Growing up I always thought I’d be married by 24 and have my first kid at 26. I was led to believe that was the norm. I believed it was what was expected of me. Today, I’m 28 and I’m nowhere near ready to be married or have kids. There are days when I have ice cream and fruity pebbles for breakfast and still feel like a child myself. On top of that, I don’t know if kids are even for me... right now anyways. Marriage and children are definitely not on my wavelength at the moment. Honestly, since University they haven’t really been. I want so much more.
I’d come home on breaks from University (or even recently at family gatherings) and get hassled by family members (even extended family members who I haven’t seen since I was 11) on why I was still single and not married. “What’s wrong with you?”, “Don’t you want to be married?”, “Why does nobody love you?”, “Don’t you want children?”... Growing up in a Korean family these are the questions you get asked when you are my age and still single. Women are expected to get married, have babies and be stay at home moms. If I marry someone Korean, I’ll probably be expected to be subservient as well. To me, that sounds like the worst thing ever, for me that would be dying a slow death. Anyone who knows me in real life would know I’m the complete opposite of subservient. I march to the rhythm of my own drum and like to live my life without answering to anyone.
If I’m being completely honest, I used to feel like a failure. I used to feel worthless. My family members would somehow make it seem like there was something really wrong with me. There’s one conversation that I come back to from time to time. My father had just gotten a new Porsche Carrera and he was taking me for a ride in it to Downtown LA to the family business. He asked me why I didn’t have a boyfriend and why no one was interested in me. He made it seem like marriage and being in a relationship was the most important thing in the world (which is hilarious considering he’s had two failed marriages) and made me feel like I was doing something wrong because I was single.
Today, I know I’m anything but a failure. I’m independent, I can fend for myself and I have a world of dreams I want to achieve which is the opposite of a failure. I’m ambitious and there are so many things I want to do and see. I want to travel the world and eat my way through each new country. For me, marriage and children would be the biggest roadblock imaginable for that dream. I would no longer be able to be selfish and do what I want to do. Everything I want to do, would come second or even third to a marriage and kids. That would mean I failed myself… because I can guarantee with those responsibilities I would not able to reach all my dreams.
Having a career and my independence is more valuable to me than having someone to come home to and a diamond ring on my finger. Anyone can get married if all they really wanted was to be married. I want the world. I want love. I want success. I want experiences. I want to live my life to the fullest. At 28, being single no longer bothers me and I tune out the small number of family members who ask me about marriage and kids. Most have stopped asking me altogether. Now is this because they finally understand that marriage and kids are not important to me at this point in my life? Or, is it because they’ve given up on me? I couldn’t tell you. Whatever reason the reason is, I don’t care because I know that if those things are meant to happen, they will at the time they are meant to. For now, I’m following my dreams and ignoring the expectations of others. I’m only listening to myself. I’m marching to the rhythm of my own drum. I’m doing me.