It seems like everyone my age is getting engaged. 25 hits and suddenly the majority of my news feed is diamond rings and babies. 25 doesn’t sound that old, and everyone older than I am tells me I’m still so young, but I’ve always thought marriage was an iffy thing to take on when a person is as young as everyone tells me I am. Growing up I always thought of marriage as something that was meant for grown ups, and honestly at 25, there’s definitely still a lot of growing left for me to do.
I’ve had some life experience in these 25 years, it hasn’t all gone to waste. I’ve been heartbroken, unemployed, frustrated and single still living in my parents home after college while simultaneously trying to have any sort of love life. I landed my dream job, I got my first apartment and somehow managed to pay rent and fill my fridge. I learned that gas bills don’t pay themselves, same with cable which is absurdly over-priced for a girl who likes to read but needs to see what happens on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Chopped.
I’ve maintained a pretty standard life with pretty standard experiences, and (somehow) I even fell in love, which is anything but standard. Love is anything but ordinary. It’s euphoric, and neurotic all at once. It’s happy and it’s terrifying. It’s silly and it’s serious. It’s basically one big oxymoron, that still makes no sense to me at all. And of all the crazy things it’s made me do, that I never thought I would, the most important thing love has made me do is grow.
I have grown in love so much. I’ve learned about myself, about the way I see the world, and how maybe sometimes that vision is flawed. I’ve learned how I deal with things, and how maybe sometimes the way I deal with them isn’t good for me. Love is humbling, and I’ve learned what it feels like to acknowledge the weaknesses I’ve always known were there, but never wanted to confront, the fears I’ve always known were there, and never wanted to face. And I think one of the biggest fears I had was thinking everyone who loved me would leave me. This love has made me realize that I don’t have to be so afraid, that not all love is forever, but fear will only keep you from finding love that is.
And if I’m still so young, and have learned this much so far, I must have a lot more about love to learn, and there’s a lot more time to learn it. I don’t want a love that feels rushed or pressured. I don’t want a love that turns to proposals and marriage just because everyone else is. I want a love that follows the path that feels right, not the path that feels right for everyone else. Our love is about us. It’s about me and you. It’s about what we want, what we see for ourselves, for our life, together. This is why proposals and marriage don’t concern me. This is why I love, our love.