I (along with many? most? all? people in their late 20's) am in the middle of a wedding and baby boom. Currently I know 6 couples who are getting married in the next year and at least as many who have either recently welcomed or are about to welcome their first baby. This leads to many, many parties, deep introspective thoughts, and even a few moments of "Holy Sh*t! What am I doing with my life?". This week was a little of one of those weeks.
I've been in dress rehearsals for a show that deals with love and relationships as a glorified chess match, prepping to go see 2 dear friends in Connecticut make it official, and my favorite Chinese dumpling is about to turn 2.
I've always stated I never wanted to have kids, and generally have thought I wouldn't even want to get married, but simply co-habitate and I believe the phrase is 'live in sin'. In the past I have always viewed marriage and children as something women of a previous generation did to secure their lives. You did it because you were supposed to- no real choice involved. You finished your education, got married, changed your name and became someones wife. As I get older and see friends pair up like animals getting on the ark I have started to re-think my former opinions.
Today my roomie and I made a trip to a local indie craft market, Crafty Bastards (lame name, good show). I was thrilled to learn Mariam of The Hand Of Fatima was going to be there with her latest jewelry and her latest fancy craft to date- her 5 month old son. Her work is stunning, her children are beyond gorgeous and her husband is absolutely fantastic. Everything she makes has a great story- and her children are no exception. I met her while doing the Brooklyn Home Show, she was literally due to have her baby any day and working as hard as ever. She is my kinda lady. The kind who doesn't let a little something like birth at any moment slow her down.
As my roomie and I were walking away from the show I said something that I NEVER thought I would say before, and it was totally true:
"Mariam has everything I want in life".
That's not to say that her life isn't a challenge or that it is easy by any means, but she has it all. She is an independent artist, she makes her living with her craft. Her husband clearly is her greatest cheerleader- working the credit card machine, feeding squished peas to the baby, and helping her become a successful businesswoman, mother, and artist. I don't know what the intricacies of their relationship are, but from the outside looking in- it's pretty rad.
On our train ride home roomie and I were discussing life, and how funny it can be. Right out of college I made fun of people who got gooey over property ownership, couples who got married and popped out babies in quick succession. 4 years ago I was so worried about how I was going to pay for groceries I couldn't think past my next paycheck. Now I find myself using terms like 5-year-plan, and 403 (b). I'm looking to the future, sometimes that future is next week, and sometimes it is 10 years away, but either way it is a future involving more than next paycheck.
5 or 10 years ago I would have never thought the highlight of my weekend would be holding a curly haired baby at a craft market- but it was. I'm not saying I want children, but I do want a partner. A person who is my biggest cheerleader, someone who would run the credit card machine at my craft market, and who would let me run their credit card machine too. A few strained peas in my life might not kill me either.