It was a marriage I had been pushed into but decided to accept because I didn’t want to disappoint everyone around me. A divorce shattered my reputation and sent shockwaves across my whole family.
My family and I immigrated to the United States from Pakistan. Many people still adhere to the traditions and ideals instilled centuries ago, so it was emotionally draining for me to feel like I wasn’t living up to them.
But it wasn’t marriage that I was fantasizing about. Instead, I had fantasies of meeting the man of my dreams, going to college, and exploring the globe. As I neared the end of high school, I couldn’t stop thinking about what I wanted to study in college and what sort of job I wanted to pursue.
Before I offered myself to someone else, I wanted to learn more about myself. After graduation, I intended to travel and work while learning how to make better choices for the rest of my life. I had just recently turned 19, and I still felt like I was finding out who I was and what I wanted. I began to understand that now was the ideal moment to learn more about myself.
However, I was unable to do so. I had to make decisions that I didn’t want to make.
After my planned marriage and subsequent divorce just a few months later, I was devastated. My family believed they had made the greatest decision for my future. It did not, however, work out. But I discovered that even our most difficult and painful events in life may take us to beautiful places we would not have imagined.
It’s difficult to see a parent go through a difficult moment because of you. I was in agony watching my parents cry for me and trying to keep my feelings hidden so no one could notice my anguish. I wanted to remain hidden from my extended family and close friends. Being divorced felt humiliating.
To reach the light at the end of the tunnel, I had to battle my emotions and the conversation in my head. However, where would I obtain that light? I couldn’t express my grief to my mother or father, who had always been close to me, since they were also in pain. They felt guilty about the choice they’d made for me. My siblings would have no idea how I felt. What would I do if I needed to repair my heart?
I came from a non-drinking and non-smoking household. That’s how I was brought up. I wanted to be numb, and I was tempted to drink to feel better and get rid of the agony in my heart. But, for the sake of my parents, I decided not to.
I determined to alter my life after years of sadness and feelings of unworthiness. I took control of the situation. Something in me eventually broke, and I told myself, “No more.”
I decided to go running one day, putting aside my typical self-destructive ideas.
I started running every day after that.
Before I used to ponder about my current life and what the future held while jogging. I used to worry about my future until I realized I was spending too much time thinking about my past and couldn’t live there anymore. Moving ahead on the pavement helped me realize that I would have to make some difficult decisions in order to change my life. I was sick of feeling sorry for myself and experiencing emotional and mental weakness.
I wanted to grow into a strong, brave person who lived a joyful, healthy life.
Instead of punishing myself, I began to take care of my body and treat myself with love.
We often refuse to forgive ourselves for our mistakes, and this alters who we are. Our bodies are destroyed, and our souls suffer as a result. This, however, does not have to be the case.
Running gave me the physical and emotional skills I needed to pull myself out of depression, and I learnt to love and trust myself completely.
It seemed as though something in my heart had changed. The focus and self-control required to run every day, even when I didn’t want to, began to give me a new sense of purpose and perspective. Running enabled me to concentrate on what was always essential in my life rather than on what had happened before.
After a while of this pattern, I decided to leave my parents’ home and go to a new city to start again. I wanted to learn more about myself, and in order to do so, I needed to spend some time alone. Then I had to reconsider who I was and what I want. I continued to run after relocating to a new city, and my mind and body felt better and better. I was in a good mood and full of energy and having a good time with food, friends, and life in general.
My parents saw the change in me when I visited them often. I was content, and my self-assurance was growing rapidly.
Running was very beneficial to my health. My faith and confidence in the creator were the most important factors in my recovery, but running and other healthy lifestyle choices were the game-changer. So I questioned myself, what was it about running in particular that had helped me overcome sadness. I feel better about myself, and see the light at the end of the tunnel?
I could feel the endorphins melting away the stress chemicals in my body, in addition to developing muscle and helping me maintain a healthy weight. However, for me, the most compelling aspect of running was how it taught me to deal with it . Furthermore, enhancing my attitude and concentration in life. It was something I could do completely on my own, which helped me gain confidence and independence. Running on a daily basis improved my resiliency. I even began setting short- and long-term objectives, which helped me stay motivated in all aspects of my life.
For me, the past several years have been transformational. My family gladly welcomed my marriage to an American since he and I have similar values despite our diverse origins. By choosing the finest decision for my future, I created my own destiny.
Not only am I living my life the way I’ve always imagined it, but it’s just getting better. I get to teach people and assist them in making better, healthier life choices. In addition, I am a joyful person who travels the globe. I may look back and be thankful that I persisted in pushing through my temptations.
You, too, can make a difference in your life. Starting now, not tomorrow.