Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Don't Be Quick to Judge

#2 on Elizabeth's list is Find your "thing" ...  I think I've found it.
This article has blown up my Facebook news feed lately - 23 Things to Do Instead of Get Engaged Before You're 23 from blogger Vanessa Elizabeth.

I read it, and I cheered! I was like "Yeah, this girl knows what's up."

Lines like this had me nodding in agreement - 

"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 loved her words. I sent the link to my best friend. I was thinking to myself --- this girl gets me.

Elizabeth says, "We are not our parent’s generation.  I’m tired of hearing about how 'my mom and dad got married young and X, Y and Z' because they were raised with a completely different set of values, priorities, and without the anxieties and adulterous risks that comes with the worldwide web.  I’m speaking directly to the Millennials.
Millennials deserve the opportunity to develop ourselves, alone."
Image courtesy of www.apracticalwedding.com
But then I think ... being alone kind of sucks.

Some of you may remember an earlier post of mine entitled, "No, I'm Not Engaged Yet." Here, I visit about how I am getting some pressure from friends and family alike about getting engaged. I was SOOO nervous about writing it. Here's the sappy part of that blog --- Yes, I live with my boyfriend. Yes, we've been together a while. Yes, I like having him by my side. I couldn't imagine the last few years of my life without him.

Then, that blog got so much attention from my peers! You, my friends, were saying nice things to me --- both in the comments, on Facebook, on Twitter and in text messages. I was happy to be understood and my opinion respected.

I was feeling less self-conscious about my bare left ring finger and that was awesome.

Then, I read a rebuttal to Elizabeth's blog from The Flower Girl - The Truth About Getting Engaged Before 23.

Remember how I said being along kind of sucks?

The Flower Girl says,
"having a teammate in life is not a bad thing. it’s not a “cop-out” or a “safety blanket”. it doesn’t make you weak and it doesn’t mean you’re looking for someone to hide behind “instead of dealing with life’s highs and lows” on your own. it means building a new life with someone else as a team. it means sharing hopes and dreams and responsibilities. it means braving life together, having someone on your team to encourage you through the lows and to celebrate with through the highs."
And you know what --- I get that too! Shoot, am I thinking all the wrong things?

She goes onto say,
"do i feel like i didn’t get a chance to find myself before marrying someone else? i spent the first 20 years of my life figuring out who i was and how to feel good in my own skin. it wasn’t until i figured out who i really was that i met someone who loved me for me. now i have someone to grow with me, to encourage me to be myself."
Myself, and my good friends Deanna & Beth at Deanna's Aug. 2012 wedding.
Now, I'm not married (duh) ... but never once has Homeboy told me I couldn't do something. He encourages me to take on projects, to go visit my friends, to try new things and to take a break! In fact, most of our arguments revolve around food and movies and who's going to take out the dog. I feel like together, we are accomplishing awesome things.

So I'm just sitting here realizing I am just as judgmental toward my peers that get married early. Maybe they really have found their soulmate. Maybe they're going to explore with their partner. Being married isn't putting a shackle around your ankle. You can still do fun stuff, right married friends?

Who are we to say that you have to be XX years old before you get married? Who are we to say you need to travel the seven seas and have sex with a stranger before you've really lived? I certainly have never done those things ... but I think I've done lots of shit stuff in my nearly 24 years.

So, I'm going to put my judgmental eyes away. Congratulations to all my friends -- married, single, graduates, dream-job landers, etc. You are doing big, great, exciting things. It might include a wedding ring and a white picket fence, or it might be quitting your job and backpacking around the world. That's what's so great about this life, there's no single, correct way to do things. And I think you're awesome for making your own decisions.

Best,
Robin

2 comments:

  1. Enjoyed reading your post, Robin! I felt really self conscious about talking about being engaged let alone posting anything on facebook. I didn't want to be grouped into a category of dumb 23'ers getting married because there's nothing better to do. I thought if I were 26 or 28 I wouldn't feel that way. Isn't it silly that there's a magic number?
    It's encouraging to read the post of someone who respects everyone and their decisions. Refreshing! :)
    Keep up the great blogging!

    -Kathleen

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    1. Thanks for the kind words Kathleen! Going to school in Kansas, a lot of people get married before they're done with college. I have plenty of friends who tied the knot while still in school. I felt like we were in completely different places in our lives and they were crazy for "signing their life away." That wasn't fair of me. But it's not my job to judge them or their decisions. To each their own right?

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