I always believe there’s a funny plot twist in every person’s life story, something that happens to them very ironically when they think they’re the last person it can happen to. To me that thing was getting married. Despite the endless – sometimes subliminal – pressure you get all your life as a girl to get married, to have kids and live a “proper” life, I kept on chanting Anouk’s “Nobody’s Wife” like it was my personal anthem. I kept on laughing when my friends tell me despite what I say, I’ll be the first one to get married. I couldn’t be in serious relationships and marriage simply wasn’t fit for me.
Then, at 19 years old, I met the love of my life. After dating for 7 years we got married when we were 26 years old. And yes, we were the first ones among our friends to get married. It wasn’t a splashy proposal and a show off wedding. It wasn’t because we had to get married because we’ve been together for so long and that’s how it was supposed to be. We got married because we both wanted to and quite frankly because I needed a Canadian Visa to stay with him in Canada and getting married was the quickest and easiest way to get that. Without that requirement I don’t know if we’d ever got married. Probably yes, but probably a lot later. It was never something I looked forward to, and still to this day I don’t use my full name unless I legally have to and I don’t wear my wedding ring – not because I’m not committed but because being a wife is not something that defines me.
Every society has norms and expectations for women that limit our lives, that make our decisions for us, that put expiration dates on things we don’t even know if we want or not. Right now I’m struggling with defending my decision not to have kids, fighting with people accusing me of being selfish and that I don’t know what’s best for me, that my opinions will change in the future and to have a child is the best thing that can happen to me, that being childless means living an empty life. I’m 30 years old, an age I thought I’d be mature enough to understand what those people mean and truly want children, but nothing has changed. I don’t want children and I don’t see my life any less happy than those with children. Maybe I will have children in 5 years, maybe in 10, maybe never. Maybe I’ll adopt, maybe I’ll sacrifice everything I have to help children around the world someday. Maybe our house will be filled with children laughter (and cries!), maybe I’ll just have pets. It’s my decision and I’m doing everything I can to make sure no one dares to interfere with that.
One of my favorite skincare brands SK-II addresses this issue in their latest hero film “The Expiry Date” and they invite women everywhere to challenge the idea of having an expiry date, to challenge the norms, to marry on their own terms and to live their own life. It was really inspiring to see such a big and internationally renowned brand to draw attention to a problem many people fail to recognize. We have to talk about this, we have to support the independence of women and we have to change the belief that women have expiration dates. Watch the video below and spread the word, become a part of change!
This is a sponsored post, in partnership with SK-II