When our life together began, I waxed poetic about being married at such a young age (at 25, three or four years younger than I had planned), looking forward to the unveiling of the sacrament. It's been a year since we tied the knot and I'm happy to confirm that yes, there are so many actual rewards I can tirelessly and enthusiastically write about. My own experience so far has sealed my role as advocate of young love because there is just so much rawness and richness to behold. Here's what the past year has gloriously shown me...
Getting To Know You
There is only so much you can know about each other as girlfriend and boyfriend, or even as an engaged couple. It is only in marriage where the real self reveals itself. But this has less to do with facts about the spouse (any more secrets? skeletons?) and more about one's character. How does he set the budget? How does she adapt to chores? What does he do after a fight? How does she celebrate his triumphs? Every single day presents endless opportunities to get to know each other even more, even deeper. Like how all the collected moments in this past year have shown me that even though my husband is a man of few words, he speaks beautiful words of wisdom when I need it; that he is more a man of service than one of romance; that his greatest longing in life now is to be a father. These are notable things that have made him a hero in my eyes, things that I have only been able to discover because of marriage. Discovering these gems about someone at a young age has altered the way I view marriage, love, and humanity and has given me wisdom that I would never have gained if I chose another path.
Whilst growing up, I never touched domesticity. There was nothing I had known about the realms of home and homemaking. When we moved into our own place a few days after the wedding, it finally dawned on me that we were responsible for everything. There was no more helper to clean up after us; chores now had to be a part of our daily routine. Never have I been so nervous about stepping into a kitchen than I did that day we got our oven. The mere presence of it scared me because it meant no more excuses. But when I finally assembled the vacuum, turned on the stove, and filled up the pantry, I awakened a whole new side to myself. My husband and I created a schedule for chores, I learned how to menu plan, how to navigate the grocery. I became familiar with types of vegetables, stocked up on cookbooks, changed sheets and duvet covers. Embracing these skills at this age has become more possible and fruitful because of the youthful energy and ability to adapt. Homemaking is truly an art and being entrusted with a home has given me the time and resources to learn everything about it.
My adolescent and young adult years were marked by a vast list of dreams and ambitions for myself. Being told that I can do anything I wish (I'm from Generation Snowflake) set fuel to the fire. Given the plethora of options our generation now has, it can be dizzying and exciting all at once. Psychologist, buyer, fashion journalist, magazine editor, business owner, social media expert- my list could just go on. But marriage became a dam for my dreams, certainly not in a pitiful way. Just as a dam suppresses floods, marriage and my commitment to my husband and our home shed light on all the unnecessary goals. My dreams and ambitions were purified. I learned to accept the truth that even though I am special (aren't we all?), I cannot do everything, especially not all at once. Marriage forced me to think about what I really want to do, what is worth the time I have, what is truly worth pursuing. To know that at a young age is freeing because now, I can spend more years working towards what matters, instead of wasting them on spontaneous ambitions.
Growing The Brood
One of the reasons my husband and I wanted to marry young was to bear children young. We have been trying to conceive for a few months now. While not yet being successful has kept us waiting and wondering, we are also comforted by the fact that time is on our side. Unlike those who try to conceive at a later age, there is less pressure and worry for us to have a baby right away. Thus, trying to conceive has become more of a natural process than as a result of a ticktocking clock. And when we do finally have children (hopefully soon), we will be able to chase after, grow up, and grow old with them. Also, if God wills it, there will be so much time to grow a big family - the more the merrier, right?
Just You and Me
For a year now, we've been going through life as one. As I've written before, we thought we wanted to have children right away but it was all in God's plan for us to experience marriage just as husband and wife for now. Throughout the year, we've gotten the question many times - No baby yet? No, not yet. But not out of selfishness. It was born out of the desire to learn about this husband and wife kind of love, a love that has been purified with time to ourselves, a time that has truly been a gift. There has been no rush, no pressure, no ticktocking sound in the back of our heads. And when we will be finally blessed with our firstborn, it will be the most perfect time to experience parenthood - not too early, not too late, just right. We will have wisdom to share, and love to give. Wisdom that might not have revealed itself if there was a baby right away, love that might not have been purified just yet. It has been the most beautiful time, dancing to the music of marriage and learning the steps, just him and me.
Haven't we been so blessed? Our love is young. We now have a lifetime to make it grow.
In other words, if you are certain you have found the love of your life, go get hitched! We promise you: it's the adventure of a lifetime!