When I was younger, I had the biggest dreams about being married. I always thought I would be married very young (like too young) and have kids right away and be one of those young, cool moms with a funny yet tasteful bumper sticker on the back of my minivan. I had a plan and I was verrrrrrry excited about it. But… I didn’t really know why. I wasn’t in love. I didn’t even have a boyfriend. Actually, when I did fall in love and get a boyfriend, marriage was not on my agenda at all. Why? Because at the time, I was happy. I was secure. I wasn’t pining for a made up relationship that I didn’t have because I was in the exact relationship that I wanted. This isn’t me saying that people who get married are unhappy AT ALL. But… I think it’s a very valid truth for me to consider on my own personal, hectic, always changing journey with marriage… and perhaps anyone else who may possibly, slightly feel the same.
While I was growing out of my little girl fairytale world and growing up in rural (mostly) conservative Nebraska as a very independent, very free spirited girl who had a lot of opinions and thought most of them were right, I luckily had a cousin close in age who was going through a lot of this with me. We would have those deep “stay up all night analyzing everything” conversations about life and what we were all doing here. We would mock the closed mindedness. We would mock the societal norms. We would mock marriage. We would scoff at all the young women so excited to get married and have babies and throw their lives away and be slaves to their husbands. We would pity them. We would feel sorry that they could have possibly fallen into this “trap”.
Last weekend, I watched that same cousin get married.
It was beautiful; touching, honest, and unique. There was absolutely nothing normal about it. Had my cousin decided to settle? Decided to grow up? Decided to give in and do what everyone was expecting of her? Maybe a little…
NO, I’M KIDDING. ABSOLUTELY NOT. She decided to create her own idea of marriage. She didn’t let the societal pressure of needing a husband or the fear of being alone make her get married. And on the other side of that, after all this time of being a strong, thought provoking woman making her own way, she didn’t let the societal pressure of being an independent woman let her not get married. And to me, that was her strongest move yet.
I guess that’s what I’m talking about when I say I will never get married. It doesn’t mean I may never have a husband or wear a white dress or spend the rest of my life with only one other person. And maybe it does. What it does mean is that I will never give into this weird, unrealistic standard that we put on marriage. Like I like to preach, people are so unique. Expecting them all to have the same rules and ideology for their relationships is just… unjust.
So again, this is NOT an anti marriage article. If anything… it’s a pro marriage article. I’m talking about not being afraid to go out there and create your own definition of marriage. Maybe you want to be alone with your pets. Maybe you want to marry your high school sweetheart and move to the country and have 5 kids. Maybe you want to travel the world. Maybe you want to do nothing. Maybe you want to do it all. And maybe you want to change your mind about everything constantly. Don’t be afraid. You are not wrong. You are living your own life in your own space on your own time and you are just… figuring it out.
Or something like that.