For most of my life, I grew up focusing on my future. I feel like so many of us are “programmed” to think that our life needs to look a certain way. We are supposed to hit these magic invisible markers for all of life’s big accomplishments. I remember when I was younger I thought I would be married by 25 and have kids before I was 30 and live in a house with a white picket fence. Man was that vision wrong.
I went to college in Philadelphia and spent years living a urban lifestyle focused on my schooling and then my career. I could have never envisioned fitting into these boxes at these age groups. It wasn’t my path. Today, I am excited to be partnering with SK-II in their #INeverExpire campaign. They created this short film speaking to the challenges and age-related pressures woman face every day. The video is very emotional to watch (especially since I am pregnant, thanks hormones) but it’s message is very powerful. I loved hearing actress Chloe Bennet’s reactions to the video on Vanity Fair here.
For me, I remember having things that I wanted to accomplish and I knew I wanted to get married and have a family but my focus was as a career woman first. My lifestyle was always on the untraditional side. Living that urban hustle and making a huge career change from full time graphic design to taking the leap and running my blog as my business. It was a pivotal time in my life for focus on my career and investing in my own future. That doesn’t stop the pressures and questions of, “when are you going to get married?” Back then I was in a 9 year relationship and I was never in a rush to get married. But it was hard both facing those questions from others and then inevitably, double guessing my own life’s plans based on other people’s and society’s limitations. It’s so hard as a woman feeling like you have this expiration date following you around and that if you don’t get married by a certain age, you might as well give up. I fought through that and inevitably stuck to the beat of my own drum.
More recently, after life changed and grew with me and my business, I moved out to California 5 years ago and quickly fell in love with my husband. I got married on my own terms at the age of 31. Everything was amazing until the questions started once again and this time, it was extra painful. I feel like everyone’s initial reaction to you getting married is, “When will you start to work on growing your family?” “You know your clock is ticking! Better get to it.” While Blake and I were eager to start a family, this type of societal pressure was extra painful since we went through infertility and such problems trying to conceive. The pressures that people put on you are a lot of times just a pattern for them. Step 1 get married. Step 2 have kids. And honestly, not everyone’s life looks like that. Some people don’t want a family, some people are unable to have children, and so on. The aggressive age pressures never seem to stop for woman. So many of these pressures though become self-inflicted from the years of being told how we should live our lives.
What I loved the most about this video and campaign, is the chance to take control of our own destinies. I love this message that empowers women to be in charge of our own lives, go at our pace, and find our own unique paths. This is what makes us all so beautifully special. Let’s all take this moment to realign and live life on our own terms because #INeverExpire and neither do you. Being able to share my journey with you all continues to be my biggest and most worthwhile accomplishment and it warms my heart to be able to inspire you today to go out there and not let anyone limit you.