We all tell ourselves something that we then tell to others about who we are. My husband loves to take naps. I would say his favorite thing to do is take a nap on the weekend’s. I always tell him and others, “I never take naps”, which for the most part is true, except for this past Saturday. I laid on the couch while he watched ??? I closed my eyes and an hour later I woke up. Stay with me for a second… He said, “Ah, I thought you never take naps! What happened? Because you sure were sleeping and snoring!” I guess I do take naps.
It started me thinking about what else have I said, I never do? It turns out more than I care to admit.
For starters, my husband. He is white aka Caucasian. He’s actually French, German, and Hungarian, but somewhere people with European ancestry get labeled as white. I used to say, “I could never date, let alone marry a white guy!” It crushes me to say or even admit that now. It’s ok, though, my husband knows that. We’re good. It’s extremely upsetting to think I would be as shallow and narrow-minded to forgo the most incredible and loving relationship of my life due to his skin color. How would I feel if he or someone else did that to me? It’s embarrassing to admit it. He can’t help that he’s white, just as I can’t help that I’m brown. We can still love one another. We can still laugh together. We can still travel the world together… You get it, in the end, it was my issue, not his. The funny thing is I’ve learned what they say is true, love is color-blind. I don’t look at my husband as my “white” husband, nor does he look at me as his “brown” wife. I think anyone in an interracial marriage can relate to that. You obviously know and can see your differences, but they become insignificant in the grander scheme of your love and life together.
Along with never dating white guys, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said, “I could never leave my family.” Obviously, I fell in love and moved across the country, now 2x’s, so that proves that was a lie. I was afraid to leave home. While in my 20’s, I had lived on my own, in my own apartment, and paid my own bills. I was still only a stone’s throw away from my family, my safety net. If I ever felt lonely, sad, happy, hungry or just needed to do laundry for free – I could go home and I did. I would secretly judge other people who moved away from their families as not being as much of a devoted son or daughter as me. This is completely false. Again, embarrassing to admit. How could I be so small minded and judgemental of others? Moving thousands of miles away from my family has taught me it’s okay and will be okay. My ego actually thought that my family would fall apart because I wasn’t there to take care of everyone and everything. How would everyone function without me? You know what happens after you move away? Life. It goes on. My mother says it best, “you have to live your life for you now. I did my job as your mother and now I have to let you go.” That’s really a parent’s job anyway, right? Prepare us to go into the world and follow our own adventures and bliss in life.
I followed my heart to San Francisco. I surprised everyone, including my boyfriend, and bought a one-way ticket to SF. Why? Because my happiness depended on it. We were in a long distance relationship. It was becoming increasingly difficult to be apart from this man. Which leads me to my final thing I used to claim, “I could never live with a man before marriage.” What did I do? I moved across the country before we were even engaged. Why this matters, coming from a traditional Latino household the very thought of living with a man pre-marriage was never encouraged, let alone pre-engagement. I knew in my heart and soul, this was the man I was going to marry, and I did. I wasn’t going to wait forever for an engagement and luckily I didn’t have to. My husband and I, both agree that it probably would have turned out differently if we lived in the same city. He claims, he probably would’ve proposed sooner if we lived in the same place because we would’ve had more time together, which you don’t get much of in a long distance relationship. I received my whole family’s blessings to move. However, I did have an end date in mind, if he didn’t propose by a certain date. I knew, for me, I wanted to be his wife. I wanted him to be my husband. I was not going to play house forever with this man and I was prepared to walk away from it all and him if my wants weren’t going to be met.
Love has a funny way of changing everything. All of these “I could never’s” ultimately are fear-based or ego driven. It takes maturity and reflection to be able to admit and distinguish that for what it is. I’ve learned when someone says, “I can’t or I could never”, it’s also a story they are telling themselves, as I’ve told myself and others many times. “Whether you think you can or you can’t you’re right.” – Henry Ford
What are the stories you tell yourself?