I do.

I find myself knee-deep in party favors and contracts these days.  All the clutter collected on my back table is for April 12, 2014 –  my wedding day.  Tonight was no different until I decided to take a “break” and visit the world’s best procrastination tool: Facebook

crap

I immediately noticed two articles that multiple friends shared.  One titled  “23 things to do instead of getting engaged before you’re 23,” the other titled “24 things to do instead of getting married before you’re 24.”  Due to circumstance, and the fact that I’m indeed engaged and getting married at the ripe old age of 23, they felt like must reads.

Each article hit the same topic in different perspectives.  I couldn’t help but find myself laughing. I could’ve written those blogs verbatim two years ago.  Well, let’s get real.  Mine would’ve leaned more towards the 23 one, but that’s beside the point.

pc

Then it hit me.  January 8th, 2012.  The one moment when my entire life changed before I even had time to know it was happening.  Under a well-lit Palace Cafe sign stood one very tall, very handsome man who I wanted nothing to do with.  The next moment was an impromptu change of plans in my night.  The next 730 days were a compilation of moments that created an impromptu change in my life.

So why do you get married before you’re 24?

You get married before you’re 24 because you are lucky enough to meet the person that makes every terrible moment in your life make sense.  You get married before you’re 24 because you’re given a gift in the form of a person.

This person isn’t like the rest.  This person doesn’t judge you for your past.  He doesn’t get angry or disgruntled over your mistakes.  He carries the burden of your biggest regrets, and only respects you more for growing.

He sees your best even when you can’t.  He supports your dreams and tries everything possible to make them come true.   He knows all the stupid things on your bucket list, and only minimally makes fun of you when you get to scratch off #7 because you finally got to see John Mayer live.  He signs you up for half-marathons because he knows you’d never actually do it yourself.  He trains with you and runs next to your side because he believes in you.

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He pushes you.  He sees your potential, and he won’t let you settle for anything but your best.  He’s your rock.   He calls you out when you are wrong.  He acknowledges when you are right.  He doesn’t keep score.  You don’t owe him anything.  He knows every flaw, and loves you for each one.

You get married before you’re 24 because God let someone come into your life when you were at your absolute worst.  God gave you someone who showed you what is important.  God gave you someone who teaches you to forgive yourself when you aren’t sure if those you hurt ever will.

You get married before you’re 24 because all those major goals and all those things that seemed so important before you met him seem miniscule without that person next to you.  You get married before you’re 24 when you completely lose yourself in a person.  Your life is no longer your own.  Both your lives are for one another.  Messy, scrambled skeletons perfectly build your life together.  You get married before you’re 24 when you would have it no other way.

propose

You get married before you’re 24 because the thought of settling down and getting old and cooking and kids and diaper changes and adulthood isn’t scary anymore.  It actually sounds pretty good.

I mean, that’s all we’re looking for in this life isn’t it?  Someone to share it with?

Newsflash:  we don’t get the choice when we fall in love.  It just happens.   When you know, you know.

Like one of my favorite quotes from a rather great movie:  You get married before you’re 24  “..because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”

I love you, Ryan.

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9 comments

  1. LOVE this ma’am! I got married at 22 (as you know.. you were there) and I love the part of sharing your life with someone, perfect! I love having a best friend to share everything with 🙂 I cannot wait for April 12th!!!

  2. This was absolutely beautiful! I got married at 18, he was 19. Boy did we hear so many negative comments from “she must be pregnant”, “you’ll never go to college” to “you’re never going to make it because you’re just babies”. We had family members and acquaintances try to talk us out of it. I loved your line that said You don’t choose when you fall in love. I NEVER imagined myself getting married to my high school sweetheart. We both realized that God gave us something special and that we needed to take advantage of the opportunity given (and go ahead and start on our forever!!). Now, 13 years and 2 children later (6yr old & 2 yr old), I have a Master’s Degree in Education, he’s a supervisor for a major construction company, We are still madly in love and working for the Lord as 1 unit and I can say that this road has not been all that tough. We cherish the fact that we were so young when we started this journey and will hopefully be able to celebrate 50 years before we’re even 70!!. We take pride in the knowing that we dispelled everyone’s negative opinions and proved that love truly does exist at such a young age. Thank you for posting this! I wish you and your fiancé the absolute best in life. Keep God first in your marriage and everything else will find it’s place. Marriage is definitely work but when both partners are willing to give their all, things seem to work pretty easily.

  3. This is absolutely beautiful, Elaina! I’m so happy for you and it sounds like he’s wonderful and that’s what you deserve! Much Love 🙂

  4. Well said girl! I feel the exact same way about my hubby! I got married last year at 22 in New Orleans. Soak in every minute!!!! It was the best day ever.
    Best wishes! XO

  5. If you think about it, a lot of the same reasons can be applied as to why I would even think about getting married at 55!!! True love transcends the ages. I enjoyed this and appreciated you writing these sentiments. And, I do believe that true love will happen in God’s time, not ours.
    Best Wishes for a long and healthy, happy marriage!

  6. I think the fear about people getting married so young is due to the high divorce rates in our country today. Those who are not in a rush to get engaged figure they want to be absolutely certain about the person they’re about to spend the rest of their life with before they “dive in”. I know for me this is the biggest decision I will eventually make in my life and I don’t want to mess this one up like so many others have done. I think some people feel that they cannot grow and develop into the person or have the career they always planned on while having to balance the work it takes to have a successful marriage. I know I’m still overwhelmed at times by work and school. I know I couldn’t give enough of my time to someone who I made a lifelong commitment to right now. It just wouldn’t be fair to them.

    However, your experience seems to be an exception to the reasons I mentioned above. It sounds like you’ve met that person who you’re sure is the person you want to spend the rest of your life with and who truly makes you happy. It seems like y’all have a healthy relationship which is supportive and allows for each other to grow without holding each other back. I don’t know what else anybody could ask for. My goal in commenting was to add some insight from the other side of the coin and I’m 23 also. With that said, best of luck to you and your fiance. It sounds like y’all have something truly special.

  7. Yes yes!! From a fellow BR/NOLA girl, I send you kudos. So well said, thank you for sticking up for such a beautiful sacrament! And good luck with planning and it all!
    Also, this is a great blog, keep up the writing!!

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