I am becoming the man I wanted to marry.
Let me explain.
A few months ago I was chatting with a dear friend of mine who has just had a baby with a man who has so far been, a very loving partner and husband. And I feel her love for me from the bottom of her heart - she wants me to experience such joy too.
With her deep connection to the divine, she believes that she co-manifested him into her life through an open dialogue with God. Her path to find true love has not been easy... So... on that all important day, she sends me a message to let me know she is available for a chat and we begin a conversation. She asks me if I am dating and I tell her no. Absolutely not. I am not willing to devote any more of my time and sacred energy in the dating 'game'. Because that's all it seems to be. A battle of egos.
She sighs. she's heard it all before.
She takes a new and surprising approach.
"Tina" she says. "Describe your dream man to me".
I take a sip of water. I'm bored already. I type... "tall, dark..."
She stops me.
"No. Tell me where he is now."
I swallow and stare at the screen. I tentatively reply, "at work".
She says, "what work?"
I say, (and I shock myself), "an archaeological dig in Egypt. He's a professor at a university. He has a Phd in Egyptology".
She writes, "when is he coming back?"
"Why do you love him?" she continues...
"He is intelligent. Kind. Respected because of his kindness. He is a writer and he loves his job so he is happy all the time. He is supportive. He is stable. He thinks about others."
I frown. This is weird. I stare at the screen at these qualities I admire: this determination in another human being to succeed and go after what they find interesting and do what makes them happy.
And these words had flowed out of me like a river - there was no hesitation. I was astounded.
After I logged out of the chat, I continued to think about what I had said and it was then that I stumbled upon the question that was to change my entire way of thinking about who I am and what had made me: the biggest lie ever told to little girls like me with a love for Disney films and fairy tales... that a man had been assigned to me who would save me. And he would be everything I had always wanted to be but couldn't because if I was, I would never be able to be subservient as a 'woman's role should be'.
It doesn't matter how far you think society has come. I can hear you thinking - well look at all the working, powerful women out there now. And yes there are. But how many of them are still under pressure to get married and have kids? How many of them still feel that they have to dim their light so that their male partners can shine? My grandfather died in 2008 and my grandmother in 2011. One of the last memories I have of her (she was my bestie) is that she couldn't open her own front door when her husband died because she always let him open it for her. For thirty years! I recognise that I come from two families where men are revered and women are nothing without one. One half of me is Turkish. I grew up seeing my female cousins deemed 'rebellious', forced into marriage with old men. The other half is English and from the countryside - a small town called Tiverton, in Devon. Here I have heard female members of my family say that women shouldn't cut their hair because men don't find short styles attractive and that divorce is not an option.
What I am trying to express is that the role of woman in a patriarchal society is very much ingrained into the collective unconscious as well as the conscious minds into much of society and if you, as a woman, cannot relate to that then I am so happy for you because you have managed to break free! I have not and so I know that my life is going to be about me overcoming these damaging thought patterns not just for myself, but for all my sisters everywhere - past, present and future.
To return to my great discovery thanks to my beautiful friend, I simply stumbled upon the following:
"Why can't I be those qualities that I want in a man?"
And so began my first rebellion against the patriarchy!
I have been a teacher for 15 years but I decided to start working towards a Phd now. Strangely enough, strong women with a Phd in literature have appeared in my life! I want to be a literature professor at a university. I want to learn how to drive (my grandmother never did) and I am now taking lessons. I am studying for an A level in English as well as doing a Masters in literature - all because I have woken up to the fact that I don't need saving. It's never too late to do anything! I am 38 years old.
I am becoming the man I wanted to marry!