The first question I got after the initial excitement over my engagement was, "Are you going to finish college?" Frankly, I was stunned by this question because I've always been a highly motivated person.
I worked multiple internships through college, joined student organizations and planned for a future in the field I have been studying for the last four years to work in. My time in college has not been in vain. I have not spent the past four years working, stressing and dreaming to only get my "Mrs" degree.
I became a writer in my own right, through my different efforts at freelance. I also became learned in social media marketing and communications. This was done not only through my internships, but also through my independent fellowship.
In short, my relationship does not define who I am as a woman. Instead, it has helped me become a better one. All of my experiences – both personal and professional – have helped me develop different aspects of myself.
In 2016, no woman should have to feel like the legitimacy of her education or dream is in jeopardy because she chose to get married. The questioning of my intentions hinted toward the inherent sexism that still accompanies all women when they make such major life decisions.
Women do not have to relinquish their dreams in favor of taking care of a home. If that's your dream and intention, you have every right to pursue it. But it's not right or necessary to force that lifestyle upon all women.
My fiancé and I have been in a relationship for over five and a half years now. He knows the woman I have grown to be because he knows the girl I once was.
He knew me when I was the girl running toward Paris, in order to experience something new. He also knows me now that I'm a woman who wants to run toward a new future.
The point is, he's not marrying me because he's looking for a house wife. He is marrying me because I'm a force of nature. Wherever I end up going, I will bring fire to our life.
I believe in my ability to bring that fire because he believes in me. Being with a man who values my ambition and encourages me to go further each time is imperative to me.
But I am the type of woman who needs a relationship in which my career goals and personal endeavors are encouraged. I believe everyone deserves to feel like his or her goals are being cultivated in a relationship. But sadly, that doesn't always happen.
I don't want to completely fault those people who have asked me if I'm planning on finishing my degree. They have been socialized to think this way.
They believe that since we women aren't socialized to be leaders, we won't assume those roles. But I was always socialized to be a leader. My mother worked full-time in commercial banking, and she supported our family while my dad was finishing his degrees after he left military life.
Even when our family faced various other road blocks, it was my mom who always tried to lead. The idea that it's the men who always have to be the leaders is not only sexist, but it is also insensitive toward men's abilities to accept more submissive positions in relationships.
I didn't get engaged to my fiancé because I need someone to take care of me. I'm not looking for security. David always wants to take care of me, even when I fight it. But that is not why I want to get married.
I want to get married because, in the constant hustle that is my life and throughout all the changes I have experienced in the past few years, I want to be around him. He was my best friend before I knew I loved him. We have always been undeniable. We have also been each other's biggest assets.
I have so many dreams for my future. I want to have a career in both writing and communications. I want to do the many things that I love. I want to photograph every magical thing that I encounter.
But ultimately, I want to get married and navigate these adventures with him.
I'm getting married because I want a partner to share my successes and many failures with: someone who has seen me through my deepest lows and my swelling highs. While I face those challenges in the many avenues I intend to take on, I want to be able to look into those green eyes and know that I am home.