Forever 21 crochet dress; H&M jacket, old (option); Nordstrom reversible tote; Target sandals, old (splurge, save options); Baublebar stars and moon bangle set (obsessed.)
I was thinking the other day, about how young I was when I got married, yet how old I felt at the time. I felt grown up and like I knew what the world was about. (Ha!) I felt like I had waited forever to be married, that we had waited too long and like it was dragged out. Which is so ridiculous now that I look back. I was just a baby then.
I was 19 when I met my husband, we were in college and he was my love the last two years of my time there, and he is still. We moved in together right after I graduated, because he was in the Coast Guard and was being stationed somewhere far, and I couldn’t bear to be far apart from him. I was 21 and had no idea what I was doing. We almost got married right then, too, because it would have been easier to at that point, with the military and moving and insurance and such. We held off, though, because it felt rushed and not right. (Though we both agree now we should have. Hindsight, right?) Moving to a foreign country and living with your boyfriend at a young age, when you’ve only ever lived with your family or sorority sisters, is weird. The adjustment is something that both of us found difficult, but never really spoke about until later. I was so trusting and full of the knowledge that we were doing the right thing, I just leaped.
It was a huge leap of faith, if you will.
We moved again when he got into flight school, and got engaged the next year when I was 23. I felt like I waited FOREVER for that engagement ring, which makes me look back and laugh. What was my rush? We then got married a little bit after my 24th birthday, during his flight school graduation, and the biggest hurricane I’ve ever seen. I look at the pictures and think we look like babies. (We were.) I realize others get married younger than us, but I feel like we had no idea what we were doing. Probably because we didn’t. All I knew was that he was my best friend and love and that he and I were meant to be. I didn’t know how we would parent together, or that we would fight over the same things over and over for the next ten years, or whether or not we were being reckless by getting married young.
Except, ten years later, it works. I look back and can see I had no idea who I was ten years ago, and not really even an idea of who he was. I thought I did, but I had only scratched the surface. We’ve grown up together. I’ve been with him through college, OCS, Flight School, five moves, two kids, and countless other situations that have tested our marriage. I’ve changed and so has he, but we have done so together. I’ve never lived alone, or been the independent, free woman I once dreamed I would be. I most often think what I have is so much better than what I once dreamed. I have someone who knows me inside and out, the ugly parts only he sees, and the good parts, too. He loves me regardless, as I do him.
I think a lot of it is luck, really. I can see how marrying young can backfire, because when you marry before you truly know who you are and what you want, you might grow away from your spouse. Your needs and wants may change, and so may his. Except marriage is hard no matter what, right? It takes compromise and sacrifice and patience, whether you are 19 or 49. Age may be a factor in that you know yourself better at an older age, but growing old with someone is pretty special, too. I’ve loved my husband when he was 21 and I love him more at 37. We have so many memories that make me smile, and we can laugh at how ridiculous we were when we first lived together, because we know it always gets better, richer, fuller. And it has.
I may not have known who I was when I got married, but I knew who I wanted to be. And I knew I loved him with all my heart, and I trusted it would be okay.
And it is.
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