Yasmin Eleby, a 40 year young Texan, who recently got married is my new shero! If you’re wondering exactly why this woman that I’ve never met has had such a profound impact on me, I’ll be happy to explain. In an act of self love and celebration of life, she threw herself the ultimate birthday party. It was a wedding, but without a groom!
I know what you’re probably thinking. Sounds pretty crazy and ridiculous, right? However, it really isn’t that outrageous. Sure she could have called it a birthday party, but it was much more than that. It was a commitment ceremony known as sologamy, in which one makes vows to honor, value, and practice self- love in hopes to make the world a better place, one human experience at a time. Besides, isn’t that what we were put on this earth to do?
After reading Yasmin’s interview with author and life coach Demetria Lucas, I found Yasmin’s reasons for throwing herself a commitment ceremony to be inspiring. Single women are not celebrated enough in our culture. No matter what we accomplish or what type of life we lead, society tells us it means less without a significant other. I myself have grown tired of being asked, why I’m not married yet, or being told by a caring family member that they do worry about the young unwed women in our family. Newsflash, the world has not stopped spinning and hasn’t come to an end, so everyone should get their panties out of a bunch concerning this awesome experience.
Despite others saying she is hopeless, desperate and bitter since she wasn’t married by the age of 40, it was revealed this couldn’t be further from the truth. Yasmine, like myself, does hope to one day be officially married to a man. In the interview, she told Demetria that the idea of marrying herself if she hadn’t found a husband by her 40th birthday had become somewhat of a running joke in within her circle of family and close friends. So, a few months before her birthday, she threw caution to the wind and went for the gusto. I still don’t know why this upset people as though she were spending their money or spitting on the sanctity of marriage. People get married all the time for reasons other than love, for instance marrying someone you don’t love or even respect just so you can pretend not be lonely. Besides ladies, what better way to bring in the big 4-0 than wearing a beautiful gown, surrounded by family and friends who adore you?
Personally, I refuse to believe that Yasmin has been condemned to live a life of loneliness. And if God does want her to remain single, then its for him to decide and no one else. Being single is actually a blessing and not a curse. When you’re single, it allows you to explore life, your purpose and who you are with limited distractions. I too hope to be married one day, but if I had gotten married at the age of 25 like I’d planned, I probably wouldn’t have moved to Atlanta, or be working on my 2nd book because I would have had a family to consider and put first. I’m living my dream of being a writer and being in a happy place is only going to make me a better partner for some lucky man one day. Being single allows you the freedom to be selfish until you’re in a place that you’re ready to take on the responsibility of caring for another human being, which is not something that is to be taken lightly.
Women of today are being pulled in two different directions. On one hand, we’re pressured to be married by a certain age or according to everyone and they mama, face living a life of loneliness. And on the other hand, we’re told to be independent. We’re told to date ourselves until we know what we want in a partner. We’re encouraged not to wait for that special someone to take that once in a lifetime vacation. That we should buy houses even if we don’t have a family yet to turn it into a home or to have babies because we can do that via a sperm donor instead of a husband. But having a commitment ceremony, where we vow to love and value ourselves to love is crossing the line?
Yasmin’s interview reminded me of one of my favorite lines from the recently aired Lifetime movie, “With This Ring,” about three friends vowing to be married or engaged within a year. Although I didn’t agree with the vow, the movie actually had a good message. So, I’ll leave you all with this, “happiness is now.” And for Yasmin, happiness meant throwing herself a wedding to celebrate her 40th birthday. Self love is a beautiful and necessary ingredient to attracting the right mate. Her vows were sincere and empowering. So, I ask you, if we can’t commit to loving ourselves, then how can we expect someone else too?