A very close friend has completed her degree last year.

It took her 10 years to complete a 5 year degree. No, she didn’t fail any subjects. She had 4 kids in that 10 years and took a time off after each delivery. Nothing stopped her from achieving what she really wanted in her life, even if it meant that each time when she went back to Uni, she had new set of classmates, she was considerably older and poorer than all her classmates and  gave the final year exams while having 4 kids under 7 yrs of age.

It is woman like her that makes me want to celebrate international women’s day. Most define success as reaching the pinnacle in their career. I read somewhere that Fb has a woman at the helm and that she leaves work every day at 5 pm, surely it is woman like her that shows to the world that  the women can be successful and can balance work and career.

My friend only works 2 days a week. She can work full time and make tons of money. Instead the rest of the week she is at home with her youngest child. Sometimes I stop by her place for tea after work and there will always be something freshly baked ! Her house is a mess with toys, clothes and books strewn every where. She drives an old Holden that breaks down regularly. The most unusual part of her home is none of the kids have the house key, they get inside through the window when mom isn’t home.

I know I didn’t say what degree my friend got. She is a doctor.

As a woman, you can do everything a man can do and often better. But don’t forget that you have a choice as to what you want to do with your life.Don’t just define success by thinking that working full time and earning a lot of money is the only way success can be defined. Success can also be completing medicine after having 4 kids and enjoying being a mother and a doctor!

8 thoughts on “Celebrating

  1. Very true. I agree whole heartedly.

    There are times when I feel really guilty about what all my son misses because I am not at home. He doesn’t get to come home after school (his school is half day) – he goes to the day care. Whereas all his friends from the apartment building come home directly. His biggest dream is to be “parent pickup” and “parent drop” – that is what the teachers call children picked up/dropped by parents. If the school declares a holiday, he has to go to the day care. He spends his vacations in the day care, …

    I compensate by buying him a lot of toys. I hope he feels better. I know it is total nonsense. It is just a way to try to feel less guilty.

    I know I can’t stay at home full time. Besides the money part, I would go mad from not talking to people.

    I wish I could work part time. People in India just haven’t heard about it! I can’t find such openings any where…

    • Unlimittedrandomthoughts: Last time when my youngest was having a solo violin concert, I had a very important meeting and could only make it to the concert venue after her performance was over. I lied to her, saying I was in the hall all along and loved her performance and even waved, but she couldn’t see me from the stage because this really tall dude was sitting right in front of me. I know how it feels..the guilt..

  2. Sheryl Sandberg- the fb woman. She was recently at our company launching her new book and her LeanIn organization.

    Kudos to your friend. Sheer determination, hard work and brains. I am sure the world can benefit with one more doctor in it.. congrats! to your friend.

    • MS: A lot of Indian women that I meet often talk about their studies, how they regret not studying further. The usual excuse of not studying now are “age, kids, finance”
      My friend is 42, she joined the medical school at the age of 30, at the rate in which she pays back her student loan, it will take her another 15 years to be debt free.
      I did my final MBBS when I was 21 and I remember how tough it was and imagine doing that with 4 kids and the youngest is 14 months old and no family support.
      I do wish I could reach out to all those women who have a chance to study but are afraid because the teacher is younger than them..that you are never too old to go back to uni and study.

      • I know this malayali lady in NY who got married at 16, had one kid, and stayed home. Many year later, he marriage soured, he husband left and the kid went to college became a lawyer. the lady had told her daughter about her yearning to study, she took some classes initially, then went to school and got all her requirements, wrote MCATs and got into Med school. At the age of 60 she graduated and became a doctor. Still a practicing doctor!
        Another lady in Pune, stayed home for kids, went back to college when her youngest went, did her bachelors and master and then got phd – twice!!
        These women are the real deal- just like your friend.

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