Thursday, January 2, 2014

23 and the Best Thing I've EVER Done is Get Married


I've seen quite a few friends sharing the post on facebook, 23 Things To Do Instead of  Getting Engaged Before You're 23. Written by a 23 year old who thinks marriage is the last thing we should be thinking about. I understand there are those who don't believe in marriage or don't want to get married. We are all entitled to our opinions and our own desires.

I'm here to say that the best decision I ever made at 23 was marrying my husband. I did not rush into anything or act rashly. I did not (as she so profoundly states) want to cuddle and talk about my feelings because it was cold outside. I found an amazing, wonderful and oh so difficult man. One that I wanted to spend my entire life with. One who can make me more angry than anyone on earth while making me the happiest I have ever been at the same time. That is marriage. There is nothing more beautiful and difficult. Nothing takes more of my time and patience, and yet is so simple and complete.

When you break down the whole of her article, her argument is simple. Once you get married your life changes to the point that you become a boring person. She believes that my marriage is bound to fail because I was too young to make a big decision. Yes, there are those who get married young and end up divorced. But the same goes for any age. People change and situations arise no matter your age. The difference comes in learning to adapt and overcome challenges rather than throwing in the towel. And I will tell you now, I would much rather fight through my trials with my spouse by my side.

Her list of 23 things to do instead of getting engaged is the best part. These may be 23 things that she finds desirable to do before marriage, and go ahead. But for her to suggest that my life is not fulfilled until I have done these is beyond hilarious. We will all have our own way of doing things, so I'm just here to say that you are no less of a person for getting married, or for doing your own thing instead. So you can have fun signing up for a crossfit class while I lay on the couch with the love of my life eating a bag of chips.

In response to her 23 things, this is what I have to say:


  1. Get a passport. I have a passport. I've had two now in my life and they're full of stamps and memories. Not only that, I don't have to throw it away once I get married. Image that. Traveling is even more fun now than it ever has been because I get to travel with the best person I can think of. 
  2. Find your "thing." Whatever that's supposed to mean. My "thing" changes on a daily basis, and I'm pretty sure that doesn't stop because you're married or you've turned 30. I have plenty of "things."
  3. Make out with a stranger. Been there, done that. You know what's more fun? Making out with my husband. 
  4. Adopt a pet. WE have. Did you get that? WE. You know why WE were able to get a pet. Because there are two of us who can support one another in taking care of said pet. 
  5. Start a band. I can't. I'm have zero musical talent. But guess what? It was like that when I was single too. Bummer right?
  6. Make a cake. Make a second cake. Have your cake and eat it too. I do make cakes. More than I should actually admit. I eat them too... Remind me again what this has to do with being single?
  7. Get a tattoo. It's more permanent than a marriage. You know the difference between a tattoo and my marriage though? I won't wake up the next morning regretting being married. But if I did want a tattoo, my marital status does not determine my ability to walk into a tattoo parlor. 
  8. Explore a new religion. I have explored many religions. But the best part is I am completely happy and satisfied with the one I have picked. I'm more please and involved with my religion than most people are with their shampoo. Are you going to suggest I explore my hair products next?
  9. Start a small business. Wouldn't you know it? I've done that too. And you know who did all the construction work for me to start that small business?
  10. Cut your hair. I accomplished that one last night. Even with a ring on my finger. 
  11. Date two people at once and see how long it takes to blow up in your face. I won't ever be that person. But you know, with that suggestion, I think you're right on the whole marriage thing, it's not for you. Have fun being a douche. 
  12. Build something with your hands. I'm a kindergarten teacher. I've just spent all day building things with my hands. Before that I built the life around me with my two hands. I've also built a marriage with my hands. Together we built up the home we are living in. My hands get much use thank you.
  13. Accomplish a Pinterest project. I have also created my own pinterest projects that people like yourself then copied and attempted to accomplish with all your single free time. 
  14. Join the Peace Corps. I didn't join the Peace Corps because that wasn't exactly my "thing." At least not at the time. But I did work with poor families and children while volunteering in Peru for 4 months. I then went on to visit and work with families and South Africa and Swaziland. Not to mention the time I lived in Germany working with children. What about my husband? He served families in the poorest parts of our nation for 2 years. We have WAY more service experience than you will get from your peace corps. But go for it honey! Good thing you're not married right?
  15. Disappoint your parents. I have, many times. It's not a process that I wish to repeat either single or married. And it is most certainly not a process I wish to add to my bucket-list, or one I would suggest to others. But we are all human and it's bound to happen more. Whether I am 23 or 43, I make mistakes. That's life.
  16. Watch GIRLS, over and over again. I'll admit that I have no idea what this is. Maybe I'll find out someday. But then again, I'm married, so I guess that stops me right?
  17. Eat a jar of Nutella in one sitting. I'll pass, but enjoy that single life of yours. Us married folks sure are jealous.
  18. Make strangers feel uncomfortable in public places. A regularly occurring date night of ours. 
  19. Sign up for CrossFit. Again. Not my "thing." I'll just continue running my small business and exercising with our adopted pet. My husband appreciates the suggestion however.
  20. Hang out naked in front of a window. Where I'm from that's called indecent exposure. While you're registering as a sex offender, I'll hang out naked in front of my husband. Just saying.
  21. Write your feelings down in a blog. And here I am. I had to take off my wedding ring to log in though. Apparently blogging is solely reserved for the un-engaged and un-married.
  22. Be Selfish. You see, this is the absolute beauty of marriage. I have to try not to be. I am a better person than I have ever been because I learn how to be selfless towards others. I'd much rather spend my time with someone like that. I'm trying to be better for everyone around me, and I learn best from my interactions in my personal relationships. I am a better student, friend, daughter, sister, teacher and wife because I am learning how to be unselfish. I still slip up all the time. But I'm trying. 
  23. Come with me to the Philippines for Chinese New Year. No thank you. You seem like the last person I'd enjoy spending time with. Not to mention you are very selfish. No, no, instead I think I'll spend it with my husband. In China. With our married people passports.
My life is pretty awesome. I wouldn't change a thing about it. I assure you that I've done some pretty amazing things and been to some pretty incredible places. I just now get to do them with my spouse as well. We're also way more established and well off at 23 than you will be at 30. So while you're enjoying your single life, know that I'm enjoying my married life just as much. With my unselfish friends and adopted dog might I add. 

