A fear of commitment, A love of feminism & The choice to be his wife.

A fun pre Ola fact about me: I loved the idea of commitment. I loved it so much that I got in a whole marriage when I was 21 and spent all of my teens and early twenties committed to ‘different someones.’

But note that I loved the idea of commitment. The real thing, however, left me itchy, sweaty and needing to run far away. I wanted to be loved and I needed for people to fall in love with me but once that was achieved, I felt trapped and I needed to get out.

I was a paradox, a spin cycle, a hot damned mess.

But at about 23, I had an epiphany. I was dizzy from the spinning. No matter how much I had stuffed my voids with pseudo commitments, they always came bursting open, spilling out, overflowing. Something had to give.

I spent one year alone. Single. Celibate. Abstinent from commitments. Dating freely. No relationships. Hiking. Reading. Joined a church. Danced a lot. I wanted to be whole. The way I was doing it previously wasn’t the right way. Therefore, I changed it.

A year, in retrospect sounds short but in the moment, it was painful and lonely. It was wanting to play house and make dinner and make love but forcing myself to be alone. But, it was the only way. A girl with good intentions and bad habits…

That had to make peace with her wounds.

Then came Ola, in an instagram comment (but I had noticed him months before….)I fell for him like you fall asleep, slowly and then all at once. But how was he different? How was this different? How was I different?

One year into it, I waited for the itching, the sweating, the need to run and it never came. Two years later, same thing…seriously how could a honey moon phase last that long? Third year, normalcy set it, we needed more space, we had our first real fight but I didn’t want to run. For the first time ever, I wanted to stay, I wanted to talk it through. I wanted to commit. The fun was dying down and I still wanted to stay for good.

So, I accepted his hand in marriage, happily, willingly.

But could I commit without marriage? Would marriage change me? Would it alter the wholeness that I found and created? I had never even dreamed of being a bride. The last time I got married, we broke up 2 months later because I didn’t want to move in with him or change my last name or go to counseling. I thought long and hard about this. We talked through our reasoning. We were not traditional people. Additionally, we live in a progressive world where feminism is poppin, women are choosing to freeze their eggs, vetoing marriage and building empires instead.

But what if I want the empire but I don’t want to freeze my eggs or veto marriage? Why do I have to choose?

After reading, soul searching, talking with friends, married women, meditating on it and disussing it with my partner….I realized I didn’t have to choose and I am living proof that you don’t. The same year that I got engaged, I published 2 books, started a licensed preschool, began making a profit from both of those ventures and discovered/mapped out the next 3 big goals that I want to achieve.

The best part about it all is that my partner, my future husband, our plans to marry and eventually procreate hasn’t hindered my ‘empire building’ or my wholeness. It has actually helped and gave me a larger picture to paint! In fact, I am not sure I would be as far along as I am without him and our plans. I’m a better version of myself with him. I read more. I’m more business savvy. I’m stronger, braver, wiser, more determined and disciplined. He helps center me. He helps me build my own empire inside of our empire.

Can we admit things like that in 2017 or nah?

You see, women have been conditioned to sacrifice. We buy into the notion that we can’t have it all. Too often we confuse the values of feminism for a stand against men and the want or need for companionship. Granted, if you truly oppose men, marriage, children, etc….I salute you and respect you. I am adult enough to honor your view and still live my life, my way.

If you however, want to be/remain “pro-woman,” I am here to tell you that you don’t have to be “anti-everything else.”

You can have it all, the empire, the husband, the commitment, the tradition, the feminism, the children, the wholeness…. It’s all yours if you want it. No one way or choice is right or wrong.

Thank you for reading.

Chantia Singleton is an educator, a happiness and self love enthusiast and an author of children’s books. Learn more at www.littlegirlbighair.com

All Photos by: JaxonPhotogroup http://www.jaxonphotogroup.com