When I was sixteen, as I was finishing high school and getting ready for university, I somewhat decided that I would either be a full-fledged career woman or a full-time mother. Excellence, I thought, had to come at a very high price. The notion of “AND” was inexistant in my very binary reality. A comfortable lifestyle meant an absent father working hard abroad. Academic achievement meant no fun. A good mother meant strict rules, no play. Good values meant rigid beliefs. I was stuck and I did not know it. I went on to work hard and achieve and by the age of twenty-two with a prestigious MBA in my pocket I launched myself into a career that I thought I wanted. When I finally made it into that top-tier bank I just wanted to climb up the ladder and kept on waiting for the “right time” to have children. Eventually Hani nudged me as he was getting close to his big four-O. And what I had decided at the age of sixteen then materialised: in nine months my very driven self shifted its focus from asset management to motherhood and parenting. Unconsciously and given that I couldn’t easily shake my “this OR that” view of the world, I neatly tucked myself away into the mother-wife role. The outcome is this: I have a kick-ass family that I adore and cherish and my sense of self is still fragile. No regrets, just facts. I haven’t practised being Dania in such a long time... My role as a mother and a wife has taken the forefront of most of my adult life and today, as I stand at the edge of a tremendous void, questions and possibilities filled with hopes and fears abound. Who am I going to become?
No more hashtags.