6 comments:

  1. Kelsey I'm glad that your not the only one who felt the same way about the 23 things post. I've actually done more of these things being married than single. Enjoyed reading this!

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  2. Bless her heart, she aspires to complete Pinterest projects. At least at 23 she is learning it is never too late to start setting goals for her life. I'm sure I was not the only one of your readers wishing you were not too modest to tell her more about your national and international dance titles and academic accomplishments. Age is in no way a litmus test for marital preparedness- we are in year 20 of a marriage that started at age 23, and (sadly) we've already outlasted friends who married after age 30. Unfortunately, in a society that supports a youth culture where making out with strangers, getting tattoos, disappointing parents and watching GIRLS (or any other production we can only imagine you wouldn't want your future daughter starring in) are considered standard rites of passage, the AVERAGE 23 year-old probably ISN'T prepared, or remotely mature enough for marriage. And some of the issue here is also about being a high quality single person if you aren't in a position to get married. Thankfully, there are still young people in the world setting their sights higher and preparing themselves for their futures so when they are actually of legal adult age they aren't still thinking about making strangers feel uncomfortable in public places and being selfish- both contradictory to a plan of joining the Peace Corps by the way (that is, if they are actually in it for the "selflessly give service and bring humanitarian aid" part of the arrangement). p.s. Nobody should get a tattoo before they are 50 and it actually means something. Ask any one of 2.5 million matching 1997 tramp-stamp owners.

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    1. Haha. I love your comments Karen. You should blog about this too! :)

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  3. Your sarcasm makes my heart sing. Thank you! :)

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  4. You both have merits to back up your argument, but this was way more defensive and assuming. She really got her hooks in you deep.

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  5. Love your list Kelsey! You make me laugh too. I was married at 23 as well & am super happy with my decision. It is definitely more fun having my husband & best friend by my side through my crazy adventures than doing them by myself (or with an ex for that matter!). Thank you for your share :)

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