The Recently Married Feminist

I just got married two weeks
ago and for any female who has been married (spoiler alert to those we are about to tie the knot) the next question society throws at you once you answered the first one (you know, the marriage one)  sounds a little something like “Soooooo when are you two having kids?!?”. This line is usually said with a winking expression and a little too excitement.  As if I did not get enough angry car ride talks from my own mother my entire adult life I now get it from the random Great aunt I didn’t know I had, the random Facebook stalker and even worse, the coworkers you have to face on a daily basis. Today, a random Wednesday, I got the stomach flu at work. Yep the horrible “I don’t think I can make it though the rest of the day” kind of stomach bug. So, after a quick exit and a few too many episodes of shark week on the couch I get a phone call from my work ally and bff. She informed me that everyone at work was practically giddy once I left claiming that they knew all along that I must be pregnant. I mean clearly a stomach flu, food poising or  just being sick was completely out of the question. The last time I had the stomach flu nothing was thought of it but, then again I wasn’t, wait for it….. married. Since I am now married apparently the only option for me is to be with child. Its literally been two weeks and in the words of my husband “I mean I know I’m Latin but even if we were trying I’m not that good.” It literally blows my mind that such sexist and stereotypical thoughts are coming from WOMEN. That all I must want to do is get hitched and knocked up asap. Now, for this next part you may want to find a chair and sit down because it is a bit out there.
I want to finish my degree. I want a career. I want a downtown apartment with a fast paced life and bright lights. I want long flights to different places and lots and lots of read books filling my walls. I want meaningful tattoos and super late Sunday brunches. And, as of this moment I do not want children. If you are still breathing congratulations, you are one of few. The other day I was wearing a new outfit and my classic red lips when someone came up to me and said “wow you look really nice you must have a hot date with your new husband”. Innocent yes, until I really saw the look on their face when I said “no” and meant it. Why is it such a far fetched idea that I may look absolutely fabulous simply for myself. I wore that red lipstick because I felt good. I bought that new outfit and rocked it because I wanted to. While I love my husband more than anything he is not just my husband and I am just his wife. We are friends and partners and confidants. He doesn’t get asked if the reason he chose his outfit today was because his hot wife was taking him out. He doesn’t leave work early with the stomach flu to come back the next day having to explain that no, he isn’t pregnant he simply ate something bad. The idea of him being married does not consume his public identity. He is not seen as a “husband” in the outside world he is seen as himself. His career self, his friend self, his home self; none of which are affected by his new role of husband. I do not believe it to be fair that all my roles have vanished in society and I have been left with one role. Wife. Along with this role I have expected actions and much like the child who does not complete their homework I am punished for my inability to live up to this out of date role. I am independent and a wife. I am a full time student and madly in love. I dress for myself and I like being taken care of. There is more to me than the title society has recently bestowed upon me and, so are you.

A New Kind of Love

Let me start off with the hard hitting facts. I am 21 years old, a college student, and planning a June wedding to my wonderful fiance who also happens to be, wait for it, 21. We are no stranger to opposition, to weird side glances, and almost disapproving looks from many. Many moons ago getting married at 21 was by far the norm, the days of our grandparents where getting married by 18 was something to celebrate. Getting married at 21 in the year 2014 is more like being a traveling circus or an exhibit at the Ripleys Believe it or Not museum. Most people handle it pretty well when the topic comes up, from peers its usually goes something like this ‘ohhhhhh wow! You are engaged? How old are you again?’ and from older adults it goes a little something like this ‘Wow, um Congrats! you both are so young!’. Which, is true, we are young. The rest of the truth is, I have been with my fiance for almost four years and, we have never had a conventional kind of love. He is from Brazil and the day we met was the day we kissed and the day we started dating and, if you ask him it was also ‘the day he fell in love’ (what can I say, it took me awhile to make sure). We were 17 and widely in love and that feeling hasn’t gone away through long distance, holidays, graduation, college, and now living together. We are a normal couple we have our arguments and fights but one thing we decided long ago not to fight was societal standards.We decided long ago that we would do what was right for us, not what the world expected from us. Now don’t get me wrong, if life had not taken me on the journey I am on today, I would probably also have respond to a young woman’s engagement with a little bit of confusion and a whole lot of sass. I also understand how older adults, my mothers generation, tend to be suspicious and how they love to give out the ‘well this isn’t going to last long’ look, with the rapid divorce rate among that age group how could you blame them? But what I don’t think people understand is that every love is different, and this is our love. Every love moves at a different pace, it falls apart at a different time, it works through its own unique obstacles, it fights its own fight. This is our love and for once in my life I have decided not to take my love up to the thrown of society and asks what it wants with me. I have decided to let our love evolve naturally and without reservation. I have decided to not let the disfavoring looks of my peers and my elders and society to control our love. Because, this love is ours. It talks different, walks different, moves different than his kind of love, or her kind of love, or your kind of love. Every love is different. And, it is about time we start to revel in that. We need to not let our own ideas of love and our own prejudices dictate someone else’s. Because, in the end we are the only ones who have to deal with the consequences. If it end we are the ones that suffer, or enjoy, why then should we allow society to mandate unnecessary love guidelines if we are the ones who have to face the music in the end? Will we have children, will we settle down in New York, L.A., London, will be get along, will be be married until death do us apart? The thing is I have no idea and, man, how happy that makes me. Once you cut the ties of normalcy and the irrelevant standards set by society over your life and love you will experience a freedom unlike anything you have ever known. Cut the ties. Experience your love. Enjoy your life.

