“I can see myself marrying you someday.” That is what my high school boyfriend said to me my sophomore year. It is what I wanted to hear, right? We had been in a committed, serious, christian relationship and I had never wanted anything casual. This should be the pinnacle. I was in love, right? The only natural step is to tell someone that you can see yourself marrying them. But why, days later, did I feel confused and uneasy?
Years later and a couple boyfriends too, I am finally starting to see. Starting to see that not every woman’s story has to be the same. All I had ever known was serious high school relationships, marriage, and motherhood. They were the stepping stones laid in front of me. Through various relationships and experiences, I began to venture out. Past the stepping stones into the various valleys and hills that led me somewhere else. A somewhere else whose destination I am still unsure of. But a path that offers more greenery for me.
I had lived in a world that for some is extremely fulfilling but for me, it was claustrophobic. I’ve always been a dreamer, and while motherhood and marriage may very well be in the cards for me, I wanted to venture out further. It has led towards passions I never knew I had and discoveries of happiness I never thought I’d experience.
One of the most critical changes in my life has been my point of view–something that I’m sure has come with age but also with a more open mind. I began to realize how I valued the patriarchy in my life and encouraged it. I then realized how it was hindering my own growth as a woman. I realized that having children was something I felt I had to do in order to be a true woman and then I realized that wasn’t true for me at all. I realized that my story had not already been written for me—that I get to pick up the pen every single day, even if at times, I don’t control the page turning.
Ultimately. I am learning everyday that every woman has her own story to write. The stories are not meant to be the same. They are meant to be written, first and foremost.