There’s a lost dream somewhere – one where I had imagined myself as an adult, getting married, having children, living in one of those suburbs with identical houses – where did that dream go? Is it cheesy to think this dream would be my happily ever after?
This dream mostly comes and goes like water in a river but it was one of those things that’s always been in the back of my mind like white noise.
For the past few years, this dream resurfaced a few times. I would say it’s probably once a year kind of thing.
In 2017, when I visited my grandmother in China, she said like she was sending me on a journey, “when you find the right man, bring him to China,” she continued, “it is then I will gift you a golden bracelet I have kept since you were a baby. This bracelet signifying you are a married woman.” Okay, no pressure.
At the end of 2019, the dream was brought to the forefront of my mind by a panic. I was 28 and suddenly felt frantic and terrified at the thought I’m going to grow old alone, or worst, with a bunch of people I dislike. I signed up for online dating but the pool was too full of desperate, needy men. This was not for me, I decided. I’m not interested in needy men that needs to be communique during odd hours like midnight.
The dream resurfaced again last week and it was caused by two things – my youngest cousin YF got married to his long-time girlfriend and another cousin is pregnant with her first child.
My cousin YF lived in the house next to mine with his parent until he took a sabbatical from his two-year community college program and flew back to China earlier this year to woo his girlfriend.
No one knew he was getting married until a few hours before or in my case, more than 24 hours later.
There was no wedding. He and his girlfriend just went, got a ring from the local jeweler, and the marriage certificate. Next thing I knew, his dad was in my kitchen, consulting with my mom about how to get his new daughter-in-law to the U.S. After he left, my mom said, “YF is finally grown up.”
“What are you talking about?” I asked.
“He got married.” I felt happy for him but at the same time, I could feel my desperation returning.
Later that same day, I found out my younger cousin (6 months younger than me) is having a child. She got married over a year ago.
Why is everyone getting married at such a young age these days? YF married at 24 and my other cousin is having a baby at 29?
Maybe I’m just green with envy. But, but what about my dream?