On Marrying Young

I mentioned my best friend Hannah’s bridal shower a few months back, and now I am amazed to say that she is currently returning from her week-long honeymoon with her wonderful new husband. Time just keeps moving on. I was the matron of honor in the wedding, and I performed in American Sign Language a beautiful song which Hannah selected.
While this was an amazing moment in my life–to see my best friend continue on a journey with the man who has made her so happy–much further into the forefront of my mind is the fact that one year ago today I began on the same journey.
 
Today is Josh’s and my first anniversary.
When people hear that I am 19 years old and have already been married for a year, they quickly realize that I got married literally as soon as I legally could do so–very young by today’s standards. Many articles I’ve read classify marrying any time before age thirty as marrying young. I’ve received mixed reactions about the news that I’m married. Some people are impressed. Others are disgusted. I don’t feel like I need to prove anything to these people, but I do wish that many would realize that I wasn’t acting impulsively. Idid give the most important decision of my life a little bit of thought.
The most common argument I hear for waiting to get married is that people are “not fully grown up” as young adults. This is inarguably true, but what many people fail to realize is that marrying while still growing up can have two different effects on your relationship depending on a simple choice.
1) As you grow up, you will grow apart.
This is a very real possibility. As you really begin to find yourself and become more confident in your wants, needs, and purposes as a person, you may begin to come to the conclusion that you are outgrowing your spouse. You need more space to explore who you are. You need more freedom to be “you.” Or . . .
2) As you grow up, you will grow closer together.
Think about the friends who have been by your side since you were small. Maybe you have a sister who is closer to you than any friend could ever be. These people are so dear to you (and you to them) because you have grown up together.
As you were forming your ideas and impressions about the world, yourself, and those around you, there was always a special person who was a part of that world and made a big impact on your impressions. They helped you through your early insecurities and rejoiced in the confident you that they finally saw you becoming.
And now looking back, you realize that the “you” you are now might have turned out very differently without them.
Josh is a safe haven for me to grow up in, and I hope that I am the same for him.
I will never have to deal with the turmoil of growing into a wholly independent, well-established, set-in-my-ways human being who has to somehow find a way to intertwine her fully-developed lifestyle with that of another independent, well-established, set-in-his-ways human being. Instead, Josh and I are learning who we are in the context of who we are as a couple. Instead of pursuing separate interests, career paths, etc. and then trying to bring them together somehow, we can make decisions in light of our individual strengths and weaknesses but with unified purposes and goals in mind. We support each other in every undertaking. We are pursuing what is best for our family as a whole–and finding out a lot about what is best for us individually along the way.
I am who I am today because of Joshua Thurston, so I see no reason not to share with him the journey towards whoever I am going to become.
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