In a room filled with the chatter of over 200 people, I only heard her words. The crowd was muted by a truth, her truth, that she spoke to me.
This year has been filled with the most vivid memories. It’s almost like my brain took panoramic snap shots of important moments of the year. Are these memories vivd because I am becoming more present and conscious? Or are these memories different from past memories that they stand out?
These pictures or in some cases phrases keep circling in my mind. While I have been fighting to keep them with me, they want to be shared to create meaning for others.
This memory, makes me think of that moment in a story, when the hero’s mentor has been taken by the evil antagonist. Just as the hero arrives to help the mentor escape a battle he/she can not win, the mentor yells “save yourself!” Both the mentor and the hero know that the journey ahead is greater then that moment. Even with inner struggle, the hero listens to the mentor and leaves. The mentor knows that he needs to protect the hero, but also knows that his/her time has come to leave the hero so that the hero can truly learn they can save themselves.
A loud chatter filled the packed theater as workshop attendees looked for a partner in the crowd. The rows of chairs, staked line by line, filled with over 200 people, made it difficult, to move and hear.
I was seated towards the end of one row, but the aisles were already filled with people who were paired up. In front of me was a Latin woman who was equal to my height, she had a kind face and was about 10 years older than me. We decided to paired up and began the usual get to know you questions, as we waited for further direction.
The next task was simple: Each person was to talk about their vision for their future. I spoke of my vision and one aspect that I shared, which I don’t really talk about, was my vision to eventually get married.
Once the activity was over, the woman asked “Do you want to get married because you are Latin?”
Many of my friends know that marriage was never on my mind and for a long time I have been on the fence about it. Brother Teddy just about had a heart attack when I told him four years ago, I wanted the option of marriage. It was an even bigger deal, when I, in my singlehood realized, this past February, that I was ready for marriage. The fear around marriage that people have, was no longer present in me.
I paused before I spoke. “No.” I said with at puzzled face, but I knew what she was asking. She was speaking to the cultural norms/ expectation of Latin women. “My parents raised me to want what I want. I know who I am and I know what I want. I want marriage for my future because it’s a conclusion I have come to on my own. My parents did not influence it.”
“Good,” she responded. There was a second pause. It’s important to affirm her words were said with love. She gave the kind of advice that you’d give your younger self, if you could travel back in time. The same advice a big sister would give her little sister.
“While I love my husband, if I knew then what I know now, I would not have gotten married. I only got married because it was how I was raised.” Third pause. “Stay single.”
Fourth pause. I thanked her for her words, they have been with me ever since. This conversation happened in April, but I only shared it with a few people this past August.
This woman was the beginning of a string of women that I met this year, that through their stories, I have begun to rethink marriage and have begun to re-examine womanhood to glean the truths that go unspoken.
From the woman with the tired, worn eyes, to the woman who knows she needs to move on from her marriage to take care of herself for the first time in her life, I wish I had more time to talk to each of these women more then the brief moments that we spoke.
Women carry stories, deep stories and often deep wounds that they do not share to each other. I’m one of the lucky ones, that women open up to and share their stories that offer perspective that never crossed my mind. There are many more stories we do not share, I want to know why?
I don’t quite know how to end this post because it’s an ellipses in my mind.
This theme have come up a lot lately, and it’s a conversation I am having with the universe. I’m not quite ready to meditate on marriage and have it show me what I do not know about it. Each time I have done deep meditations on energy, love and health my life has shifted greatly. As I write about this I know a meditation is exactly what I need to do. (%&#@! says my heart.)
I would not have heard these stories, or been guided to this future meditation had I not been open to to the unknown or shown my heart to those outside my comfort zone.
Love, Stephanie – XOXO