So good news! God blessed me with a full time job with great benefits at a great company that has absolutely nothing to do with fashion. I feel so fortunate that I can still write and be a part of the world of fashion, but I also now have the ability to be financially secure and independent. I have always found it to be insanely interesting to be a part of the support staff in a corporate environment. This position affords you the opportunity to be both a therapist and an anthropologist. Most of the people in the company have to pass my desk multiple times a day and more often than not I get these bits and pieces of their lives. Sometimes because they just need to vent to someone, and other times it’s because I kind of blend in with the background and overhear them spilling the tea.
There’s one woman in particular at my new company who I am absolutely fascinated with. This woman, we’ll call her Lucy, once held a key position to a former POTUS, and is now the head of communications for our company. Her outfits slay everyday that she comes into the office, she eats at all of the best restaurants in the city, and vacationed in Italy, Croatia (and randomly Vermont) in the short month and a half that I have worked there. Lucy is in her mid to late 50’s and has never been married or had children. She’s wildly successful, skilled at her job and has more money than God, yet I’m ashamed to admit that I can’t help but wonder if she feels as if there is anything missing. Does Lucy go home to her empty Upper East Side dwelling, which I’m sure is impeccably decorated, and regret not having a family, or does she have deep sighs of relief throughout the day as she sees the washed wasp mom’s with their children (nannies) at Central Park?
Looking at this powerful woman go in and out of the office lead me to reevaluate what true happiness and fulfillment looks like to me. Just to show you God has a sense of humor, as I was having these thoughts I came across an Elle interview with Shonda Rhimes where she addresses this very issue by saying: “there are people who’ve been conditioned to think that there’s one type of happiness. And we’ve got to teach people that there are many different kinds of happy endings.” The older I get, and the more trash ass experiences I have with men, the more I wonder if that life of marriage and children just isn’t one that I’m going to have. What if that’s not for me? What if I have been alone for so long, because I am meant to live the life Lucy is living? Could I feel completely fulfilled being wildly successful, wealthy, well traveled, cultured, and powerful with no man to share that with and no children of my own? As the people around me embark on the journeys of parenthood and marriage, I have to admit that I don’t even long to be where they are. I definitely would like to have that kind of companionship and love, but the idea that I may never plan a wedding or a baby shower doesn’t completely freak me out anymore.
There are some things that are so ingrained in our culture that we don’t even bother to question their origin. We have been socialized to accept these things as the norm, be it by religion, culture, or greater society as a whole. Did you know that we wear white wedding dresses and have Christmas trees in our houses because Queen Victoria made these things posh in the 1800’s? Those are both things that we accept as the norm, because that’s how things have always been done, and I am beginning to wonder if the institution of marriage falls in the same category. I suppose that I won’t be able to make that final decision until I experience that level of love and that level of success. Then again, who is to say we can’t have it all?