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.

The End of My First Journey.

As December swiftly runs past us and we begin to feel the weight of the year we are all about to leave, I have to say it packs more of a punch this year than it usually does. Today is my final day at my first college. Today is my final day at an awesome job that I have had for more than two years. Today is the tie up loose ends, say goodbye to everyone, and remembrance kind of day. When writing a couple of emails to a couple of people for a couple of things I have to clear up before I leave, I was written back almost immediately by one. And it read “Thanks for the update, Ashley. Congratulations on your graduation and best of luck on the next part of your journey!.” Which, made me realize that today I am completing the first part of my journey. And, isn’t that just terrifying and breathtaking and confusing and humbling. All this hard work and changing my mind and challenging myself actually accounted for something. I came to this school, got a new job, and once I graduate I wont be back. Today is the end of my first journey.

This part of the journey that is coming to a completion today, I believe, was about growing up, figuring myself out a little bit more, and learning to trust my instincts. Right before I got this job and began school I moved out on my own. I went from living with a rather large, loud and rambunctious family of seven to a small, quiet place with just me and my best friend. I also went from a soft little town with bright stars and limited dreams, to a booming downtown city where the dreams where massive and stars impossible to see. I also started college, got a new job and changed my major. Which, as one could only imagine lead to may tear filled nights, lost days and confusing choices. As you could also imagine, I had to pick up the run of the mill adult stuff like paying my bills on time, how expensive heat can be, how to not burn your apartment down, and how costly groceries are. But, I also learned the more meaningful value of being an adult. Things like learning to trust in yourself, having to make hard decisions, never letting fear stop me from attacking my dreams, and of course that you are never to old to call your mother crying asking for help.

Not only have I learned a lot about my somewhat new role of being an adult, I have learned a lot more about myself on a personal level. I learned that I am only responsible for myself and my actions, that happiness comes from within, and the true importance of being a good friend. I have learned to forgive even if someone has not apologized, learned to put faith in myself and the abilities I have and, that above all else my family is the most important thing in the world. I have learned that I love the bustling of a downtown area and plan on living in New York City one day. I have learned that I also require time outside where I can spend a moment figuring myself out. I have learned that yoga helps my clear my head, exercise keeps me from wanting to punch people, and eating healthy is a value that is important to me. I have learned that communication and trust are the most important things in a relationship and that learning to live with someone you love is a challenge but it is so worth it. I have learned that I love brunch on Sundays and sleeping in late on Saturdays and weekends filled with food, friends and laughter. I have learned the kind of movies I like to watch, the books I like to read, and the music I enjoy listening to. I have learned that while it is absolutely terrifying to go to school for something that you love, in the end, with hard work, determination, and never taking no for an answer it will all be worth it. I have learned so much about myself and the person I want to be. As the year is coming to a close and the curtain is abut to close I realize that today is the end of an era. The end of my very first journey. It has come with its fair share of hardships challenges and obstacles but, I have made some hilarious memories, wonderful new friends, and instilled an unshakable faith in myself. Soon I will be off to my last school with a new job and new sights in store.

Always

Sometimes the words flow easy. A thought drifts causally across my mind and like a Polaroid, within moments I am able to compile my every thought and do so with drastic detail. I am able to showcase the exact way I am feeling at an exact moment. The way the sand felt on my sunburned feet that one perfect summer, the way the chill in the wind whipped through my hair bringing to attention the first glimpse of autumn. Sometimes I am able to capture a moment and a place and a feeling. Sometimes I can effortlessly be completely present in the moment. To laugh easily and cry with intention and dream without boundaries. Sometimes the days are so smooth they run into weeks and weeks into months and months into years. Sometimes the doors always seem to open and the path always seems to be one of little resistance. Sometimes there is always rainbows after rain and a silver lining and a friend to talk to. Sometimes it is easy. Sometimes it is hard. The words don’t come easy and it is as if I am a wily child again spending hours upon hours upon hours with a shiny net running across grassy yards trying to capture a butterfly, getting rather close but never quite having the ability or agility to fully capture the creature I so long for. Sometimes I cant focus or perfectly recall an outstanding moment. Sometimes the school work adds up, the bills become mountains, the long hours at work begin to take its toll. Sometimes I cant describe how I feel, or what I want, or who I want to be. Sometimes the loss of a loved one comes back with a force unknown by any creature except humans. Sometimes I lose my way and the doors always seem to close and the path always seems to have the most resistance. Sometimes I questions the goals I have set for myself and the ability I have to achieve them. Sometimes it just rains and there aren’t anymore good friends left. But always I pick myself up and try again. Always I take the blow and the rainbow-less rain and get right back up. Always I take the punch in the gut and the confusion that follows and dust off my fabulous clothes and stand tall again. Always I find an open window or an open crack if all the doors are closing. Always I refocus my intentions and refocus my life. Always I continue to chase that sneaky, cunning butterfly. Always I try again.