Dear Young and Not Pressured:
I am responding to your letter from two weeks ago. I take issue with both your general message and with many of its specifics.
The general message you sent is to put your energy and focus into whatever intrigues you, i.e. your career, socialization, etc. And then when your time arrives, your bashert will fall from the Heavens and land at your doorstep. As someone who has successfully found her bashert, is very involved in shidduchim, and considerably older than you, I feel qualified to vehemently object to the aforementioned notion that many young people share. I will explain with a mashal (an example) of sorts.
When my favorite store advertises a big sale starting next Monday at 10 a.m., I am standing outside the store at 9:45 to make sure I’m one of the first shoppers. While many people wear my size, I’m not the only one looking for that size. So I arrive early, find myself a real metziah, and leave the store happy.
Conversely, those waking up at noon and rolling into the store at 3 p.m. are certainly exercising their right to shop at a convenient time for themselves. But they shouldn’t complain when there’s nothing left in their size because, as the saying goes, the early bird indeed catches the worm.
Now to the specifics you mentioned. I also have a career, including graduating summa cum laude from a prestigious masters program. When I completed my schooling, I was already married with two children. While it’s certainly easier to conclude your schooling without major responsibilities and obligations, it can certainly be done. Nobody expects every young, frum girl to follow the exact same timeline, nor is frum society as simpleminded as you portray.
Further, I just don’t believe that “people constantly tell me I am old and should get married soon.” While you may have encountered a few (at most) such blatantly rude people, the use of the word “constantly” seems to be rather extreme. This is particularly true, as the population seems to have more and more older singles – and a 21-year-old would hardly merit that sort of reaction.
I also want to address the notion that when you are ready, your bashert will arrive. You may pass up your bashert repeatedly while you study, travel, socialize, or do whatever else intrigues you. Heed my advice and grab life by the horns. Don’t sit around waiting for others to bring you your bashert – and thus your future.
Your concluding few sentences are indeed correct, however. Do not feel stressed. You should certainly enjoy your life, as you put in reasonable hishtadlus. And certainly have bitachon that your bashert will come at the right time, even if this has yet to happen. Hatzlachah.
Not so Young, and Hoping to Light a Fire
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