Available Balance
When An Elegant Woman Looks Upon A Mirror At Herself

There have been times when I have looked upon a mirror. There I see my reflection, another me – daintily built, silent, with a bit of angst on my face, kempt the way this world needed from me, disciplined to follow the customs very closely, uncomplaining and humble to duties that were given, unquestioning and undoubting at the very core of my heart, raised as an elegant woman, and accustomed to listening and heeding. That’s what good breeding means. And a woman ought to be raised how she is supposed to be raised, so the name of her family would not go through defamation.
That’s how I was raised: to not let anything defamatory close to my family’s name, to not let people judge or condemn either me or my family for my actions, to not let the world be a miserable place as it is by doing something that holds contempt in the people’s eyes, all in all to not let anything, anything at all, no matter how tiny or huge, to become a reason to bring shame to my family’s name. And that’s how I was raised.
I was never a girl of my own will. But I was definitely a girl, or more clearly, a woman of my family’s will. It dictated what I should wear, read, write, learn, partake in, think, say, discuss, explore, imagine – no, imaginations had no place in a middle-class practical family – play and play with, and even eat or drink or taste. Ah! And my emotions were encompassed within it as well, so express.
I was not allowed to make decisions for myself. My family was supposed to do it on my behalf, and it was for my own good. They would never let their daughter suffer even a little, and evidently they would not let the family’s name suffer either. It was made through much pain that my family had to endure, so there was not even a little room for mistakes that would have defamed it. And that’s how I was raised.
I was a bird that was well fed and had a very beautiful cage made of gold, all to her own self. I was taken care of and fostered when I was in any kind of pain. No matter what, I was never let out of sight for some creature might try to harm me. There were people who were more than willing to come between me and the harm’s way, so no harm could have ever touched me. I was a bird in a cage of her own, well looked after and cared for.
I was the only daughter of my family, so the whole family reputation depended on me. I was raised an elegant woman, happily willing to perform every kind of duty. I was the bearer of my family’s name, the greatness of it, that was much talked after and envied about. Great many noble families sought my worthy hand for their sons until I was married in the noblest among them all. I am taking a far more complex role now, but that’s okay for it is expected of me. And that’s how I’m raised.

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