5 Things I Don't Tell My Parents Often Enough

5 Things I Don't Tell My Parents Often Enough

You've given me everything that I've ever needed, thank you.
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Maybe it's because I'm an only child that I have an incredible bond with my parents. Or maybe it's because of the way that I was raised. Whatever the reason might be, my parents will never understand how much I appreciate all the love and support that they have given me over the years, even on the days (or weeks) where I am moody and anything but lovable. Life is too short to leave words unspoken, so here are the things that I want them to know because I don't tell them enough.

1. Thank You For Supporting, Loving, and Giving Me Whatever I Needed

College isn't cheap, from tuition and books to rent payments and other little things, the costs continue to pile up. I know that you feel as though paying for me to get through college is your responsibility as a parent and something you have to do but it isn't. I could be like almost every other college student and struggle to make my rent payment, live off the college staple foods, and take out student loans. I'm thankful that you both have been willing and able to save me from three-square meals Ramen noodles and letting me focus on my school work rather than worry about money. I hope that one day all of the hard-work that I'm doing now will pay off so that I can repay you for all of the things that you've done for me.

2. You Make Adult-Life Look Easy

I've only been living on my own for a month now so I really haven't gotten the hang of it yet, but it is seriously hard. Between keeping the apartment clean, the cupboards stocked, the dishes washed, and cooking a meal every night while doing homework and trying to keep up with my current obsession on Netflix, I don't know how you do it. Maybe after some practice this will get easier, but I doubt it.

3. I Look Forward To Talking To You About My Day and Yours

I'm not home to see you each and everyday like I was before going away to college. This has been a huge adjustment to me and to you as well, but overall, leaving home was the best thing I could have done. We've talked about how I've become more confident in myself and independent which I'm not sure I could have gained had I stayed at home. I do enjoy the independence that I have while at school, but don't misunderstand, I still miss coming home each night, seeing you both, and hearing about you day or neighborhood gossip. It may sound crazy but seeing my phone light up with either of your names makes my day and I treasure those phone calls no matter how long they may be.

4. You've Raised Me Well

I never really saw what others did when they said, "Your just like your mother and/ or father" but now that I have had to start living on my own and taking care of myself, I can see bits and pieces of the two of you in the things that I do. I know that the person I am right now and will continue to become as I get older, will be a reflect of you both, so it is my hope that I make you proud.

5. Each Time That I Leave To Head Back to School, It Never Gets Easier

I bet you didn't know that each time I go to say goodbye, I get a lump in my throat and can feel the tears start to burn in the back of my eyes. It's kind of crazy because I know that I'll see you again soon, maybe in a few weeks or months but I still miss you both so much. I tell myself each time I leave that the next time it won't be as hard but I doubt that that will ever be true because I love you both so much.

There are so many people who aren't close to their parents or, worse yet, know them at all. It truly is a shame. I'm truly blessed to have wonderful parents who taught me the difference between right and wrong and gave me the chance to follow my dreams. Saying thank you will never be enough but, maybe, hearing the words that I don't say often enough will be a start.


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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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We Need To Stop Treating Arranged Marriages Like Business Deals

We need to stop treating marriages like business deals where the groom gets dowry in exchange for his willingness to marry and the bride gets a husband in exchange for dowry.

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When I was thirteen years old, I spent my summer break at my cousin sister's place. She spilled steaming hot tea all over her thigh leaving a huge burn scar. The first thing my aunt said to her was "What would your future husband think about that scar? You should have been more careful." My cousin was just fourteen.

Growing up, we are made to believe that marriage is the most important thing in a woman's life and is going to be her biggest achievement. I thought it was hideous how we were made to believe this and pressurized to get married in fear of what society would think until I realized just how hideous the process of an arranged marriage itself is.

According to an IPSOS survey conducted in 2013, 74% of Indian marriages are arranged. Being the youngest sibling and cousin, I watched a lot of my older family members and relatives getting arranged marriages. Having spent most of my life in India, I have witnessed no other marriages than arranged marriages. It is funny to me how people have a checklist of superficial expectations like stereotypical beauty standards and unrealistic salary expectations. From publishing ads like "In search of a slim, tall, fair, very beautiful, homely girl who knows how to cook and sew" in the newspaper, the process of finding a groom or bride through an arranged marriage couldn't be more misogynistic and sexist.

Surrounded by all this, I penned down a poem in hope that we would stop treating marriages like business deals where the groom gets dowry in exchange for his willingness to marry and the bride gets a husband in exchange for dowry.

I

The glass bangles on her wrist jingled as she placed a plate of laddoos in front of the guests,

She wondered if this was the family that would finally pass her parents' tests.

"Oh! She is as fair as milk" the boy's mother exclaimed,

Her cheeks flushed to the color of scarlet under her dupatta as trained.

"He is too short" to her mother, he didn't appeal,

The deal wasn't sealed.

II

When no suitable match was found, the search was still profound.

"Hush," the girl's mother whispered "Don't tell them about the burn on the leg of the bride"

"What man will marry her once he finds?"

Another man arrived, tall, fair, and handsome- he was perfect,

Except that huge mole on his cheek which left him imperfect.

"The mole doesn't complement his face" to her aunt, he didn't appeal,

The deal wasn't sealed.

III

Still no luck in finding a groom,

Her father placed a matrimonial ad.

"Searching for a suitable groom, engineer or doctor, 25, fair, slim, vegetarian, no disabilities" the ad read,

The ad was published in multiple newspapers so that she could finally be wed.

Another boy arrived, but this time the tables turned,

"What? She can't cook?" the boy's mother was left concerned

"Oh, what a shame" to his parents' she didn't appeal,

The deal wasn't sealed.

IV

When everything had been tried, a Jyotish was consulted,

Vastu remedies for delay in marriage he suggested.

"Fast for sixteen consecutive days, the kitchen shouldn't be in the southwest."

Yet another boy arrived, tall, fair, slim, no moles- he seemed the best,

With everything from their checklist of expectations checked, everyone seemed to be impressed.

"But his earnings are so less," her father was left depressed.

To nobody he appealed,

The deal still wasn't sealed.

V

The number of grooms decreased as her age increased,

The girl walked in with a plate of laddoos, but this time from the southeast.

"Oh my god, the bride can't cook," the boy's mother noticed,

Thankfully the burn on her leg went unnoticed.

Double the dowry was demanded,

Her father's savings made sure the groom's family didn't leave empty-handed,

The girl's mother approved the boy, so did her mother's mother,

And her uncle, his wife, and their daughter

Even to the distant relatives, he appealed,

The deal was finally sealed.

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