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
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.
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.
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.
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.