I’ll never be; yet I can still work on changing myself for the better. ‘Best I can be’ accepts that change because she is selfless and matured and is strong enough to bend with the wind. I’d be ‘best i can be’ anyday.
‘Best I can be’ is selfless while ‘Just as I am’ is self centric.
‘Best I can be’ makes a better half while ‘Just as I am’ makes a bitter half.
So I turned to my colleagues and bluntly told them so. In my opinion, an ideal man is someone who inspires the ‘best I can be’ in any girl rather than someone who accepts the ‘just as I am’ girl.
They all look at me.
A second of eerie silence.
Then all of them started speaking at the same time.
“But it doesn’t always work that way”
“You really think so???”
“But you have always been the weird one with the weird outlook!!”
“Dang! I should’ve married you instead!”
I went back to my laptop. Smug. Nose in the air.
Who would you be or who would you choose?