When I was planning my wedding, I mentioned to my father that I wanted to wear black. Needless to say he had a mild episode and I had a feeling I would not be wearing black. I had always heard the wearing of white was to indicate a virginal status and I was not of the virgin variety. I had lived with my soon to be spouse 4 years before we walked down the aisle that January day. As a young woman, it was me giving the marriage ultimatum; now or never I would threaten. After all, society had laid down the law that it was now time. Our wedding happened to fall on January 2 and one of the perks of getting married close to New Years was a lot of left over party food. Yes we had a lot of freebies we had not ordered. That day we smiled for the cameras and shoved cake into each other’s mouths without a thought for the rest of our lives or the next week. Heading to Key West from Virginia without reservations or money is enough to start the talk of divorce before the honeymoon commences. That was one long drive.
Fast forward some years later I am planning my first solo travel as my violin teacher asks me “aren’t you married? Why would you go off without your husband?” That was my first look into what some thought of marriage. They were looking at an institution with restrictions. I had not signed on for that. I wanted a partner in life, not a warden. We marched to the traditional beat in some form or fashion and yet I began to travel the world with and without my husband. My parents and others questioned “why does your husband let you do that?” The word let has always set my blood a boiling. No one lets, some of us just do.
I have been married to the same man for quite a while now and we have come to a new way of being and understanding. We are friends, lovers and partners but we both have an itch to be our separate selves. We know that we want to see and experience the world with and without the other. We offer one another support for individual freedom and growth and it feels freeing and good to have gotten to this point. I never fit into the traditional way of being and felt the pangs of guilt that often come with being the odd woman out. So I had to develop something that worked for me and fortunately I found one who liked what had been developed. There is nothing wrong with any of us making our own way and our own design. Think big, think brave. Knock down the wall that confines even if it is one brick at a time. If one thing does not work, find or make what does. There are no rules when it comes to living a fulfilled and happy life.