Updated: Jun 4
I have known one of my best friends for more than 20 years and she is never, ever, ever getting married. She is also never, ever, ever having children and is 100% certain of both of these facts. Early on, she figured out that children and marriage were not her cup of tea, and became 100% sure over the last ten to twelve years. I have never met a woman so certain she did not want the two things women are constantly told to build their identities around—husbands and babies.
When she fell in love with ID channel and their line-up of real-life stories such as, Who the Bleep Did I Marry, Scorned: Love Kills, Married with Secrets, Obsession: Dark Desires, and Fatal Vows, it firmly solidified that marriage and kids were not in her future. Her text messages about the folks on these shows and on shows like A Crime to Remember, Disappeared, Stalked: Someone's Watching, and Fear Thy Neighbor, always make me think twice about who has nefarious intent, could throw me in the trunk of their car, lock me up in a basement, or poison my water at work. In many ways, she amplifies the suspicious Caribbean that already dwells within me, but I love her anyway!
When she talks to some of her other friends (or meets random people in the street who have made it their business to be all up in her uterus and romantic life), they earnestly believe she will eventually change her mind and will embrace either a husband or babies, if not both, or they judge her decision and think she's just weird. Her father remains completely incredulous that she is not on the man/baby train, while keeping hope alive that she will change her mind. She won’t change her mind and is truly content with her life. She is happy and does not find nuptials and uterus usage to be missing components. When she looks at the lives of her friends who went that route, she is genuinely thankful she did not go down that path, even though some of them are happy with their decisions!
Experience has proven to her that she is especially happy when she does not have a significant other. Instead of representing a value added, or a support system, men usually negated the peace she built for herself. After having many draining relationships, she knows she enjoys the happiness that comes from avoiding relationship trauma and has no desire to engage in anything that could be potentially traumatic. She also loves her personal space, which definitely runs counter-current to kids. More than anyone I have ever met in life, she enjoys her alone time and that alone time brings her great joy.
Like her dad, I used to be amazed she didn’t want babies and/or a boo, but when I realized how much conviction she had about being alone and how happy she was, I understood. She is serious about maintaining her happiness, on her own terms. That happiness was a direct result of no longer feeling guilty about being her true self and refusing to let everyone else’s opinions influence how she wanted to live her life. She was enough for her, and rightfully so.
Vacationing and dining alone, sticking to her bedtime, and communicating via text are some of her favorite past times, and she fully embraces what she likes. Even though we speak on the phone quite regularly (that’s a holdover from me being slow to embrace texting and the fact that sometimes, we have too much information to text), in life you still need friends you can talk too. Something particularly shady might have happened on Who the Bleep Did I Marry or some other life tidbit might have emerged that was worthy of a phone call.
When she gained the confidence and sense of self that made her stronger as a person, her happiness flourished. She began to decide what she actually wanted for herself, independent of anyone else’s expectations. I love how happy she is with her life and that she found that happiness without sacrificing who she wanted to be. Often times when I speak to people, they earnestly do not know what it is they want for themselves or if they do, feel like it can’t be a reality because it goes against societal norms. They are at a loss for their own organic wishes because they are so focused on society saying this or that.
My friend discovered her true self and was able to remove the noise of what other people thought would be best for her. She is not letting anyone mess with that. She is practical and introverted. She is strong, smart, and competent. Most importantly, she is unshakable in being the woman that makes her happy. I admire her for demonstrating that and taking the time to learn what her true self looked like. She found the meaning of 'strength in your convictions' and lives her life in that manner. Thank you for being you TMB.
Update: It's 2020, four years after I originally wrote this. Every single word still remains true.