It was in 2007, with a beautiful small silver ring, that I said, “Yes, I will marry you.” I can honestly say I don’t remember the details of the day, but I was engaged for a time at the end of my 20’s. It’s such a strange memory, so disconnected from my current life, so much so that I oftentimes don’t even think about. It’s interesting, because for so many people the end relationship goal is marriage and family. Getting engaged is HUGE.
My son turns seven in a month. He’s the most beautiful, patience trying, all consuming love of my life. He is a product of the choices made. I’ve been in so many conversations where someone will say, “bet you wish you hadn’t ever met that guy”. And to that I say: I wouldn’t change a damn decision anywhere in my life. Regret is an emotion that wastes my time and energy. Now, I’ll never claim to be the most positive person in life, but I’m also not going to waste what little energy and time I have wishing I had made different decisions in life. What I do think about is how to learn from my past; I bought a house and hated it, now I know not to buy another house no matter how enticing. I got engaged when I don’t even believe in marriage to a man who made me crazy; I don’t enter into relationships lightly these days.
Life is a strange journey. Mine is divided by chapters, because I guess that’s how I think. The chapter when I was a freshman in college, the Kentucky adventure chapter, the single mom in Grand Haven chapter. Having a child gave me a new perspective on the short time we exist in this form, and also brought out the intense fear and obsession with mortality and non-existence. Sometimes I feel like a teenager in the throes of an existential dilemma. And that I think about it so much is horribly frustrating because there is not a damn thing any one of us is able to do about mortality.
I watched an interesting documentary this morning about being out in your community, and it featured many famous out people including Ellen DeGeneres and Neil Patrick Harris, but it also featured a teacher, a sheriff, a politician and a musician. They all talked about equality and marriage and the definition of family. It’s 2016, and the idea of a “traditional” family is great. But they are not the only kind of family. I love my family, albeit small. So many emotions and ties are integral in making a family, and I don’t like someone who has no clue about my life telling me how to define family. Fuck that! If I had listened to that drivel, I’d be married to someone and if we were still together, well, I’m sure we’d be mutually making one another miserable. A family should be based on love and respect, not gender and sex and traditional man + woman + marriage= baby.
Nearly ten years ago I was engaged. Today, I am a single mom with a full time job raising a six year old. I am proud of my life. I’m proud of my stability and independence. I’m proud of my child.
I’m excited for the next adventure. I don’t know what it is, but I’m excited.