It has been 7 months! Almost on the way of finishing the Fellowship program. Recently, few things are juggling in my mind. What I am doing, where I am and what I will do? Sometimes I reach out to the end of this thinking, sometimes not. Sometimes I give pause to my thinking, have a glass of wine and again start thinking. Yesterday night, my thoughts found their destiny. And realizing, why I am so passionate about my professional life? why not I look in to my personal life and try to think, what I am learning from this Fellowship program.

I got married when I was 24. In my country, this is the age of getting married. One can cross maximum 26. But after that, this becomes the `sleepless nights’ consciousness of not only for parents, but also for relatives and community people. That is why, most of the Bangladeshi girls are born with the obsession of getting to be bride when they cross 20 years. In Bangladesh, everything is so set for us. There are no other room for girls. We start our life from parents house; finish school, college and then graduation (sometimes studying higher education or doing post graduation depend upon the in-laws decision); getting married, having kids and finish the life at in-laws house. This is the structure, what we have to follow. If anybody wants to break it, they got cursed from the society. I know number of girls, who were very courageous and wanted to break the rule. Finally, they got their reward-either had to leave the country or went back to God.

I am not out of this circle. Grew up in a very formatted way. Was never allowed to go outside alone, read in girls’ school and college all through, even mom use to take me to the University (guys, don’t laugh. This happened for the first semester only and after that I became independent) and finally got married, have kid. I was never much happy with this cycle and continuing my professional life despite lots of barriers. I was looking to go beyond that. I wanted to know how life goes outside my country, how is the society, how one achieve professional growth… I never knew one day I would get this Fellowship and my dream come true.

I can realize that life just begins at 24; life can never be structured, formal; life can’t be circled within home-school-in-laws; life is not for professional growth always; life never be stopped after 30 and start thinking of kids life…. I am not only observing American culture, but also getting touch of number of Fellows across the world. Its so amazing to know different language, culture, food, ideology!

This is not my first visit in US. I have been here for visit purpose, but may be the nature of this Fellowship changed my perspective, widen up my thoughts. Thanks Atlas Corps for picking me up from the small country of the world. I will no longer question me `where am I, what will I do?!’. Cause, I now know where to go, what to do.



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