I NEVER wanted to be married. My parents divorced when I was 4-years-old, and although I grew up around amazing married couples, especially my loving grandparents, I did not feel like it was something I wanted for my life. I feared divorce before I allowed myself to enjoy the thought of marriage. I was apprehensive about having kids and putting a child through what I went through with my father’s absence post-divorce, and I made up my mind in college that I was NOT that girl who needed or desired a husband.
Flashback to 2005, after a couple of not-so-great relationships, I vowed to take time to myself and not date anyone. It felt great to be free of the bullshit. By the end of the year, I had more clarity on what I wanted for my future, and a boyfriend was not on my list. Being by myself would do me just fine! It was now 2006, and I received a Facebook message from a handsome guy named Clavon, also known as Clay, who attended Hampton University. My first thought, “Who is this dude hitting me up way out in Virginia?” My second thought, “Let me ask my cousin Rachel who also attends Hampton if she knows him.” Of course, she did, and she had nothing but great things to say about him, so I told myself, “I guess I’ll be nice”, and I went ahead and responded. I expected nothing from that convo, absolutely nothing, but after a few chats and a random meeting while he was on break in California, we had our first date.
I had barely got in the car before I let him know that I was not looking for a boyfriend, and this meetup was strictly for fun! He gave me a subtle laugh and replied with a simple “OK.” Little did I know that would be the start of the best relationship I could have asked for!
Throughout the years of us dating, I gave Clay so much push back. He was very clear that I was the one for him, and he wanted to marry me, but I let fear get the best of me. There were times when we would be hanging out, and the thought of us being together forever would bring happy tears to my eyes. I could picture us building and growing together, but I was too stubborn to admit that it was ok to change my mind, and want to marry my best friend. I was clinging to the pact that I made to myself years ago that marriage was not for me. Not being completely clear about my feelings stirred up a lot of insecurities in Clay, and our relationship was starting to be tested. Emotions were at an all time high. Then one day a good friend asked me, “What’s holding you back?” I stumbled over my answer realizing that I was so set in excuses as to why this could never work that I never took the time to reflect on just how special our relationship was and how much more I actually wanted to experience together. That conversation literally shifted my whole perspective, and I called Clay immediately to let him know from there on out I’m all in! Seven months later, he surprised me with an epic proposal! Now look at us, 13 years later, 2 of them being long distance, 4 years of marriage and 2 baby girls, I still can’t believe how far we have come. I’m a fulfilled individual, a whole-ass wife and mother, and it has been one of the greatest blessings that I tried so hard to block from my life!