Being in your mid twenties means one question suddenly needs an answer.
1. When are you getting married?
Once a week I am asked about when I intend to marry. I find this comical, as according to me this usually involves two people, not just an executive decision to go get hitched. Asking me when I'm getting married has become like the habitual texts from my mother about when I'm getting my flu shot. The answer to both is the same: When I get around to it, but may I tell you about my flourishing career?
I've always been harboring a feminist fugitive in my soul. My last name means something to me. The place in the fashion industry I have begun carving out for myself carries my maiden name, the last name I'm known by and has even prompted by nickname, KB. My father grew up in the projects of Manhattan and has since made a name for himself in the construction industry. Men never have to worry about the idea of a name change-- for better or worse--the name you have is the one you curate for the rest of your life. For women, it is the debate between us and the elephant in the room. Both genders are told to "make a name for themselves" and both are fully capable. But what happens when one gender is expected to change that name in their professional prime? I don't have the answer, but it is a topic that interests me.
When I was asked the other day about my plans for walking down the aisle, I replied quite bluntly. I have too many things do and accomplish being KB, before I even think about becoming somebody else. Perhaps I come across as selfish in saying this, but I'd rather be honest than pretend that making my family name into something infamous doesn't mean anything to me at all. Quite honestly- it means everything.
I have been blessed to be surrounded by strong and inspirational women. The conversations my close friends and I have make me truly secure in believing we are the future chiefs of this great country. There is a generation of women emerging that have such great intellect, that when paired with our millennial momentum, we are quite unstoppable. This is what makes me get out of bed every morning. The notion that I am forging a future that I was told three years ago would never happen.
One day I do fancy the idea of sharing my life with someone else and one day I will most likely share his last name. But now? Now I'm creating myself. Now I'm scribbling notes on napkins and spending mornings in coffee shops. Now I'm hosting wine festivals where we talk about the world and watch documentaries. That's my now.
If there is one thing I will preach about is that we all need to do what makes each of us happy. I am trying to live this day by day. If that's getting married, I will be at your wedding sending all my love and well wishes. If that's traveling the world, I expect post cards from every city you conquer. And if that's starting a novel in a coffee shop, then I think I will be drinking an unhealthy amount of espresso.
Let us stop comparing and start creating.
You want to get married? You go girl. You don't? You go girl.
For me, my marital status has nothing to do with my level of individual success. My marital status will do this and this alone; it will tell the world that I love another person enough to walk in stride with them for the rest of my life. Everyone sees success in a different pantone. There is no right paint chip. For my friends who have found that person, I applaud you. For my friends still searching--put down the treasure map and let yourself be the X. The world is at our feet, truly ours for the taking-- reach out and grab it. The world around us was created and reinvented by the same people you see at the grocery store. It's not rocket science, it's called never giving up.
Take your name, whether maiden or married, and make something of it. Single, married, widowed, divorce...there is no check this box on a job application. Whatever we do in this life, we must ensure that we retain our personal goals. Because at the end of this runway, I've been told there's a moment where you ask yourself what you did. For me... my dream is for KB to mean something more than just a childhood toy store.
So to answer the question that I get asked so frequently (once & for all)...
I will get married when I am asked by a great man who doesn't mind having a writer for a wife.
Lord help him.