What It’s Like To Be 23 And Married


A library patron: “Married?! But you’re just babies!”

A random lady at Starbucks: “Honey is that a wedding band I see? How old are you, 16?”

The Wine guy at Kroger: “You were how old? No one tried to talk you out of that??”

A professor: “But, you have your WHOLE LIFE ahead of you!”

I’ve decided my first post is going to be paying homage to the Marshawn Lynch approach to being asked annoying questions. If you are not familiar with this approach, please give yourself a laugh and watch here. I don’t know much about the Seahawks RB, but its apparent that his annoyance with dealing with reporters is only eclipsed by his disdain for being fined hundreds of thousands of dollars by the NFL to not be a good sport and participate; made obvious by his incessant response of, “I’m only here so I don’t get fined”…hilarious.

Anyway, what does this have to do with me? Oh yes, I would like to direct this approach towards the individuals who feel it is their duty to chastise Mark and I (but it feels like me in particular) for being married at such a young age. Please for all that is good in this world, please just stop. STOP.

I remember telling Mark how crazy it was that I kept hearing comments like the ones above all the time, from complete strangers, and he tells me, “Oh I’m sure it’s not as often as it seems, and they probably don’t mean to be negative.” We usually applaud Mark for his incessant optimism, but in this case literally the next day I heard the “wine guy” quote: “No one tried to talk you out of that?!” Can’t a girl just shop for her Cabernet in peace these days? The answer is obviously no.

I feel like its a pretty widely accepted fact that people nowadays are waiting longer to get married and have babies; maybe they are trying to build their careers first, or they just have personal goals and dreams that they feel require them to be alone, or what have you. This is all fine and wonderful. But in moments like these, when I’m tempted to analyze someone else’s life choices, I have begun reminding myself of the ever-so-wise Amy Poehler mantra, “Good for her, not for me.”

This should be said over and over and over again until people decide to stop judging other people by what THEY chose to do in life. I happened to meet the man who fit and completed me so well that I hardly understood it myself, at the age of 21: woah, lucky girl. This I will not argue, but just because I decided that I wanted to begin my life with this person, does not mean that my personal goals and dreams are now dead forever.

It means that I have a rockin’ partner who is going to help me achieve those goals. It does not mean that I’m wasting away my twenties because I’m not In the club going up on a Tuesday. It means that my priorities have changed, and my definition of fun no longer necessitates really loud music and glowsticks. If yours does, power to ya girlfriend: it was my cup of tea for about 43 seconds, but if that is yours, good for you, not for me.

We all have such unique journeys and the most important part of that is figuring out how you want to live yours, wouldn’t you agree? These people that judge my decision to be married at 22 don’t know that getting married wasn’t a part of my “life-plan.” They don’t know that I wrote in my diary when I was 8 that I wanted to get married when I was 40 and live the life of a country-hopping, law-practicing, missionary who was never going to settle down and have children (I really never could decide so why not go with every option?).

They don’t know that when I met this incredibly wonderful human that challenged me to be better than I am, who believes in me, respected and loved and continues to love me so much, that I myself couldn’t believe how willing I was, not to *change*, but to adapt to this new desire; a desire for a life with him, whatever that may bring.

So the next time you see someone making a decision you would never in a million years undergo, just channel your inner Amy and remember, they are on their own journey, and whats best for them has nothing to do with you. I don’t know what on Earth (like literally no clue) I want to do with myself, in some ways I wish I was as confident as my 8 year old self, but I know that having this guy by my side at the end of the day is literally all I need to be happy, and I am so grateful that we are able to call this life “ours” and no one else’s.

So to all the haters who are gonna hate, hate, hate: I’m just going to start calmly responding, “YES, I’m married and I’m 23.” Thank you Marshawn Lynch!

For more raw, powerful writing follow Heart Catalog here.