Are you a princess or a warrior? Would you like to stay-at-home or have a flourishing career? Are you going to be a mother or a CEO?
Growing up a millennial can be quite confusing for any woman. Today, we live in an age where women run companies and yet, there are still times when we are challenged to stick with our mother roles—staying at home, fixing the house, and taking care of the kids.
Recent news in the media have risen questions regarding the definition of what a woman is in today’s culture. It has flouted how women are treated and most importantly, gender roles that are still not as liberating as we assume it to be.
Without a doubt, I grew up a feminist. My younger brother, Carl, would often tease me over the fact that I skipped my senior year prom in high school because I believed in “equality” way before it was cool to do so (nobody really understood why I did that). Being raised by a man of integrity has relegated my focus on improving myself, pursing my dreams, and waiting for the right man to come along. My father, to this day, continues to be a great example of how a man should be and up until I found someone like him, I tried to stay away from the dating scene (but not without any mistakes).
From the moment I graduated, I have always believed that being a feminist meant being “strong” and not letting anyone take my independence away. Being on my own for so long has made me focus on life and the things I wanted to achieve, however, as Katy Perry once said, it can be quite lonely. I was actually preparing for a life that was solely dedicated to family and myself but as life would have it, it never is quite what you expect it to be.
Soon enough, I found myself transitioning from being extremely single to extremely committed. Having to take care of myself for so long left me in the dark as to how to fully function in a relationship. What surprised me however, is my strong ability to be that girl. In my head, I always assumed that being the girl who fits well into a relationship was unbecoming of an “independent woman”.
Everything I expected it to be was thrown out of the window as I found myself slide into a new normal. It’s familiar yet unknown, a new way of being that I haven’t quite figured out yet. It’s as if this is what I should have been doing all along and yet I am still in the process of adapting into a new lifestyle. It is nothing like I imagined it to be but it’s better because it’s showing me a new dimension of myself that I didn’t realize I could be all along: kind, nurturing, unselfish, and loving. To put another person above your own is truly a test of maturity and security in God because it means forgetting your needs. But the great thing about it is that you don’t even notice it. God created us to be beings who loved with all our hearts and being a wife gives me the perfect opportunity to do so.
The mistake, I realize, is boxing women into just one thing. Because of the many cultural notions, one is expected to believe that they may only choose one path: be a wife and mother or be a successful career woman. Growing up, it has never quite occurred to me that you can be both: that you can choose to submit to your husband while you pursue your dreams. I have come to realize that putting a ring on it would not cause the life I wanted to fall apart, it simply signifies a new chapter where I don’t just fulfill my own dreams but also have the opportunity to watch the one I love the most fulfill his.
It didn’t mean having to choose or becoming boring, as people would normally define it to be. A woman need not to choose between a successful married life and a successful career.
Being married is not the end of the road but rather it takes you to a new road that leads to adventure and gives you a better chance to be who God wants you to be.
And at the end of the day, marriage didn’t mean losing my own identity but instead, it was simply having the great privilege of doing life with another person and of having the security that no matter what happens during a workday, you had someone to hold your hand to pray with you and be with you. It also means letting go and letting someone in, no matter how scary it may seem.
Marriage means breaking stereotypes, even those I’ve believed in for so long, and creating a new and radical normal: yes you can be a successful boss woman without having to sacrifice caring for your husband. The term “MRS” mustn’t hamper you because at the end of the day, boss lady, you still get to decide what type of woman you are and that is one label society can never dictate on you.
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