I think about my future interns more than my future children. No, but seriously. Whenever I think of where I’ll be in five or 10 years, I’m thinking of me more than my mini-mes. I see myself working in an editorial office, sending thousands of emails, editing stories and raking through resumes instead of teaching my little ones how to read, taking them to the park or singing Beyoncé’s Dangerously in Love album in its entirety to them at night.
I’m not saying that I don’t want children or a husband or any of that. Of course I do. But most of my focus goes towards my education and future career instead of my future family because I was taught that that was the right thing to do.
School comes first. School comes first. School comes first. The mantra has been drilled into my head since I was ye high. Yes, I indulge in Bridesday Friday on TLC and drool over Vera Wang gowns like the next girl. But I’m not thinking about marriage or my husband or joint accounts or mortgages at the moment. And even if I had a boo, I don’t think that I’d be worried about where it was all going. It’s the same thing with my council of homegirls. We know that dating is fun, but it’s always business before pleasure. Who’s thinking about that at 21?!
Kenya was. I interviewed her and her hubby, Carl, for a Homecoming story this week. They met when they were students at my school in the 90s, got married and had a family. They’re the quintessential college sweethearts. I was super surprised when they told me that they were married only two months after they met. What about classes? Extracurricular activities? Job searches? Graduation?
“Every girl who’s 21…wants to have a fantasy marriage,” Kenya told me. “I accepted it, I told the truth about it. And I knew it was possible.”
Hmph. I politely disagreed with her in my head. We’re not all obsessed with that stuff right now.
I guess Kenya sensed my cynicism over the phone when she flipped the interview and asked me a question: “What do you want?” I lost my words (and a little bit of my professionalism) as I stumbled over a decent answer. “Umm…well…see…it’s just like…”
Kenya answered her question for me. “I think that you don’t know that it’s possible,” she said.
Her Q&A made me realize the truth. To be honest, I didn’t know what I wanted. And I don’t know what I want – at least I’m not sure of it right now. I used to fantasize about my dream man and my dream house and my dream kids. But in my limited scope of experience, those kinds of dreams are a setup for disappointment.
“I knew it was possible,” Kenya continued. “I visualized my husband every day. I asked the universe for him and I did the work. I found a Howard man – brilliant, beautiful and an awesome person. And I told him that I was looking for one. If you’re looking for something, don’t be ashamed to say it.”
Maybe Kenya has a point. There’s nothing wrong with active wishing, right? I just have to keep my goals in order.
When she’s not watching for Blue Ivy sightings or doing some serious Facebook creeping, Khalea moonlights as a print journalism major at the REAL HU, Howard University. Follow her on Twitter at @letsbeKHAlear, or feel free to Twatch. Whatever works for you.