I was amazed by the incredible feedback I received on my essay “Single in the City.” Strangers and friends alike wrote to me about their opinions on the subject and the common theme was that it needs to be discussed more. I heard varying degrees about the pressures they faced. Well it got me thinking and then it got me writing.
While the eras of bra burning are behind us and we are inspired by strong poignant women like Cheryl Sandberg and Marissa Mayer in a modern world. The stereotypes of women are still out there. Especially for young, single women.
If you aren’t wedded and bedded by the time you are thirty, you are an old maid. Even at almost 26 I hear it. It isn’t just from Grandmothers and well meaning, but extremely misguided elderly relatives and friends of elderly relatives and friends of those friends of friends.
Oh no, I hear it from women of my generation. Worse, I hear it from my own friends. Successful, creative women lamenting about the fact they don’t have a man, or are single. Or don’t have kids. Or aren’t doing it all.
All of their success is negated by the lack of a Solitaire diamond on that ring finger. That they as women are less then, because they haven’t cowtailed to societies standards.
We live in the 21 century people.
Please let that sink in for a moment.
Careers, education, success, marriage, kids, it is not negotiated by a time table. The thing about the human race is, we are all unique and we all do things in our own time.
In an era where people live long and longer, people have multiple careers. Are into varying and diverse interests. We do not need to rush to the alter or rush for the baby carriage. Regardless of what society says. Regardless of what our own families and friends say.
Don’t get me wrong, I can’t wait for the day I find my Prince Charming. Who knows I might even have found him. But I refuse to rush into anything just because society expects it. I don’t think it makes me a rebel. I think it makes me someone who knows my own self worth, love, and all. No one else.
Because at the end of the day, if you can not love just yourself when you are alone, being with someone won’t make you love yourself any more. If anything it will create more strain and in the end demote your self worth even more.
Love is about enhancing what is already there and growing it. You can’t grow something, if you do not even have a foundation to build up from.
Which is why it is so important to go at our own individual pace. March to your own music. At the end of the day, screw the labels, if you are happy being a Mrs. or a Miss. A mom, or a single career oriented woman in the city. If you are happy being YOU. Then that is all that matters. Not the dictations of society. Our value as women is not predetermined by a husband or career. It is determined by us.
As always thoughts and opinions are welcome.