Do y’all remember that line from The Color Purple?
As a woman, being married is a big thing. I mean, it shouldn’t be a big thing but it is. One of my JHU students cried in class the other day when she told us that she is afraid of being married because it means she will lose her identity as a woman. She will no longer just be ____ (insert name) but instead she will be ____’s (insert another name) wife.
In that moment, I had to hold back my own tears because I knew exactly what she meant and what she was feeling…because I’ve felt it too. I mean, I created a whole name for myself, a whole life that I love and am proud of, a whole…a whole LaNail…so yeah, I get it. Will people really know and value me if I am reduced to _____’s wife. I mean, I’m so much more than that.
And, on the flip side, the moment that Maegan proposed to me, it was a whole thing. I mean, I didn’t get the chance to do engagement photos and such, but when she proposed, it was right before the proposal party that she planned for later that night. Cute, right? I know, she’s off the market now so back up. HA! Just kidding.
But seriously, in that moment, I felt loved…and seen…and valued…and chosen. And, honestly, confused too. Ok, maybe I wasn’t confused at that moment but later on when I started to think…will I still be LaNail or will I be Maegan’s wife (Let me pause here and insert that I know, love, and value the role of marriage. I understand it from a love and intimate perspective, from a “safe haven” and attachment perspective, and from a business and shared finances perspective too. And, that’s not what this particular blog is about…but I get it and value it…just wanted to let you know. Ok, back to the regularly scheduled program…😊).
I’m bringing this up now because it’s February. The month of love, where we see baby cupids floating around with arrows, candied hearts in cute little boxes, ads for “the perfect date night”, and the expectation that one will be partnered on February 14th...and maybe even engaged by February 15th *cue in “All the single ladies, put your hand up” (Shout-out to Queen Bey- My Virgo sister).
Ok… but here’s the thing. There are a few of us…maybe more than a few, who are afraid of marriage. Better yet, who are afraid of what it means to be married. Better, better yet, who are afraid of who we will become in a marriage and our marriage. And it’s a real thing so don’t play with it. And, it’s not just for women who grew up in single parent households (save that lame a$$ excuse for someone else), or those who watched their parents’ marriage dissolve (honestly, this was prob the best move for several households - divorce ain’t all that bad, if it actually saves people, physically, emotionally, and spiritually), or if they just don’t want to be like the other married couples they see around them. And get this, that fear is real and valid and should be respected.
And, it's ok.
And, I’d venture to say it's perfectly normal to wonder who you will be, as your life changes. And it’s perfectly normal to have anticipatory grief under the consideration of, “how will I change?”. And, it's ok to not have all the answers right now…and to dread any day near February 14th because it reminds you to ask yourself questions that you have been avoiding. It’s all good. I promise it is.
So, as you read this blog and carry on through this month, hear me say: It’s ok if you are not partnered on Feb 13th, if you are not out on a “perfect date” on Feb 14th, if you feel a range of feelings on Feb 15th, and you are like “F’ it all and I don’t want to think about it anymore on Feb 16th. It's all good. I promise.
And, if you are a married person and not feeling it either...that’s cool too sis.
The bigger thing for us all, is to just be aware of our feelings, responsible for our actions, and make a planned statement in case someone asks a question that we don’t want to answer…or don’t have an answer to provide. It’s all good. I promise.