The Day I Forgot to Wear Makeup

If you made it through the title (a little lengthy l I know) then you will know what your lovely little eyes are about to read. I decided not to go with a moody, could be something but not sure title and stick right with the point. Trust me I took AP English in high school, I know what its like to spend hours having to decipher what the author possibly, probably meant by using that one word melodramatic title line. But, back to the point. This was one hell of a week may I add. Most people would simply blow through this title and mumble quietly to themselves “get some real problems lady”, but you didn’t, go you. While this problem may seem like something small in a world filled with violence and mass corruption lets remember, I am a Type A perfectionist and if you are unfortunately there with me then you get the heaviness of this problem. This problem also taught me an important lesson, funny how the world does that to you isn’t it? Lets start at the beginning shall we?

Well lets begin with the ‘forgetting to wear makeup’ thing. As a young women, who goes to school and holds down a job one would expect that you wear makeup on a regular basis as to not look ‘tired’ or I don’t know, like a 15 year old maybe. Forgetting to come into work wearing makeup is a mountain I had yet to climb, until last week that is. I came in to open work at 8 am and upon stepping across a mirror, realized that I had failed upon leaving the house to apply even a drop of makeup. Yep you heard me right, early morning on the job, sans makeup. Quite a scene that sets. I instantly went into a deep panic and when I say panic I mean I freaked out. I didn’t bring anything with me except lipstick and that wouldn’t help a sister at the moment. I immediately messaged by fiance and asked how on this precious earth had he forgotten to remind me that ‘hey you are leaving the house looking all sorts of crazy’? To which he simply replied that it wasn’t a big deal, that I was pretty and he hadn’t noticed. Which sounded like a lot of blah blah blah to a women who had just walked into her place of employment looking like a bag lady. Until I could run out and grab some drugstore eyeliner I knew I would be fresh faced and hiding my face. About a steady hour into hiding my unmascaraed face with my hair and computer, I started thinking. And, this is where the life lesson comes in. Why in the literal world was I so scared of not wearing makeup when this is how I look. And, no amount of makeup would ever change how I look when I take it off and lay my head down to sleep each night (quick side note to all my ladies, make sure you take that makeup off at night unless you want to wake up with those dreaded raccoon eyes or even worse…..a pimple).These beady blue/green eyes, transparent eyelids and naturally rosy cheeks belonged to me. I sound like a real knockout don’t I? But, this was the way I was made, this is the face I have been given and we must live in a pretty messed up society if I felt ashamed of it. If I literally spiraled into a mid morning panic thinking that GASP, someone would see my real face. That begs the question of what the heck is wrong with the world? Well there is too many things to really put down here in words but something that we can start to do is stop loosing our minds about looking done up and perfect. Because frankly we aren’t. We have pimples and bags under our eyes and scars with long stories. We have too curly hair, too straight hair, too wavy hair. But hey, that is what makes us ourselves, our unique uneven skin toned selves.Think about it, can you to leave the house without makeup and still think, I may not look like Americas next top model, but I am myself and that is a great thing to be? If you are a mother then don’t let makeup rule your idea of beauty, children will latch onto that. A day never really went by when I didn’t see my mother putting on at least eyeliner before we went anywhere and upon forgetting hear the ‘OMG I AM NOT WEARING ANY MAKEUP’ panic we all know and love. Unfortunately the society we live in pressures women of all ages to a obtain an unrealistic expectation of beauty. From young teens to women in their sixty’s, there is some sort of pressure. We all think to ourselves, well hey those celebrities are 14 but look 20. Or, those sixty year olds look 40.Which is not realistic. Those celebrities don’t even look like those celebrities. By the time makeup artists, Photoshop, fans and airbrushing gets done with them they become the poster child of an unrealistic and way out of control beauty system.Embrace that  no matter how many times you try your eyelashes will never curl properly and, no matter how much contouring you do, you in fact still have a round face. Embrace that you have freckles (if any of you want some, I have plenty to go around) and embrace the fact that you will never be able to tan. Embrace your big nose or your small nose or your long nose. Embrace the color of your eyes and the way that your skin is never perfect. I challenge everyone to take a step outside their comfort zone regarding appreciating your natural beauty. Whether that be not putting on makeup to go to the gym or taking a #nofilter, no makeup selfie, do something. You are beautiful and stunning and all the other adjectives your little heart can think of. Be proud of who you are, rosy cheeks and all. 

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Hope on the Move

One million U.S. adults are living with a blood cancer. Every 4 minutes someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with a blood cancer. Every 10 minutes someone in the U.S. dies from a blood cancer. Unfortunately these facts are real. But, Organizations like The Leukemia and Lymphoma society help these number drop dramatically. We need your help, I need your help. My team, Hope on the Move, is walking for the end of blood cancers on October 12th. My family is living proof that this society helps saves lives by funding research programs, like the one my mother chose to participate in, that has saved her life. This group not only saves lives of cancer patients, it saves families from having to deal with an incredible loss. These are the facts in our modern world, but we have the power and the tools to change them if only we work together. Anything will help. Just click on the link below and click on my name, Ashley to donate under me. Isn’t using the old, faded one dollar bill you have in the back of your wallet to help end the fight of cancer more of a use than letting it lay around?