When I Grow Up I Want To Be Married

I vividly remember one day standing in the shower – because you somehow transform into a philosopher the minute you enter the shower – and panning out exactly how I want my life to be. I had created a mental to-do list for myself – everything I wanted to achieve and alongside each milestone was the age at which it had to be achieved.

Lets rewind back to the year 2007 , the first iPhone had just been released, Shrek The Third had just hit theaters and a sweet sixteen year old Anna was singing along to Nelly Furtado and 50 Cent (because who doesn’t love a promiscuous maneater in a candy shop?). This is the year she decided that she would be the director of her own life. She told herself that she wanted to have a boyfriend by the time she was 19, married between her 23rd and 24th birthday and a have child the following year.

Do you see anything wrong with this picture?

Ideologies on what success is for a woman was embedded in me long before I even knew the definition of the word. All the items on my checklist were not in my control – achievements that I had no control over. My goal in life was to get married. It wasn’t to get married to a certain type of human – a kind, sensitive humble man perhaps? Nope, it was to get married, period.

I won’t lie and say I have never thought about my wedding day, like most girls who grew up alongside me, I envision the day to be a certain way. However, I am not someone who has kept a “bride box” containing magazine cuttings of bridal gowns, rings, venues and bouquet arrangements. In fact, I was a diligent and hard working student at the girls’ high school I attended – one who wasn’t concerned with dating boys any time soon. So, you can imagine, I was a little shocked when I came to realize that the to-do list I had created for myself when I was 16 was based on the role of a woman in the last century.

I think it is imperative for us to recognize how close-minded we once were or still are and take a step towards improving this. Today, being 23, and being nowhere close to a married life with children. I can (safely) say that I have failed to tick off an item on my to-do list. I couldn’t think of anything more hindering than having children in my life right now, I have so much to see in this world, so much of my career left to explore, I can’t commit to a city let alone my own family – I would be a terrible parent!

And, its important, its important for me to recognize the silly expectations I had placed on myself. It is even more important for me to learn from it and to ensure that the generation ahead of me won’t have just “marriage” on their to-do list. When I grow up I want to be a happy and ambitious being. What about you?


5 responses to “When I Grow Up I Want To Be Married

  1. Society expects women to settle down and have families, my own grandfather asked me (2 years ago when I was living in New Zealand but visiting the UK for my younger brother’s new baby’s christening) “so when are you going to settle down?” Fairly sure he’d never have asked that if I were male. If I’d followed my own plan from about the same time as you made yours I’d be married with at least one kid (at the time I did have a prospective husband, we’d been together 5 years so it wasn’t an unobtainable goal) by now I’d have been a divorced single mother who hadn’t travelled, seen the world and made some of the amazing friends I’ve made. Would I have been happy? Who’s to say? But I cartainly am now! It’s our responsibility to teach women that they can do whatever they want with their lives and, if they don’t want to, they don’t have to get married at 24. It’s also our responsibility to teach men that women are their equals, they are allowed to want a career, to travel and get married and have a family, all at whatever age they want.

  2. I completely agree. Its hard for us to speak up to people – especially those older than us- and explain our life choices (and sometimes why should we have to?). A lot of times they dont understand but a few are open to listening and understanding that theyre conditioned to this way of thinking. Its called psychic determinism where your upbringing or childhood experiences lay out your personal tendencies.
    I admire you and the path less travelled (with lots of travel) that you have took. Women now have the choice in what they want to pursue but it is not without judgement. I completely agree with you that we need to eradicate the stigma associated with a career woman. A woman can choose whatever path she wishes to just as any man can 🙂 I still envision myself having children and being married but I dont see it as the only goal in life. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Fiona – much appreciated and thought provoking!

  3. Well thought out and well written! I’m really impressed with your thinking despite your young age ^^. I also planned my life like yours when I was your age, and honestly I’m happy to say, thank goodness I didn’t follow through. As of this moment, I’m on my sabbatical and fulfilling my dreams and checking off my bucket list one item at a time. 🙂 Before I left quite a few people thought I was crazy, going away to travel for the whole year, instead of focusing on finding Mr. Right and having kids. Well, you know what? I’m so happy right now, savouring and soaking up every single moment I have while fulfilling my dreams. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts and wishing you all the best as you continue to be the happy and ambitious person you wanna be!! XO

    • Thank you for stopping by and thinking of me, as always. I’m so glad that your life has turned out exactly how it should – you being happy. I look up to your nature and sense of adventure and taking a sabbatical. I would love nothing more to drop everything and tick off my bucket list – and maybe I will! Thank you once again 🙂

      • It’s always fun stopping by to see what you’re up to! 🙂 Thank you for being happy for me and your lovely compliment. 🙂 I think you have that sense of adventure too from what I’ve been reading from you blog the past 2 years, and I know you’ll someday and somehow you’ll do the same! XO, Violet

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