Being in your 20s is an interesting time.
Some people my age still live at home with their parents, some are in school and will be for a while yet, some have moved across the country or elsewhere, some are travelling, and some are in that party stage, and will probably never get out of that.
Then there are those who are getting engaged and married, and who are starting their own families. I know a few people who are in this stage, but for the most part our generation tends to wait till closer to 30 to get married, when they are more financially stable and have felt like they have had their fun and are ready to settle down. I was one of those few that was married just two short weeks after me 20th birthday, moved across the country with my husband, and am now pregnant at the young age of 23. I wouldn’t change it for the world.
When my husband and I first got engaged, it was just before my 19th birthday. He was 20. We had been dating since I was 16 and honestly, I don’t know if either of us expected things to turn out the way they did. We were so young, but things just clicked and everything after that has just fallen so easily into place, as if it was meant to be.
As soon as we got engaged, I started having people tell me I was too young. I had so much to live for, I was still in school, was I really going to be with the same person I had been with since I was 16 for the rest of my life?! These comments were from well-meaning friends and family. The looks I got from strangers or acquaintances who saw the ring or found out from others, were priceless. I was continuously asked, ‘how old are you…?’ and even after we got married, new people I would meet and customers at work would see the ring and ask my age, with a surprised look on their faces. It doesn’t help that I’ve always looked even younger than I am.
I’m not going to lie, there were times at the beginning of our engagement when I let these comments and looks get to me – not because I didn’t want to marry my husband, or I felt like my life was going to be over when I did, but because some of them weren’t necessarily wrong. I was still in school, and when we got married, I’d be moving across the country to Nova Scotia to be with him. What would happen if I just waited until I was done school? I was halfway through and two more years would go by quick.
These thoughts didn’t last long. The man I was meant to be with was moving halfway across the country and you better believe I was going to go with him. I never had any doubts that I was going to marry him so why wait?
He moved to Nova Scotia February 2015 and I stayed in Ontario to plan our wedding for December. It wasn’t easy planning without him. I had so many break downs, just having to deal with him being away, and the anxiety and stress that comes with planning a big wedding didn’t help.
My mom and mother-in-law, my sister (when she was home from PEI) and my friends and bridesmaids were all so much help, but there was only so much they could do before it didn’t matter, I just wanted him here. I just wanted it to be over and I wanted to be in NS with him. I of course managed to get through it, and our wedding day was amazing.
Flash forward to 23. I finished school this past June 2018, after taking a semester off to plan our wedding, having to transfer, having to take some extra courses because not all of mine transferred over, and having classes throughout the summers. I’ve had placements for school, a few different jobs, and I’ve somehow managed to be a wife at the same time.
It wasn’t easy. I had to juggle my own young life, I had my own learning and growth to go through, and so did hubby. We needed to learn to be a husband and wife while still managing to go through all that being a 20-year-old entails, and guess what? We made mistakes. A lot of mistakes. We’re still young and we’re still learning, and we always will be.
But we did it through all that was stacked against us. Now, we need to juggle our new roles as a mother and father, as well as still manage to be a husband and wife, and not lose ourselves in the process. We made it through 3 years of marriage, we can make it through this new season of parenthood too.
I think no matter what age you are when you get married or have kids (if these are things you want to do eventually), there will always be learning curves. There is so much stacked against married couples, let alone young married couples, in this world that there will always be mistakes made and hard times to get through. Those mistakes are growth. Those hard times are learning opportunities.
Getting to watch my husband grow up while I do the same has been an amazing experience. I feel like I understand him better, and he understands me better. I have no regrets about when we got married, when we decided to have babies and about anything we’ve done to get to where we are today, together.
So, if you are thinking about getting engaged, being married, having kids or even just being in a serious relationship at the young age of 20, know that it’s not the end of the world. It is the beginning of a new, amazing one. I still travel with and without my husband, I still have fun with friends, I still finished school and I still love my life.
And if you need to wait because you’re not quite there yet, or if marriage and kids aren’t even on your radar, then wait. If there is one thing I have learned in my short time on this earth, it’s that everyone’s timing is different. You are exactly where you are meant to be right now. Rushing things or holding things off because of fear will only hurt you in the long run. So, be present in the moment and don’t worry too much about the past or the future. Everything in its time.
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