I’m 23, so are my peers. Thus, there has been an article circulating around the Internet. Now, it claims that there are 23 alternatives to getting married before turning 23. Naturally, it grabbed my attention, considering I am both 23 and married. I wondered what exactly did I give up to get engaged and married before 23?
I counted. I had accomplished 20/23 on her list. Additionally, most of those things were done while married. Interesting, no? Hence, here is my response to 23 Things To Do Instead Of Getting Engaged Before You’re 23.
I dated a lot of guys before I met husband at the young age of eighteen. In prior years, I did date two or three guys at once, as the author suggested, and yes, she is right–it did blow up my face. I lived life before I met my husband. Because I dated plenty of guys, I knew exactly what type of individual I wanted as my husband. Additionally, because I lived my life before marrying my husband, I was and still am an individual.
However, when I met my husband I realized something absolutely priceless. He is my partner. Like a business partner, I realized that I could accomplish more as an individual with him by my side. Luckily he realized the same thing. Therefore, we became business partners, partners in crime, and partners in life. Yeah, I was naive eighteen-year-old when I met him. And I’ll be the first to admit that our marriage is NOT perfect; however, being young with my husband is fun. We are not settled, by any means. We still live separate lives, but we accomplish all that we have ever wanted TOGETHER.
So yeah, I’m not “single as [insert expletive].” However, I live my life to its absolute fullest, as a married 23-year-old. I have no regrets. I’m 23. I weigh less than I did in high school and am not “knocked up.” Thanks for that lovely generalization, Vanessa.
I want my reader to see that being engaged or even married at a young age is not a bad thing. Here are the 23 things that I did before I was 23, as an engaged and married woman:
1. Learned to love someone unconditionally.
2. Learned to love myself, as much as I am capable of loving others. This one was hard for me, but I’m proud to say that I genuinely love who I am and who I’ve become.
3. Laughed till I cried more than I ever did growing up.
4. Embarrassed myself in public time and time again and felt good about it.
5. Got my butt through undergrad and got that same butt into grad school.
6. Found my travel partner for life! Honestly, we travel better together than anyone else. We have lived in 4 different cities and left the continental U.S. several times. Needless to say, Wander Onwards, we both have our passports.
7. Simultaneously loved over 200 people (blessing of being a teacher).
8. Discovered that I love shopping and going to movies all by myself.
9. Learned that intimacy with a life partner, someone you can trust, is way cooler than any one night stand ever could be.
10. Found my “thing.” I am a writer. I am an editor. I am a teacher. I love it! I also helped my husband find his thing (internet marketer), and I think that is just as awesome.
11. Helped start a small business.
12. Binged on Pinterest, Nutella, froyo, Netflix, and laughter both alone and with friends.
13. Gained trust from my family, colleagues, superiors, and friends, because that is more important to me than disappointing anyone. Seriously, Wander Onwards, I thought disappointing parents was for the teen years…
14. Didn’t follow the hipster crowd and get a tattoo. Because if you think getting a tattoo of a saying will make you believe it or will last longer than any marriage, then you are doing life wrong. 😉
15. Gained then lost (and then some) 25 lbs.
16. Learned to be appropriately selfish, because sometimes I need to think about me.
17. Became consistent, yet spontaneous.
18. Overcame anxiety, because sometimes things simply are.
19. Adopted an
evil adorable cat named Moo.
20. Maintained the ideology that I don’t have to impress anyone.
21. Stood up for myself.
22. Picked up a few new hobbies.
23. Learned that my path is different than others’, and who cares what others do as long as his or her path does not infringe upon my own.
In conclusion, don’t knock it until you try it friends. The bottom line is, I may not be “winning” in the eyes of the world, but I am winning in my own, and that, my friends, is what matters.
As the author of Wander Onwards quotes her fifteen-year-old sister, I do, as well:
“Sorry I’m not sorry.”