Jennifer Aniston wrote an article for Huffington Post yesterday called For The Record that really resonated with me.  That might be surprising, because I am happily married with a child, but I didn’t do those things to be complete.  She writes “we are complete with or without a mate, with or without a child. We get to decide for ourselves what is beautiful when it comes to our bodies. That decision is ours and ours alone.”  I had a plan from pretty early on (16 or 17 years old) about how I would live a complete and happy life, and it wasn’t based on finding a mate and starting a family.

We are complete with or without a mate, with or without a child. We get to decide for ourselves what is beautiful when it comes to our bodies. That decision is ours and ours alone.  -Jennifer Aniston

I knew that I would travel, that I would try to have new and diverse experiences each year, and that I would pursue a career that would allow me to study mathematics the rest of my life.  Did I want to find someone to share that time with?  Sure.  Actually I really wanted to, although I know not everyone feels that way.  In my opinion, having a best friend is more important than a passionate lover, and when you get both in one package, that’s the best of all!

But I digress.  My point is that even though I really wanted to find my “soul mate” and thought I might possibly want to have kids one day, I didn’t plan my whole life around it.  I was going to have a good, full life no matter what, god damn it!  Maybe because I’m a mathematician, but it seemed like finding someone that one would be a great fit with for even a year, enough less five or fifty years, was highly unlikely.  It’s silly now looking back because I met PB when I was 18 years old, but I had also finished three years of university (yes, I graduated young, let’s move on) and there hadn’t been a single person I had been interested in more than just a small crush.  I had never been in love and I was starting to think that maybe I would never be in love.

I used to say I would never consider marriage until I was at least 30 (it seemed so old at the time!).  It was because I wanted to travel the world and I thought all fun stopped when you got married and settled down.  (Of course, the traveling has slowed since LB appeared… see Wanderlust with a toddler.)  I even told PB this about a week before he proposed (I was 19).  Thankfully, he still asked and I said yes (mostly).  We were young, and we got married young (21 and 25 years old).  But it’s worked out for us.  I could claim that we knew each other really well and ourselves too, and we lived together for a couple years first, and while that’s all true, I think we just got lucky.  We’ve changed over the last 9 years since we started dating, but we’ve both changed in ways that have made us more compatible.

I can’t imagine what it’s like for Jennifer to live her life with Paparazzi following her everywhere.  For decades.  She’s been my favorite actress since Friends (the greatest show of all time), but I know that doesn’t give me the right to have access to all the parts of her private life.  I’d rather she enjoy her private life; she seems like an awesome person!  I’m glad that she seems happy right now.  Not many people (myself included) would be strong enough to withstand that onslaught for so long, and still be able to feel good about themselves, their friends/partner, and their bodies.

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This is how I pictured her expression while writing the article. 🙂
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