i was going through some old writings tonight and i came across this one. after the week i've had, it seems like a very appropriate time to share, especially since some dear friends reached out to me today to say how much they like, appreciate and miss my sharing... and maybe that's part of the reason why we are all here now. i've tweaked it a little bit, but for the most part it's exactly how i wrote it on January 20, 2012.
I think some (to be honest I think it’s more than some) people let marriage define them. Like they won some contest in life if they get married and have a family. Congratulations! Here's your picket fence and 2.5 kids! But if you really think about it, it’s a completely illogical and far-fetched ideal.
In all the billions of people on earth, you expect me to believe that each person that gets married, finds “the one” person that is the ying to their yang? The odds are completely against us. There are billions of people in the world… how do people think they will find the “one” in the same city or the same profession or the same college? I’m no statistician, but I can tell you the odds of that happening should be as likely as you winning the Power Ball… twice… in the same month.
It’s not hard to see in the world with 55 hour marriages to 72 day marriages to Tiger Woods and Jesse James cheating on their wives with hundreds of woman; that not everyone getting married is finding “the one.” So why are they getting married? Yeah, I know… I don’t know either? But my guess is that they succumb to society’s outdated norms and “feel” that it is was they are “supposed” to do… and/or are afraid of being alone.
Do I think there is someone for everyone… yes. Do I think that everyone is lucky enough to meet that someone in their lifetime… no. Do I think I’m one of those unlucky ones… yes. But the thing is, I don’t feel unlucky… because I just don’t think it’s for me.
I have been single almost my entire adult life. So here I am after my latest failed romantic endeavor, back to square one, except a little wiser and a little more doubtful. Wiser because I finally have realized who I am… actually, I’ve known for a long time; longer than I would ever admit, but I suppose now, I’m finally ready to because let's face it. I'm not getting any younger.
The truth is I’m too independent and stuck in my ways to ever succumb and settle for less than the “fairy tale”* of a relationship that I have conjured up in my head all of these years. I have standards and expectations… and I’d rather be alone than settle for anything less than I deserve or desire. I’d rather spend that time with my friends, my family and living every experience life gives me and being happy just being me.
*please note my version of a fairy tale is not your average fairy tale - i can open my own doors, carry my own groceries and fix my own stuff and if you show up to my house wearing a shiny suit of armor on a horse, i'm going to call the police.*
So I am doubtful about being in love and getting married, in this lifetime anyways... and I’m ok with that. This is a notion I'm completely comfortable with but not too many people can accept; like an old, dear friend of mine (who is not my friend anymore, that’s completely related to this topic, but for another time) and I once argued over.
She is married and as I’ve learned today and what inspired this train of thought, she is with child. She and I had (and I’m 100% sure, still have) completely different views on love and marriage. She is one of the many people in this world that lets marriage define oneself. And I guess I shouldn’t judge her and the others that need marriage to feel happy and complete… as I hope they don’t judge me for being a strong independent woman, which makes me happy and complete.
The story is we were sitting on her sister’s porch before one of her bachelorette parties or bridal showers, smoking cigars and drinking wine like we always used to do… and we started talking about this very subject and told her exactly what I just told you. I can’t see your face as you've been reading this, but she was, let's just say, less than accepting to what I had to say. She swore up and down that I was lying to myself and wanted to me to confess that I did want to be married and that I did want kids because obviously, that was so important to her life’s worth, so it had to be everyone else's too. For the record, I'm not lying to myself, it's just hard for society to accept that marriage is not everyone's dream.
The best analogy I can give for this situation is something my high school on again/off again boyfriend for 10 plus years once told me and perhaps one of the best thing he ever said to me…. wish in one hand and shit in the other and see which one fills up the fastest. Of course at the time he said this to me, I wasn’t as rational and wise as I am now but in hindsight, it was some pretty good advice. You can wish all you want, but that doesn't mean shit. Jeez, I hope he’s not reading this. I will never admit he was right on anything even though I know he was... on somethings. I mean, I was totally right on most everything.
Do I want to have a companion to love and who loves me back…yes. Love is one of the best feelings in the world…. notice I didn’t say the best. But do I think it’s going to happen to me… no and I don’t think that makes me a spinster, although I do often humorously refer to myself as one. Hey, people like to pigeon hole you into categories and stereotypes, so they know how to treat you. So I suppose for all intents and purposes, yes… I am a spinster. Thank you OS Bridgett Jones. (Original Spinster)
But I have the most awesome friends, a close knit loving family, a great job, a super cute apartment and overall a great life. I’ve been lucky enough to travel to some amazing places in the States and in the World and meet some amazing people… and I would not change one single thing that has happened or not happened to me in my almost 33 years of life. It’s all made me who I am and frankly, I’m a pretty cool chick for being such a dork.
Do I get lonely? Sure, doesn’t everyone once in awhile? Spinsters are humans too. If you prick us, we will bleed... only after a very dramatic "you don't know how it feels!" But I could be in a room filled with people and I’d still feel lonely. It’s not who you surround yourself with, its how you feel surrounded by others. And honestly, crowds make me nervous. People I don’t know make me nervous. I absolutely cringe at small talk. It’s not until you are around me for a long time, does my shell crack and you see my nutty, gooey center. Go ahead, ask my friends... they are nut crackers.
I guess my point in all this, is that I’m not going to let the idea of marriage or being indefinitely single define who I am… and I don’t think anyone should. I don’t think people get to know themselves as a person before they are already trying to be someone else, like a wife/husband or a mother/father. You don’t know who you are until you is all you have and the only thing that defines who you are… is you.
I’m well into a bottle of wine sitting on the sofa with my stretchy pants on. I’m about to watch a sappy romantic chick flick from Netflix and probably cook some rich, cheesy, garlicky food… and you know why I’m doing this? Because it’s Friday night, I’m single… and most of all… because I can.
even though my life has changed in the 2 years since i wrote this, my views remain the same ...but i'm not a bottle deep while writing this. mainly because it's just Thursday and i've already been hungover once this week at work and i'd rather finish the week on a productive note. seriously. my life has changed... swear! girl scouts honor.
“It was in the depths of winter, I found in me, an invincible summer.”
disclaimer: i don't hate marriage, i just don't understand it.