An Answer to my Teenage Self or Why I am getting married at 23

If you’ve read my previous post about my aversion to marriage in the early twenties, you’re probably wondering how I’ve reconciled my current actions with that idea.

First, I have to admit something.  I used to pride myself in being ok with getting married in my late twenties and potentially my early thirties, which is fine, but it meant that I almost looked down on people I knew who were getting married out of college or in their early 20s.  That was so cliché, you know?
I obviously don’t feel that way anymore, but even now I worry about people (myself) getting married too young. What if she’s only doing it because she can’t get a good job?  What if she’s only doing it because she’s tired of the dating grind? What if it just seems like the next right thing to do?  These are the things I’ve thought about people, and these are the things I worry people will think about me.  And there’s so much talk about how you need to do all those great things (travel, pursue a dream career, live in NY) before you “settle down.”

There’s truth to some of those things.  Travelling for two is more costly, and then there’s the steadiness of jobs that keep us from being spontaneous.  Major life decisions/career moves aren’t up to just you, now you have your spouse to think about as well.  Pursuing a performing career will look a lot different now that I’ve decided to marry.

Here’s the thing.  I’ve met this person that I literally cannot wait to be with everyday.  I can go a day or a week or a month without him, but that’s not what I want.    I know we’re still in that phase of romantic, can’t get enough of you love, and that it’s not always going to be “rainbows and sunshine” or evenings spent gazing into each other’s eyes (actually, we don’t do that now… when does that happen?), but I don’t care, because I just want to do life with him. And everything else just doesn’t seem as important.
No worries, I still have my passions and a career (TBA) to pursue, but I’m lucky to have someone who isn’t telling me to stop auditioning and grow up. And maybe I am younger than I thought I would be, but I can still make the commitment and follow through.

J used to worry that I stayed in Fort Worth for him, and that I’m not as happy as I would be if I were somewhere else. My answer to that is that if I were somewhere else I would just be wondering about when we would be together… well that doesn’t really seem fun either.

I look back at my judgments of other people and realize that I really had no clue what I was talking about… no one but the two people standing at the altar can really know if it’s right or if it’s for the right reasons.  We can look and say “they’re too young,” or “It’s not financially sound” or “they should enjoy being without responsibility instead of signing up for a lifetime commitment,” and sometimes we’d be right.  But not one of those things means the marriage is doomed.

So maybe my story isn’t going exactly as I thought it would at 16.  There’s a lot that I still want to do… but putting that ring on my finger doesn’t mean that my life is over, it just means that J and I get to help each other live the best life possible.  Together.

And yes, I am aware of the sappiness of that last sentence…. Another thing I swore I’d never be.  I didn’t know anything at 16.

2 thoughts on “An Answer to my Teenage Self or Why I am getting married at 23

  1. Krista, I just found your blog through facebook, and I enjoy the way you write!

    I'm quite biased in the opposite direction though, in favor of marriage in the early 20's… (I was married at 24, my wife at 20!).

    Of course, I think it really comes down to the couple's readiness and maturity – physically, mentally, spiritually, & emotionally – but I would like to encourage people to arrive at that readiness/maturity as soon as possible.

    On average, it seems to me that our culture and media over-emphasize the value of youth over adulthood & eldership, but in reality, a prolonged adolescence just doesn't lead to happiness or fulfillment of one's purpose. It also seems to be a luxury for aristocrats that is seldom an option for most of the population of the world throughout most of history… (remember birth control pills & the sexual revolution happened within a century ago!).

    Marriage does require self-sacrifice, though, as does parenting. But I think the growth and joy of this experience is worth more than seeing the Eifel tower or the Sphynx or the Great Wall. I say that because I've been able to do some travelling, but once I'd met Rebekkah, all I wanted to do was share those experiences with her.

    Anyway, sorry about blogging on your blog, I've just become passionate about family issues… and was excited to read about your engagement thoughts! Talk to you later!

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