Why I said “ Yes”
“Kailan ka ikakasal?
This can be one of the most annoying questions, especially when you’re a woman. It can be irritating for single women who are enjoying their life with success. It can be uncomfortable if you are in a steady relationship and your partner is just not ready. It pressures adult women to get a life and jump into marriage.
I have received this question even before I was in a relationship. When I turned 26, it started to become a common question in my social circle. I never really get offended because I believe this is a conversation starter for most Filipinos. Sometimes it’s just tempting to banter. “Please understand. I don’t need a man to define me.”
I’m such a positive thinker. At the back of my head, I am thinking at least people care about me, my well-being, that they even bother to ask about my personal life.
As much as my heart was open to many possibilities, I put in my mind that relationships can take the backseat. Instead of dreaming of a lost boy who would find his way to me, I just wanted to explore the world and make an upgraded version of myself. I had thought that there were so many wonderful things that could happen in my life aside from marriage.
I can be happy without a husband and a child. I have survived life alone. And perhaps, I can survive the next chapter of my life alone. I can live with that for a long time.
Call me selfish but I am scared at the thought of sharing myself to someone else. I love myself too much that giving a portion of me is just unthinkable for me.
Fast forward, I am engaged. I find it ironic that I was in Congress last week to advocate in ending child, early, and forced marriage. I witnessed the Divorce Bill passed on the second reading at Congress, which is a milestone for women’s movement in the Philippines.
Marriage means many things to many people. We associate marriage with spiritual meaning, our personal meaning, and our realities. It can be a legal contract, a covenant to God or just a label. What’s in a name anyway?
When I think of marriage, I look up to my parents. It is a picture of two senior citizens eating breakfast at McDonald’s. It is a relationship that goes beyond grey hair and memory lapse. Sometimes, I think about my dad who professes that he want to live longer for my mother. Sometimes, I think of my uncle who constantly helps my aunt walk. Sometimes, I think about my sister who reminds my brother-in-law to watch what he eats. Sometimes I think about couple I met on my trip to Sagada. They travel together with their son.
This is a sample of the couples I know but I’m sure they do not represent what most married couples have.
I am getting married soon not because I believe in forever but, because life is just too short. We only have limited time on earth. I want to spend the remaining years of my life with the things that truly matter to me and with the people who are special to me. Time becomes real as you age. Time becomes real when you learn about the death and illness of others. I just want to cherish each moment as if it is my last breathing moment. I want to share my time, my dreams, with my significant other.
Though there is no assurance that any marriage will last (even the most promising marriages fail), I can’t let go of something beautiful just because of the probability of failure. It is just one of the risks we take in life. Having said that life is just too short, we make choices not only on how we use our time but we choose the risks we want to take. We choose the ones that are worth the risk.
When my aunt talks about relationships, she tells me: Try. If it fails or succeeds, at least you have a story to tell.
Some people marry because they want to build a home. Honestly, I don’t mind not having kids of my own in the future even if it’s my dad’s request. If I can’t bear children of my own, I’ll just adopt homeless children. I am not obsessed with my procreative powers. For me, anywhere is home when there is love.
We were trained by the world that ‘true love’ is out there, beyond our reach. We chased for unknown feelings and call it “true love” but real love is a familiar feeling we have known all along. Love feels like home. Whoever gives you a sense of home is a gem.
I found home in my fiancé. Home is a feeling of a toddler who rushes towards his dad as he opens the door. Home is the feeling when you find relief over dried fish and tomatoes even if you have tried different cuisines. Home is a place where you can hear your mother’s sermon, your brother’s fart, the television on the living room. Home is a place of equally flawed people who find refuge in each other. Home for me is a place where you can be yourself and where you can grow.
I have always been fearful of married life but I am thankful that I have a fiancé who tries to understand my hidden anxiety, who gives me confidence that I can, we can navigate life with all uncertainties.
I have changed my perspective. Now that I am engaged, I think marriage is not a death of many dreams but it is a birth of many dreams.
Anybody can argue it’s just a piece of paper. Why let a piece of paper hold so much power over your life ?It’s just a ritual that you can choose not to do. But when you love someone, you will do whatever it takes to show how much you love that person.
Whether it will take so much of your time, so much of your energy
whether you will have to give up a portion of who you are…
Whether it will require you to sacrifice more than you can
and whether it will just take a piece of paper, a ring, a ritual, you will do it willingly and proudly.
If you are not with the one you love, “all the shines of a thousand spotlights, all the stars we steal in the night sky will never be enough “(Greatest Showman)
I have used so many words just to explain why. It all boils down: There is a man I choose to love everyday and I cannot afford to lose him. I look forward for the world we are going to make.