Marriage.

I’ve spent the last decade of my life in two long term, exclusive relationships. The first one ended in a sensational, public debacle — one that, as many of the objective, surrounding parties to the situation would eventually come to point out (I mean, better late than never, right assholes loved ones?) was as inevitable as it was austerely ominous.

The second one materialized into the great love of my life. And before you start dry heaving, let me just say this: I know how that sounds, but it’s the utmost truth, and it’s the best thing that has ever happened to me. Still though, I’ve consistently prohibited my brain from even considering the idea that I might aptly fall within the purview of a relationship type of a girl. Labeling myself like that felt like tossing up a billowy white flag of defeat and acquiescing to the widely held public perception that as a young, well-coiffed female with a guy in her life – any guy, really – I must be frivolous, absurd, weak, dependent.

In a world that doesn’t take women who wear too much makeup all that seriously (and really, who’s to say how much is “too much,” and UM, why does it matter in the first place?!), how could I cop to the fact that I consider my bond with my fiancé to be the single most fulfilling aspect of my life? That although I’ve been blessed with a satisfying career and a number of longstanding, wildly-inappropriate-inside-joke-laden friendships, at the end of it all, I’m most eager to come home to my hubby, forcing him to the watch The Affair with me on Showtime, while cuddling on the couch and downing various forms of toxic corn syrup (Starburst, Skittles, Swedish Fish) out of an oversized, multi-colored plastic bag?

As a child, I picked up on the idea that becoming anything other than a completely financially and emotionally independent woman was the equivalent of transgressing into a sad, harrowing cliché of a thing. When I’d go to work with my mother — think shadow day – I’d observe that she occupied one of the most impressive offices in the space. It had a large desk that travelled up the wall and around the room, a white marker board with important red notes scrolled, and a sky high, sprawling view. More often than not, I’d roam the entirety of the floor, introducing myself to what appeared to be a sea of employees (I was four and cute, so this was substantially more permissible than it probably would be now), who would entertain my zealous, self-imposed “Hellos!” with declarations like “Oh. This is Jan Vilim’s daughter.”

And I was proud. For a hefty chunk of my formative years, my mother was a single parent. She had a top tier education, a prestigious corporate career and a well manicured home in an upscale neighborhood on Long Island. Recently, she mentioned that, in those days, she wasn’t particularly interested in finding a partner or getting married because, as she noted, “I had my own house. I had my own job. I had my own car. I even…had my own kid.”

But was she fulfilled? Was she complete?

I don’t know; that isn’t for me to say, I guess. After my Stepfather entered the picture, though, things did become noticeably more peaceful for a time. At six, I was able to observe my mother having fun, being carefree. She seemed significantly more at ease, taking the time to travel, grappling with the idea of relocating to the West Coast, contemplating the addition of a second child to the family. During an argument that I witnessed between her and my Stepdad, though, I remember her storming into the living room — tense, overwrought, tear-stained – and declaring, “I made a big mistake here. I was doing fine on my own. I’m just not the type of woman who’s meant to be married.” She wore a reddish/pink scarf with small white polka dots tied in a knot at the side of her neck. My Stepfather, I worried, would soon be a goner. But I also wondered, “What type of woman is meant to be married?”

I graduated from college a year and a half early, attended law school in Boston, produced, reported and fought with fire to ward off the idea that I might actually be that sad little cliché of a girl. When I first started dating my fiancé, we’d already been friends for a number of years. During one of our earliest lunches at a small café uptown, I remember thinking I’m having so much fun. And instead of experiencing that intensely awkward, stomach churning, God-where-is-this-going-feeling that often coincides with first dates, I felt like I was spending quality time with the only person who has ever made me think that maybe being soft is being powerful.

My fiancé is meticulous in his cleanliness; I’m a walking disaster. He’s an intensely, painstakingly private person; I’m a notorious over-sharer who’s willing to spill my guts to anyone who will listen. He’s quiet (at first); I’m a chatterbox. He’s steadfast in his decision-making skills; I vacillate between options until I work myself into a panic attack. It’s not that we’re identical to one another — because we’re not. It’s that he is the somebody who gets my soul, and I’ve come to believe that a soul is a far more powerful and enduring thing than a pedigree could ever be.

