Lesson #48: Marriage isn't the end of anything (other than being single)
It seems to me that a few people out think marriage means that, from the moment you sign that piece of paper, you will never get the chance to experience the world, or anything for that matter.
Aside from being incredibly pessimistic, this kind of idea isn't even accurate. In fact, its unbelievably wrong. Well, duh, you say. Of course its was wrong. Married people still get to experience the world. There's no doubt about that, right?
But actually, I had a lot of doubt about just that in the months before our wedding. I wondered how getting married at 22 would impact our lives. I worried that I would regret our decision to commit myself to another person at such a young age. I worried even more than he would regret it too. Age aside, I worried that my choice to chain myself to another person would ruin my life. I worried that I was ruining his. I wondered how significantly different our lives could be in 10 years if we called off the wedding and went our separate ways. I didn't want to regret the choice we were about to make.
Now, don't get me wrong, it clearly hasn't been 10 years. I have no idea what the future holds. It's been a little over a year. But hey, I don't regret it yet so that's a plus, right?
All I can say is that, at this point, all the things I spent time worrying about before we signed the marriage certificate are things that I embrace now.
I worried about being so attached to another person because it might limit my individuality?
Now, I'm thankful everyday that I've made that kind of connection to someone and still get to be me.
I worried about how marriage would impact our education and career paths?
Well, I'm still on the same path and so is he. Marriage didn't de-rail anything there.
People say we won't get to experience all the world has to offer?
Actually, we still do. Every day. And what's even better is that we get to do it together. Don't get me wrong, our experiences may be significantly different than they would have been if we'd remained single, but just because they're different doesn't mean they're bad. Any given human could spend hours debating what their lives would have been if they'd gone down a different road or taken a different path in life, but how the hell is that useful? Oh yeah, it's not. We've chose the life we've got and we like it just fine, thank you.
Lesson #65: Marriage doesn't make life easier, but it does make it better.
It is incredibly stressful to simultaneously control the path of two lives at once. It forces you to consider options you normally wouldn't have to. One income need to support the two of us so it means waiting (im)patiently for a new car. I need to move to a different city in a year to finish my education so we have to figure out how his job fits into that.
It gets trickier to think of two people instead of one. Marriage is not for the selfish at heart, of that I am sure. Life decisions are harder these days. But I am firm in my belief that they are also so, so, so much better. We learn from one another, receive constant encouragement and have someone to shoulder half of all the difficulties life throws our way.
We have to be less selfish, we have to be a little more stressed, we do a lot more juggling, but what's the payoff? The joy of having a partner with whom to share all that is wonderful in life.
Pretty good deal, as far as I'm concerned.