Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Marriage and Weddings

Hello and Happy Hump Day! But really, is it only Wednesday? The first full week back to work after the holidays is always the toughest--isn't that what they say?

Anyway, I thought I would share some thoughts I had about a few articles going round the interwebs, in regards to weddings and marriage and whatnot.

A friend of mine posted this on The Facebook, and it was a blog post written in response to this article. Let's talk about this original article for a moment.

The author lists a slew of random things people should do instead of getting engaged. While I applaud this girl's bravery in getting out and traveling the world at a young age (something I dreamed of doing as well, just never had the determination to follow through on it), I find her views on marriage to be a little bit skewed, and a whole lot of Judgy McGee.

Let's review.

Her thoughts on younger (as in, less than 25 years old) people getting engaged were,

"It is a way for young people to hide behind a significant other instead of dealing with life’s highs and lows on their own. It’s a safety blanket. It’s an admission that the world is just too big and scary to deal with it on your own; thus, you now have someone that is legally obligated to support you till one of you dies or files for divorce."

I got married when I was 25, and I did not feel that I was "too young" or "too old," but I felt like I was at an age that was perfect for me. And trust me, I had NO problem dealing with highs and lows on my own--in fact, I was very similar to this girl: fiercely independent, loving the single life, and not ready to sacrifice any part of myself just so I could have a boyfriend. 

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One year I went to Paris for NYE and got to have these two dudes photobomb our picture--would not have done that if I was in a relationship, which is exactly why I broke up with my boyfriend two months earlier (well, among other reasons).

When I met Matt, things changed in a good way. I was still the same person, except now I had a partner in crime to share in my adventures. Choosing to get married was in no way a "security blanket," because marriage is work. Highs and lows more than double because you now have this other person who brings their own positives and negatives to the table, in addition to your own, and you have to work on them together. 

In addition, the author also mentioned that, "I NEED to develop MY dreams and MYSELF before I can truly be the type of woman you WANT to marry." Yes, this is partly true--you absolutely need to be sure of your own identity, before you throw yourself into any relationship. However, there is a part of yourself that will always be developing, changing, and just trying to figure how to be a freakin' adult. At 22, I definitely was not ready to get married. I spent a lot of time on my own, and learned a lot about myself, but I have to say that at 26, I still don't have everything figured out, and I don't think I ever will. Despite that, while I was not ready at 22 (and the author of this article obviously is not ready either), that does not mean that every other 22 year old in the entire world is not ready.

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This is me at 22. I'd like to say I'm too mature to take pictures like this anymore, but it would still happen.
I don't know if I made this clear, but I really have nothing against Vanessa (the blogger). I've really enjoyed exploring other posts on her blog, and I am always happy to see young women (I say that like I'm older than 26) embracing their own lives and making their own path, and not doing what society expects. Her points about the divorce rate and people getting married "just to get married" are valid. I've seen this happen, not to any of my close friends, but to people from high school and college who are my Facebook friends. However, not every young couple who gets married is setting themselves up for failure, nor are they "settling down" to a life of boredom. Her adventure does not have to be everyone else's adventure. 

In conclusion friends, let me say a few things. I've been married for over a year now, and I, too, was once a single girl, living my life the way I wanted and often feeling mixed emotions over my friends going off and getting married. Therefore, I believe myself to be an expert (because isn't that enough by internet standards?), so let me give all you single and engaged people some advice:

Marriage is the greatest adventure of my life so far, but it's also been hard work. If you're in a long term relationship, don't feel pressured to get engaged just because that seems to be the next step, and your family or friends expect you to do so. If you're single, don't feel pressured to be in a relationship because your friends are, or because you think it will "fix" your problems. Lastly, if you and your favorite buddro are ready to make that big commitment, then go for it and don't let anyone try to tell you how you should live your life. (There is also this article about weddings in general, but that is a discussion for another day.)

At the end of the day, it's all about the choice that is right for you, and right for you and your sig other. It's not about what society, Pinterest, and those God-awful wedding shows on TLC are trying to tell you (and for the record, if you are engaged, make sure you get to a point where you let Pinterest go--otherwise you will subconsciously put pressure on yourself to make a "pin-worthy" wedding). We all have our own path in life, and we are the only ones that get to decide where the path will take us. 

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Photography by Soho Photgraphy

And that, my friends, to quote Forrest Gump, is all I have to say about that. 

All Love,

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