 

 

 

  • Thank you so, so much for this! Your comment literally made my day 🙂 I’m also glad to hear that you’re not put off by the length of the posts! I’m definitely going to try to incorporate some shorter ones too (lol), but they’re really meant to read as journal entries (I’ve kept diaries my whole life — so this is just my very public, online one). Ha!

    I’m so obsessed with braids, as well, babe. I literally have a Pinterest board dedicated to all different types, but I would never be able to do one on my own. My hair stylist, Andre, has done some amazing fishtails that I absolutely die for.

    And lastly, if you decide to go Charlotte, let’s chat first! I want to make sure you get the right products and I’m pretty sure that we have similar coloring. I can send you a makeup list!!

    Sending you lots of love, amor. And as always, thanks for stopping by, gorgie!! xx

    • indecisivelystylish

      Fishtail braids are my favorite to do!! My hair is really long so it’s easier for me to do a quick fishtail, especially in the summertime haha

      And yes all suggestions are welcomed! I have a very fair complexition so any product suggestions would be great. Thank you so much!!

      Xx Sarah

  • The Girl from Connecticut

    I really enjoyed todays post and relate to some of the things you were saying. I also really love your outfit!

    http://thegirlfromconnecticut.com/

    • Thank you so much for your sweet message! 🙂 It’s super helpful and important to me that you find some of the content to be relatable. I’ve been living in some variation of this outfit throughout the winter because the weather has been so up and down! Thanks again for stopping by, sending you lots of love and appreciation!! xx, B

  • Anamika

    Oh you’re just the best sort of writer! I read the post like 5 times and was so sad when it ended each time. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful story. My mom didn’t have a self-made life – she lives in my dad’s shadows basically and when I was growing up they fought a lot which ended up in her feeling completely helpless afterwards. I was resolved to never ever be in that situation. Fast forward to today, I have a strong career, complete financial independence and do everything to never feel helpless. These days I also want to be married. I’ve been with my boyfriend, who is my best friend also, for almost 8 years now – where we come home, binge watch TV shows and eat a lot of candy together. Yet, I often wonder if he doesn’t propose to marry me ever because I’m too independent or that I give off that non-needy image. It made my day to read your story – that it is okay to want to be married, to have that kind of love and vulnerability while being a strong, independent woman. Thank you! 🙂

    • You have no idea how much your message means to me!! I constantly waiver back and forth between posting purely about outfits/personal style (although that just doesn’t seem to be my thing — I think the photos speak for themselves, so I’m more interested in discussing other topics that affect women). Anyway, I totally understand where you’re coming from regarding what you absorbed as a child and how that motivated you later in life. I think everything that you’ve done sounds incredibly impressive *and* that you’ve provided yourself both stability and options, which are two of the most important things that a girl can have — right? 😉 Regarding your boyfriend, it sounds like you’ve found someone who’s a great fit for you, and I’m sure that he is very lucky as well. I’m confident that everything will unfold exactly when/how it’s meant to, and hey, a helpful hint never hurt anyone either. 😉 Haha, sending you lots of love and a big, big hug. Thank you so much again for your support. X, B.

  • tn

    Absolutely loved this post! Im writing from far far away (Finland) and i’m a bit younger than you but I can still identify with so much of what you wrote! and I must say that I lovelovelove your writing skills, my goal would be to speak and write english like you do even when its not my native language! But to my point, I’ve felt exactly like u, always being introduced as the daughter of the boss and growing up like the ultimate goal in life would be growing up to be like the independent cold asskicking woman my mom was and still is but after meeting my now boyfriend of 2,5 years I’ve completely forgotten about that! Being the absolute opposite of my teenageyeardreams is the best part of my life now, I’m dying to marry the love of my life and have a countless number of children (initially really loathing small children an crying babies). Ive saved a little part of my teenage me and I achieved my goals of graduating (soon) law school but besides that your text just made me feel so good about my new after hubby perspective and the changed goals in my life! Rooting for our beyond perfect future hubbys who made us realize whats important in life!!

