The organist and vocalist were late. I hated my dress. I had little say in the flowers. Yet, there was a smile on my face. I was following in the footsteps of those young women who had gone down the aisle before me. No, not my bridesmaids — the women who followed in the footsteps of their mothers and their mother’s mothers before them.
The person who walked down the aisle that day so many years ago seems like a completely different person from the one who writes here today. I had different beliefs, even though my values have remained the same. We base our beliefs on myths and facts that updated as new information becomes available.
Values are the things we find important, and although the priorities of our values may shift with time or age, they typically remain unchanged. I value love, but I no longer believe marriage is the only way to secure it. Does that help explain it? Life doesn’t grant do-overs, but it does grant start-overs, and we are all encouraged to grow and evolve.
June Cleaver and Mary Scott were my role models. June Cleaver was a fictional character on a black and white television show where men came home from work expecting quiet children and dinner on the table. June was known for her impeccable dresses and tidy pearls.
Mary Scott was my grandmother. She was a non-fictional character who watched me while my mother worked. She was known for her jet-black hair, slight frame, and dainty gestures.
Both June and Mary believed it was the woman’s duty and privilege to run the home while their husbands worked. Their homes were always as tidy as their skirts by the time their spouse returned home, and they knew how to get a steaming dinner on the table at the same time each day. Boy, did I have a rude awakening!
It’s hard to talk about how I might have done things differently if I had a the chance. After all, I might have had different children, or no children at all. I’d have waited. I’d have learned more about myself. I’d have considered the impact my choices make on the world, and my life. But life doesn’t give us do-overs. Fortunately, it does give us start-overs.
Is it time to update your beliefs? What myths might you hold as truth? What facts must be updated with new information? What are your values? Do you need to reprioritize them based on a change in your life, age, job, or family?
My children are waiting for marriage and children. I’m proud of the choices they’re making. If they do decide to do either, they’ll have so much more to offer their spouse and/or children. They’ll have a better idea of how to live with other people. They’ll have a better grasp of their own values and beliefs, and not rely on ones borrowed from their parents, grandparents, or fictional t.v. characters.
It’s okay to change your beliefs. It’s okay to realign your values. It doesn’t mean you’re a whole different person. It means you’re evolving.
Peace . . .
5 thoughts on “Evolve”
Very interesting. I like that way of looking at it. Evolving.:) I’m still evolving. I don’t fit in the box and never have. We all tried to fit in with what society said was appropriate. Just didn’t have all the puzzle pieces back then. I agree with you. Marriage doesn’t work for everyone, especially if you have no clue how to pick a good partner. I like June Cleaver because she listened to her children and there was no yelling in their house. That was my way of learning it could be different but how did you find the kind Mr. Cleaver? Your grandmother was beautiful. To be raised by a working mother probably had a lot to do with not finding the conventional path a better way to go. I wouldn’t marry again for any reason. Love, I’d like to really experience that. Maybe it’s still possible.
I hear you saying romantic love. But there are many kinds of love.
Mr. Cleaver. I always wanted someone who was happy to see me and the family when he walked through the door. My husband worked on it but it didn’t come naturally for him.
It took me a long time to realize that Bubba wasn’t going to start bitching the minute he came through the door.
I hope we are all still evolving. There is so much to learn. Especially in these times we are living in.
I appreciate your honesty, Jean, and your hopefulness for the future!
I’m so far behind in everything these days–talk about having neither the tidy house nor the time to do anything on time. That’s me. This is a great post, Jean, and it’s good to see your writing evolve as well as your person. Let’s hope we keep evolving…I think the day we stop evolving, we’re dead either emotionally, psychologically, or it’s the real thing. Now that I’m 60 I’m so enjoying letting old belief systems go. I’m sorry sometimes that it has taken so long, but what the heck, better late than never. This post is an inspiration to look back at those early influencers and dissect them. Like, to this day, I still push back my cuticles daily because my mom once told me to. Will lightening strike if I skip a day?
Thanks so much for your presence! Keep making sense of it all…
… Or it’s the real thing … Ha!
Oh, those voices that speak to us from the past! When I vacuum, I can still hear my mom telling me I don’t do it like she does. And then I straighten out and try to be more systematic at it. I’m still waiting for the lightening . . .