Happy New Year everyone! We made it! Hope everyone did something at least semi interesting as the clock struck midnight. I actually did get to finish up a few of my goals in the nick of time last week, so I'm glad for that. Resolutions really are quite stressful. Oddly enough, I didn't really make any for this year (as of yet at least). Nothing is really striking me as necessary. Of course, I have things I want to improve here and there (be healthy, be nicer to people, be financially stable, etc.), but I don't want to deal with the pressure of it technically being a "resolution" per say. But who knows, maybe something important will move me to make one. Anywho, of all the resolutions I've made in the past...and everyone makes every year... and people will continue to make in the future... I wonder if they are merely things that have been "normalized" by societal standards, or if they are things we truly desire?
I only ever told this to a handful of people, but about 2 years ago, one of my secret resolutions was to have a baby. I know right?? I'm not sure what came over me! Perhaps the simple fact that a LOT of my friends who I went to school with and some of the friends I've made while living here in NYC, were all having munchkins! Munchkin' freakin' land. I felt as though there was this maternity club I wasn't a part of. In addition to that, a few of my friends were also getting married left and right (not as much as there were people getting pregnant, but a good amount). The holidays are a major time of year for pregnancy/ engagemnt announcments. Along with a few other typical goals (getting a great job, getting a great house, become a millionaire, etc.), it just seems as though there are certain things in life everyone checks off of a list to ultimately achieve a perfect life. But what is a perfect life anyway? If you falter from these certain goals, are you not normal? I personally am at an age where I am expected to have all of these things. I don't have any! It's a bit confusing at times. Should I too aspire to achieve these things?
As a kid, I suppose I dreamed of what my wedding would be like. I actually have always wanted to get married on New Year's Eve just before midnight (as the 10-second countdown began, the officiator would say the "I now pronounce you blah blah blah", and I'd be married at the exact moment of the new year...corny, I know). I went as far as planning out songs and accompanying choreography as well. It was a whole production. I looked at it as more of a broadway show I suppose. Most girls are taught to aspire to grow up, get married, have about 2.5 kids, get a good job, and buy a house. Perhaps in that order, perhaps not. All I wanna know is, who made this the norm? In my experience, the older a woman is, the less of these feats she has accomplished, the less successful she is. Not sure if this is the same way for men. Sometimes in a movie or tv show I'm watching, the women are so gosh darn marriage/ baby crazed it stresses ME out. It just seems like a bit of a mood killer to a relationship sometimes. And yes, some may want just that... to bring a life into this world that they can love and nurture to grow up and be amazing human beings contributing to a better society. To be married to the person they love unconditionally and intertwine lives for all etrnity. To be financially stable in a secure job with lots of nest egg saved away for the future. Great for them! But what about those who don't? What about those who are content with a minimalistic lifestyle of whimsy? What if a woman never wanted to have kids? Would she still be accepted amoung her other friends who are mothers? What about those who admit to themselves that they can't be fully committed their entire life to one person (forever is a LONG time)? What about those who enjoy being single? Is being single so wrong that everyone must feel sorry for someone strong enough to be independent?
These days, the idea of "normal" has been shaken up quite a bit if I do say so myself. In every aspect of life! Especially living on the east coast (middle America still has a few more years/decades), I've seen so many different ways of living. It's important for me to not compare the way I'm living my life with other ideals for the way a perfect life should be lived. There is more than one right way to do something I believe. 2 + 2=4, but so does 3+1! And 2 x 2...and 8/2...and 10 - 6... so many right answers! Some people just get so caught up with what is "the right way" to do something, that they forget there are others. We are all so different. One thing that works fine for one of us, may be absolutely terrible for another. We should really try to be more open and understanding to more lifestyle options.
This is all not to say that I will never get married or have a kid, who knows! But I don't really want to be held to the constraints of what is normal for a woman of my demographic. If things happen, they happen, but it won't be my sole mission. I'm never gonna threaten to leave someone I'm happy with because they won't put a ring on it. I'm not gonna try to get a really high paying career or fancy job title just so I can brag whenever I meet new people. I don't really NEED to be super well off. I like the challenges of finding new adventures to make money from all the time. I actually don't even think I want a house. I like living in an apartment building (I'd definitely take a nice multi-floor brownstone though)! I am truly happy for all of my friends who have tailored their own lives to just the way they like it. I think it's great for them, and they really do have some of the cutest kids ever! If you find yourself not 100 percent content however, just know that "normal" can be whatever you would like it to be. I support you even if no one else does! I hope in turn, others will also be supported, with just as much enthusiasum, in their wayward hippie life.
P.s. Even in the actual game of LIFE, there are so many nudges towards the idea of what a life should entail; I think you HAVE to get married! At least they let you pick between starting college or starting a career I suppose...
P.p.s. My childhood wedding fantasy was actually a musical. The person I was getting married to was going to have to learn some serious choreography to the song "Wifey" by Next.
P.p.p.s. Hmmm, I wonder if some people just get married and have kids for all the parties involved. Think about it! Bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, wedding, reception, not to mention all the bridesmaids stuff in between, baby showers, sounds like a blast!