When I was younger, I use to imagine how I would be when I got older, marriage, children and a big house in the countryside always popped into my mind. I imagined myself with at least two children by the age of twenty-six and a doting husband who would stand for everything I value in a man.
Now aged twenty-four, I am more realistic in my fantasy image, not expecting everything to be perfect because nothing ever is. With my life experience so far, I am open to the idea that I may start settling down at the age of thirty and my doting husband may just be a long-term partner.
It is easy to imagine what you think would make you happy but when it comes closer to reality, it is further from what you ever expected. I do not think marriage and children alone would ever quench my thirst for life, or give me a sense of fulfilment. I think for many women, living without marriage and children are not the worse case scenario. As I have got older my thirst for personal achievement and growth has expanded, as well as my curiosity for travelling around the world. In the words of Madonna Ciccone, “I’m tough, I’m ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay”.
Some may say my biological clock is ticking away, my chance to start a family is slowly getting further away from my grip but just because I am female does not mean playing Little House on the Prairie is the only thing that is going to satisfy me!
I could take the path that was designed for me, make do with the first guy who shows me attention and start making babies! Although to me that idea sounds boring! I am sure I can live without marriage, as I have been for the past twenty-four years but what I cannot live without is my personal growth. When I eventually consider children, I want it to be for the right reasons and with the right person. Not for the reason that my older peers or family members keep saying, “still single?”, or, “you know, at your age I had three children already”.
I am not saying I would be happy playing the lonely old woman with a dozen cats, who sings crazy songs! But at the same time I do not want to run before I can walk. Marriage and children is a big step for any woman, and to simply dive into it because it is what others expect would be completely wrong. I may not imagine that house in the countryside anymore, but I still imagine myself in a secure relationship and having gained individual success, without relying on a man.
Living without marriage for me is not scary, and I believe I can do without it. I may one day choose to marry but until then I would be satisfied with a stable relationship. Children may follow but at this point in my life I am more keen to see what else life has to offer me! To me that does not seem like such a bad idea as…
“Some of us are becoming the men we wanted to marry”- Gloria Steinem.
(image courtesy of timesunion.com)