Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Expectations and realisations

I'm pretty sure that I'm not the only girl who dreamt of what her wedding would be like. Flicking through magazines admiring dresses and choosing themes, picturing the perfect Prince Charming waiting at the end of the aisle. 

I thought that marriage would provide me with everything I wanted in a partner; strength, stability, unity and respect. In that I would provide them with the aspects they needed from me; strength, love, respect, a mother for their children, a woman for their home, a wife for the other stuff...

But it doesn't work like that.

I thought I would find and marry a man who would share my dreams, understand my worries and love every fibre of our intertwined lives, whichever direction it went in. We would become a collective mind, knowing what the other needed, wanted and expected (in a respectful manner-of course) and react accordingly. 

We would smile, a lot. 

We would dance at our wedding in such perfect unison that the world would think we were one. 

My marriage has turned out different from this. I find myself feeling incredibly lonely and on the very few days we spend together between the 14 hour shifts and renovating the house (seperately) we argue about the dishes, or how I do the washing, or how he screws up my ironing. 

Our intertwined lives aren't sparkly ribbons of synchronised energy moving through time and space and the awesomeness that is completely achievable by any well matched couple - married or not. 

I was wrong and I finally understand why. 

Marriage does not a perfect partner make. Individuals, pre-marriage, are not changeable creatures. We are what we are and change is innevitable and impossible all at the same time. And that's when you realise you spend more time smiling with other people. 

I know I was wrong to want my partner to change, I should love him for who he is. But they key to any success is the positivity behind it and there was no positivity in our relationship before we were married, so why was I foolish enough to think there would be now? Despite his promises and vows, he never has changed, just become more moody and demanding, more unhappy (though he will always deny it).

Ultimately any relationship is a hard fought battle of personalities, wills and strengths. All aspects of the individuals that when used correctly, can create a perfect partnership. 

Despite always wanting to be able to define my identity as a wife, I cringed at the very moment the registrar announced us as Mr. and Mrs. Ball. I felt like my identity had suddenly been ripped away from me. The years of honing myself as Eleanor Dalton were laid to waste and now I had to be Mrs. Ball, a person I didn't know how to be. 

Just know that if you can't walk down the aisle without physical help from your dad, that's probably not your perfect partner you're walking towards. 

I should add that I am not blaming my husband for this. I know I make him just as unhappy as he makes me. We are badly matched and it kills me to know I cannot change it. I can't be different and neither can he. 

So our energy will continue to flow in different directions. I wonder if I'll still be in this situation in a years time.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Do the clothes make the man?

When I left University, I had every intention of joining a creative agency. An agency that supported crazy, out-of-the-box (I hate that saying), thinking. One with pages and pages from sketch books spread out across the walls, where all team members wore jeans with holes in, glasses bigger than their face and had tattoos up to their neck. The type of people Steve Jobs referred to as 'the crazy ones'. We all know the speech, right?

Since then, I've moved from working for myself (quite often in pyjamas all day), to working for an agency with no dress code, to working for an agency which required constant smart clothes, and now I've been offered a very exciting opportunity to work in the most corporate environment yet (I will hopefully reveal more details in my next post!).

My wardrobe has become smarter and smarter. And, as much as I feel this is a mature change, I am less comfortable, increasingly more self-conscious and slightly worried I am losing my 'creative' identity?

My entire dissertation project focused on first-impressions and was heavily orientated around styles and genres of people - what they wear, how they present themselves, etc. Do you think presenting yourself more seriously, makes you a more serious person? I kind of hope it doesn't but at the same time I'm very eager to belong and fit into this agency.

A plus side to hiding your identity is the shock you give people when you sheepishly reveal your tattoos. To me, they show instant creativity and give a huge insight into my true personality. That can be quite fun! Plus Steve Jobs himself went from being a no-shoe-wearing hippie to a very corporate man, and he did just fine.

I don't know what it is about formal-wear but it makes me feel like I'm dressing up to be somebody I'm not, especially since it's going in the opposite direction of what I had planned. Does anybody else feel this way? I'd love to hear your thoughts!