“Populations are ageing significantly; Divorce is more frequent; Less people are getting married; Couples are waiting until later to have families because of their professional lives; More children are being born to unmarried parents – Source OECD”
OECD? I’m thrilled.
This evolution in lifestyle, purpose, and family dynamic isn’t just changing the antiquated “norm;” it’s erasing the whole concept of a norm. I don’t believe that normal exists anymore.
As someone who grew up without knowing her biological father, I considered my mother and my babysitter to be my two parents. Kids often asked me why I didn’t have a father, or how I felt when watching movies like “What A Girl Wants,” and it seemed so strange for them, as if not having both sets of parents in their lives was implausible. It didn’t really bother me, but I felt different. My mom introduced a father figure into my life; yet, they never married. While the contract didn’t influence my feelings about him or our dynamic, it still wasn’t normal by any means.
Today, values have shifted. People devote more time to getting out of college and working on a career than thinking about whom to marry and when to start having children. There’s a newfound acceptance in unconventional romances, delayed timelines, entrepreneurship, and just simply going against what’s expected in order to stand out. I’m all for being authentic, and my upbringing taught me to never try and fit into other people’s ideals or expectations should they conflict with my own.
It’s okay to never get married.
It’s okay to freeze your eggs and wait.
It’s okay to forgo a corporate job and go out on your own.
It’s okay to adopt children if you can’t have any.
It’s okay to love and marry a partner of the same sex.
It’s okay to blend colors within a cohesive family.
It’s okay to say that this way of living is better than okay—it’s real and awesome.
I hope that time’s keep changing, where no one is more “normal” than anyone else. We are all individuals; all unique; all inspirational; all making a difference, big or small, in our own ways.
Instead of thinking in terms of normal, I think in terms of “human.” And humans can do whatever the hell they like, stand out as bright as they want to, and not be ashamed for one second about their journey.