    • TN, I absolutely loved reading your comment! Thank you so much for stopping by and for sharing so much! Firstly, I think that you’re ALREADY an incredible English writer, and I also want to congratulate you on your upcoming law school graduation! It’s amazing to hear that you met someone who makes you so happy (love like that is always magical to hear about — sigh) and who allows you see to your future through a unique lens, while also maintaining what seems like a really impressive academic/vocational background. I think the point that I was trying to convey was that a strong, independent female can *also* be a ‘relationship type of a woman’ who talks about weddings/babies/domesticity if SHE so chooses; in other words, the two profiles don’t have to be mutually exclusive. I was reading an article about an enormously successful fashion blogger recently, and being in this industry, I have an idea of what her brand sponsored rates would be; presumably, they’re very high. That said, one of the first questions beneath the text was: “Fashion blogger? So…she uses her husband’s money to pretend to have a job?” Comments like that just feel so 1950’s reductive to me, and yet they’re still rampant, even among other women. Sometimes, especially among other women. I think that’s part of what prompted me to write this article. I’m definitely a feminist at heart, and I hate the idea that a societally ordained pretext dictates what the large majority of people assume that we must be. Anyway, I don’t mean to get too preachy – ha! Thank you again for your sweet message. I’m wishing you and your future hubbs every blessing! Stop by again soon! Lots of love, B. 😉

  • DM

    Dear Brooke, I’ve stumbled upon your IG half a year ago and have been following you since then. I’ve always enjoyed your captions, and outfits but never really been to your site until now. I just read this posting and I am officially a fan of yours. I love your writings and your raw and authentic emotions pour into it.
    I am much older than you but I relate to your marriage journey. Just like your fiancée, my husband is very private and decisive, I am the exact opposite. Yet, we have been lovingly married for 12 years and we are blessed with a 10 yrs old boy. We also live in NYC. I work in a fashion industry and at times get slightly irritated with fashion bloggers. However, you are different, and I hope you don’t change. You should really pursue your writing skill and maybe write a book? 🙂 good luck with your wedding planning and can’t wait to read more about it!!
    Xo

    • DM, WOW — this comment literally made my whole week, I think! 😉 Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and to read the article. I loved receiving your great feedback, and I’m wishing continued good health, success and blessings to your chic little NYC based family – ha!

      I definitely intend to expand the blog and to focus on generating written content that (hopefully) speaks to women about all kinds of issues — ranging from fashion to mental health to societally imposed standards/notions that I feel most of us struggle with on a day to day basis, etc. Although I really enjoy styling looks and taking photos, I’m most passionate about writing. It’s actually been the only common denominator in my confused, constantly changing career trajectory thus far (I know I mentioned that I, too, am paralyzed in when it comes to decision making of every kind; it’s funny that you say the same). That said, I’m extra appreciative of your encouragement because I constantly question whether the articles are interesting, well written, relatable, etc. Thank you so much for following along on this journey with me for the past six months. I’m enormously appreciative of your great guidance and well wishes. Lots of love, B. xx

  • Currently Crystal

    I love, love, love this blog post. I love how unapologeticaly open you are about your love for and connection with your fiancé, and I’m so happy for you that you have found your soul mate. Really looking forward to reading more about your wedding in the upcoming months!

  • Shivangi

    I loved reading your post Brooke! 🙂 The part of you being different from your fiancé made me smile!! 😀 Keep writing wonderful posts like these.

    Love,
    Shivangi

  • Titi

    I stumbled across your instagram, which brought me here and I’m honestly touched by the feeling in your writing.
    This post made me reflect on how I relate to my partner and also made me realise my approach to relationships (as i realise everyones) have sub consciously strongly been influenced by what I saw my mother do….I hate to admit that but it’s a ground breaker!!
    Sometimes things happen for a reason and I’m glad to have read this today!!
    Thanks x

    • Titi

      LOL just read someone else used the same opening…… We all be stumbling on your Insta!!!