Very often, when people ask me about my life plan, they feel the outrageous need to complete the milestones I describe with this one specific note: “And at some point you also want to get married and have children, and be a happy mom right?” Well, do I want that? Yes. Do I think of it as one of my aspirations? Not really.
The goals in my life that I have set for myself, f.ex. writing one or two books, becoming a lawyer, starting an educational company are the ones that are mainly up to me. All it takes for me to achieve those goals is to work hard to complete the tiny steps that lead to the finish. Partly, I have already started each of them: I’m starting my law studies in October, I try to beat my #1 enemy – writer’s block, and I write down the ideas for business plan that pop up in my mind. The difference between those goals and family goals is that the first one can be actually planned, the other – not really.
What do you mean I cannot plan a family?
Yes, you indeed can plan a VISION of a family that you want to have someday in the future. When asked about your life plan, you indeed have the full right to say: “On the age of 26 I’m going to get married to my boyfriend of 2 years and at the age of 27 I will be delivering a son to this world. Since I’m planning to have two children, at the age of 29 I will be giving birth to a daughter and then, at the age of 30 – resuming my career.” I heard many girls my age say it, but the point is – the chances that it will all actually go as planned can be compared to the chances of winning a lottery. You can play to win, but if it will be a win is up to fate. Let’s make this comparison a bit more precise.
You can play: you go to college, and when you hit 24 you decide to meet a boy who might be the candidate to the marriage you’ve planned for your 26th birthday. You graduate, you get your diploma and a year before the magical day of hitting your 26th year on this Planet, you talk to your boyfriend about marriage so often that he gets blue on his face. You’re basically forcing the thought of inevitable engagement into his head until he decides to propose. With as much joy as you can possibly get out of forced engagement you flatter yourself that you are getting married at the age of 26. After the wedding day, you and your brand new husband start trying for the precisely planned children. What a beautiful family growing there.
Is this scenario really a win?
There are not many things I am certain of in my life, but if I were to point out one of those it would be that each relationship: no matter if friendship, romantic or among family, should be built on trust. We like to say that we love friends, our partner, our siblings, mom, etc. The point is to make sure we love the actual them, not the illusion of them. Also to make them love you, not the illusion of you. This is what we call unconditional love. Unconditional love is made of trust and trust is made of unconditional love. Just like every substance is built of atoms, trust is built of tiny acts of honesty.
It doesn’t only mean you’re supposed to always tell the truth to the person you’re building the relationship with. It also means you should stay honest with yourself. Not telling the truth to yourself, again, usually leads to telling lies to the person you “love”.
Let’s name a girl X. X has been lectured over a thousand times through her life that she is supposed to get a husband and children when she’s grown up. X is a good girl so she just accepted it and started to treat marriage as the main goal in her life. As X hit 20 she met a man. He seemed to be enchanted by her and so did she by him. Everything seemed to go well, after some time they started living together. That was when X started noticing some things that didn’t actually suit her in her love’s character. Instead of talking this out with him and asking if he had noticed any flaws in herself as well, she just decided to endure them. Sometime later, he proposed, and although the number of flaws has been bothering her more and more to the point where she was getting the thoughts of not loving him anymore, she accepts his proposal. Because marriage is what’s correct. Because there is no time to wait anymore. So she endures the feeling fading away again, she lies to herself that this is what always happens with long-lasting love. They get married, they have children. Sounds like a happy ending, right? X is so lucky, she found her true love, she found a husband and she’s a mom. And she’s been lying to herself, to her family, and to her husband that she actually is happy. Everything’s fine and nobody is happy.
One day she decides to tell someone. “I’m not happy” she says. In response she gets: “You have a husband and children. You should be grateful”. Who cares that they don’t love each other, the man escapes to work and has an affair and she is here regretting her life choices.
Never settle for less
Relationships are the things in our life that touch our emotional sphere the most. To live well with other people, to feel appreciated and loved, we are able to sacrifice a lot. They can make us the happiest ever as well as drive us absolutely insane. Basically, relationships are no joke. That’s why, in my opinion, relationships are where you should aim for perfection. Genuine, actual perfection. Not the politically correct illusion of it.
You don’t have to marry the ones you don’t love. You don’t have to raise children with people who don’t feel right. There’s nothing wrong in seeking a perfect match. You don’t have to date anyone just because it feels embarrassing not to date. Honestly, I’d feel way more embarrassed of dating someone I don’t actually want. Remember – you’re not only fooling yourself, but you’re also fooling the person you’re dating and by settling for what doesn’t feel right you’re taking away the chance for a satisfying, healthy relationship for both of you.
This is why I don’t aspire to marriage
Plato said that the human used to have four legs, four arms and two heads. Then the gods split him in half and sent the other half of his soul somewhere around the world. Although I’m not a fan of Plato, I truly believe in sisterhood of souls. I won’t settle until I find my second head, my third and fourth arm and leg. Until then, I will live an honest, satisfying life of realising the goals that I can, myself, fully, influence. In other words – being happy is pretty good for my health.
ICON: MOONASSI – “Be(a)cause of you” à http://www.moonassi.com/beacause-of-you/