I watched “Marriage Story” the other night. It provoked many emotions, but sadness overrode the wide range of feelings felt while witnessing what I can only assume is an accurate portrayal of how a marriage dies.
More than anything, it showed me that so much of relationships are based on perspective. It confirmed the somewhat cliche, and also maddening phrase that “marriage is hard.” Maddening because of its vagueness. Cliche because that seems to be everyone’s comeback when a friend is venting about his/her marital frustrations.
There are endless, looming questions about life, love, identity and parenting in “Marriage Story.” The one that stood out to me most was one of having a voice.
The film had me provoking questions of one’s independence (both personally and professionally) when they get married:
What happens to your voice when “two become one?”
Where does it go when you become a parent?
Do you ever regain your sense of identity after marriage?
Is it possible for your sense of self to be stronger after becoming a wife and a mother?
It’s made me rethink what someone means when they say, “I’m just not happy with him anymore.” Because often times, it’s more a situation of the woman losing herself in the midst of a binding relationship — instead of merely giving up on her marriage. Or, a man losing hisself in the throes of his partner’s success, status or dominance.
Relationships are complex. Our lives are complex. Things are never as they seem — to an outsider or even a best friend.
And it got me thinking about motherhood
More specifically, the “mom mold” that we feel so inclined to fit inside of, on top of our proclivity to fit into the perfect wife mold.
How can we be wives and mothers while simultaneously being ourselves? Do we have to differentiate among the three titles, or is it possible to be our authentic selves whilst viewing our one person as multidimensional?
I guess like everything in life, it’s all about perspective.
But the overarching question I’m asking is:
How do you go about finding yourself when so much of yourself is tied to your partner, and to your children?
Takeaway Tip: I do recommend “Marriage Story” if you’re in the mood for something sad and serious. Aren’t we all in the mood for that sometimes? It made me like Scarlett Johansson more, and Adam Driver less. While it may be the opposite of a happily ever after, it has some really great life takeaways. It’s on Netflix.
Also, I wrote an article awhile back on The Pros & Cons of a Millennial Marriage if you feel like reading it in your spare time.
Thank you for reading. If you like my newsletter, please do share it with your friends/network! Jake and I’s agreement of 5,000 Ashley’s Newsletter subscribers = investing in starting my clothing line still stands. I’m confident this will happen before 2020 ends. And I am excited about it.
Because this one was a bit depressing, while (hopefully?) thought-provoking, here is what I’m doing during these last few weeks of self-isolation, with the theme, “self-isolation = self-reflection” ringing loud and clear:
Writing thank-you notes to people (friends, previous co-workers, people who have impacted my life in some way) and sending them via snail mail
Sending packages to family and friends (books, treats) via snail mail
Creating vision boards for my clothing line
Watching Gossip Girl (and probably all seasons of Sex & The City)
Going around town & taking photos of storefronts to make some sort of history book on the coronavirus pandemic