The Alt-Groom

Hello, my name is Joshua and I am lucky enough to be Siobhan's fiance. I will be adding my voice to this blog every so often. I am quite nervous about contributing towards this directly in case what I write isn't up to scratch but, I also want to be a part of this as it is an opportunity to record my thoughts and feeling about this important time in our lives. So, here goes...

As this journey begins I am extremely excited at the prospect of building a life with Siobhan and I also love the commitment that we have made to one another. I am full of anticipation for what may lie ahead of us but, at this moment in time, I want to take to opportunity to look back before looking forward. I want to look back to the original wedding I had always envisioned, although I had never given all of the fine details much thought. I feel as though many of the ideas I had were ones that I had just taken as a given, things that "everyone does at their wedding." Without Siobhan I probably would never have given any of these things a second thought (even though I believe myself to be quite a critical thinker). This is because when it comes to my own life, moments and institutions that have so much tradition wrapped up around them it becomes difficult to know if you are doing something because you want to, or because it is what was always expected and therefore what you always expected to do.

One example of this being my initial thought that when I got married my wife would take my last name and lose her own (this being despite the fact that my mum double-barreled her own last name). When I think about it now, it seems unfair to expect women to change a part of their identity when men are not expected to do the same. It is obviously great if a woman, or a man, chooses to change their second name but, I feel uneasy at the fact that I had just expected it without giving it any thought (as I imagine others will have also).

Another part of the wedding I had previously expected without questioning was that it would be a wholly Christian, religious ceremony (despite every girl I had been in a serious relationship with not being a Christian). Now, I am not sure whether this was due to unconscious patriarchal ideals where whomever I was with would have to confirm to my own world view or whether this was more to do with the fact that I have been a Christian all my life, all weddings I had been to were Christian and that it was the only option I felt that was available. It is probably a mixture of both. I do know that this aspect of my life is a very large topic for me and it will have it's own blog post to allow me to expand upon it more.

This is simple a few examples where Siobhan's engagement with the world has helped me to expand my understanding and interactions with it (I am planning on writing about how being a feminist and engaging with feminism properly has changed many of my perceptions). This is one thing that I truly cherish about our relationship, we have and do try to see the world through each other's eyes and through this practice something new is made, something better. I enjoy the exchange (and disagreements) that occur because it only serves to reflect and refine our outlooks. In truth, I believe that every important person in my life has had this effect on me and that the person I am today and tomorrow is influenced by the people I have and will meet. I am so encouraged that Siobhan and I will be influenced and influencing each other for a long time.

The image at the top of this post, for me, perfectly depicts what I have been saying. We are together, on the edge of a fantastic journey with an abundance of possibilities ahead of us which we will influence and experience together. Our pasts are reflected behind us, but our future is expansive and full of vibrancy.

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