Who wouldn't want to play this? Am I right, 90s kids?
I always preferred to play something imaginative, instead of assuming the role of a wife or mother. Additionally, when my friends and I hit that teenage girl phase where most started dreaming of their wedding days, I rarely entertained the thought. During conversations about what we thought our weddings would be like, I always responded with some variation of, "I don't really know."
The truth of the matter is, I never held that "typical small town girl" dream of being a wife and mother. Still, many of my friends did, and I'm not here to say that's not a legitimate and fulfilling dream. It's quite the opposite, actually. I recognize the strength and beauty of their dream; I just wish that more in Small Town, America could see the beauty in other dreams.
Maybe, that's the reason for this post. I have been tossing the idea around of writing this post for some time now, and I think it's time to give voice to these thoughts. Whenever I go back to visit, I always receive countless questions from people inquiring if there's someone special in my life, or I get reassurance that "the right one is out there." That's the problem, though. I'm not looking for those dreams, and no matter how many times I say so, I still get the "bless her heart" look. I'm tired of it, and I think there are others out there who share the sentiment.
You see, I always held other dreams. I always wanted to write, to create beauty and to live somewhere exciting. My dream was to have a cirlce friends, a strong family, a successful career, and enough time and money to chase my goals and enjoy my hobbies. I have that--and so much more. I am happy, and I love my life. There is nothing missing, and there is nothing I'm searching for.
I have my dream. I am living it every day.
Yes, I have attended more weddings, wedding showers, and baby showers than some. And, yes, I am always thrilled for my friends and family members. Currently, I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of my niece. I am over the moon for my sister and her husband; however, this does not come from a place of jealousy. Instead, it comes from the happiness of watching those I love get their dreams. Over the past several months, though, I have heard numerous comments about how my day will come.
Someday, your prince will come....
The truth is that my day is here. I have all I have ever wanted, and I am blessed beyond measure. I do not wish to be a mother or a bride. Sure, I have dated, and I continue to date--because I enjoy it. Also, I have had my share of serious relationships. I have been in love. I have been the recipient of two promise rings and one scary-as-hell marriage proposal.
But, that's not my main focus, and it's not the focus for many small town girls; yet, we still get lumped into being the strange focal point for judgment. People think that maybe we're doing something wrong, or they hope that we will grow up one day. While I'm not writing off marriage and babies completely, I am saying that it will take an act of God and someone absolutely almost perfect to change my mind. Still, even when we do not want these things, it's as though they are forced upon us. When we refuse to conform, the problems mount even higher, and people assume that we are in denial.
Small Town, America, please stop trying to make those of us who do not want the white picket fence conform. We are not hethans, and we are not against marriage. It is simply not the right choice for us. And, while I cannot speak for all, I am not unhappy, I am not searching, and I am damn sure not incomplete.
I am happy, and I am happy for each of you who has found marital bliss.
For some, this may resonate. For others, you may still say that you hope one day I find someone to make me happy. (I have. It's me, and my friends, and my family, and my little dog, too). Still, others of you who did not grow up in the small town culture may not understand this at all. So, for those of you, I deflect to country music and two girls who obviously get this mindset.
Terri Clark - The One - While she's obviously still looking, she gets the idea. Get off her back.
Kacey Musgraves - Merry Go Round - She gets it!