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Unintentionally Unconventional

When I used to get home from grade school (I should say when I used to go to my grandmother's house after school) I had a ritual. I would find her stash of Pringles (which I was not supposed to eat) and then go into one of the bedrooms upstairs with a TV and watch cooking shows - this was before they were popular & pre food network. They were rough and probably boring to most people. They would then be followed by the cutting edge reality TV of the time which was a wedding reality show on TLC - I can't even think of what it was called. I think they eventually had another series on after the wedding show about women giving birth to a baby or two. Apparently my interests at this stage of my life consisted of an obsession with BBQ Pringles, bad cooking shows + weddings/babies. I would consider that to be pretty normal/conventional and at that point in my life this were the things I wanted and naturally expected to happen.

It explains why I used to pretend I had my own cooking show and use the microwave (conveniently placed directly in front of my face above the counter) as a camera to talk into. I just assumed I would get married and wondered what my wedding would look like & what decorations I would pick & what dress I would end up in & here is red flag #1, I was not thinking about who I was marrying or possibly having babies with. 🤨 I also used to pretend I was a priest and "perform" church with a few neighborhood kids where I gave them communion & everything - obviously that wasn't a serious career choice for me.

Fast forward 30+ years. 40 years old, never married or engaged and no children. Definitely no cooking show although that has remained as a steadfast hobby and point of interest most likely because it directly correlates to my love of food and food as a source of love. Don't take this to mean I feel like I have failed on some level because these ideals I developed as a grade schooler have not happened. It wasn't until my last relationship ended that I even started to think about how I might be perceived to outsiders. Am I a spinster? Is that even a thing anymore? LOL Am I someone that people see as not being worthy of having a husband/wife? Does it make me flawed in some capacity? Are there genuine concerns I should have about it?

Fuck no. I say that lovingly. I'll stick to the married part for now - we can talk about kids another day. I've started to ask the many people I know that are married why they got married. Some of the honest answers are simply because they thought they were supposed to. It was a part of life to be checked off. They were in love. They wanted to take the relationship to the next level. They thought they had found the one. Some people really did find the one. Some people really value the commitment of marriage and have solid, wonderful relationships. Other people never felt like it was for them & not something that fit into their life.

What did I think? I think I realized that somehow in my life I started down a path that was becoming unconventional in many ways and I had no intention of going down that path but it wasn't a choice, it was just the right journey for me. I've never been the person that felt 100% convinced I wanted to be married or not. I was in a long term relationship with someone that did not want to get married; that was okay with me because it didn't feel that important. Until 2015, it wasn't something we could legally do and many of my closest friends couldn't either. This lack of decision has been my guiding force.

Recently I had a very honest conversation with myself & I tried to dig into any subconscious reason why I might want to entertain the idea of getting married and the reason came to me pretty quickly and very intuitively; validation. Not even validation for myself but validation to anyone in my life who might doubt my worth because nobody has ever deemed me "good enough" to propose to or want to marry.

I know it seems like me admitting that might feel like I really do have a chip on my shoulder about it and secretly want to do it but that's what our ego looks like. It pulls at the most shadowy parts of us and fills in answers based on what other people have told us to think or what we think we are supposed to do; I am not immune to that. But I know this isn't any actual validation that I need but I needed to acknowledge that it was there.

I mean - I do like to get dressed up and enjoy an occasional party but that's what birthdays are for & other people's weddings.

P.S. I still enjoy BBQ Pringles in random moments but I don't hide them anymore.

May you find your own validation.

The Auryn

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