That isn’t a particularly usual blog post title. And this probably won’t be a usual post.
But it’s true- I got married at nineteen. And it’d be rather silly for me for me to say I lead a usual life.
I’m married to a guy who has six brothers. also kinda weird. If you don’t know our story, we dated for three months, were engaged for three more, and got married a day after final exams our freshman year in college. it moved really fast.
Not even two months after we were married, Jeff quit his super-stable, well paying job for a part-time, low-paying gig so we could build and focus on our photography business. we are really crazy.
Now, nine months into marriage, we have both quit our part-time jobs and are full time photographers building a Tiny House.
Today, I turn 20. It feels kinda weird, like just now I’m finally entering adulthood. Isn’t it after I turn 20 I’m supposed to get serious about work and love and life-long things? Some people would say I’ve done things completely backwards. definitely abnormal. But I can’t help but feel like I have benefitted so much more from committing to hard things early, instead of waiting until I was grown-up, ready, and knew exactly what I wanted. Honestly… do any of us know exactly what we want, anyways?
So, I’ve had to learn what true commitment means. This goes for my marriage, my business, our Tiny House. Commitment is hard work, commitment means sacrifice, commitment means pain. I’ve had to compromise ideas and wants in my relationship with Jeff for the best of both of us. We’ve had super hard talks, a couple of spats, and we are better for it.
I’ve discovered that chasing your dreams can be a load of bullcrap. I’m not saying dreams are worthless and should be put down all together. I do personally believe every dream inside of us is placed there for a reason and is worth pursuing. However, there is a incredible difference between selfish ambition and a dream that uses your talents to help others, better yourself, and make a impact beyond your own bubble. Going into marriage, I had a lot of selfish dreams that needed adjustment. I’ve learned to think of how my passions can help and effect others, not just myself. I’m still learning how to use what I’ve been given to change the people I interact with.
I’ve had to face a lot of hard realities. It’s not fun to eat rice and beans for a week. It’s not fun for all of your money to go to rent and have nothing left for shampoo. It’s definitely not a joy to go through financial difficulties (can I get a Amen!). It’s really draining to have family issues, or to realize you are, in fact, doing a lot of things wrong. It makes your heart sink when the person you love the most confronts you with an issue. Its hard to realize the choices I make today will effect the rest of my life. And yet, these mistakes and lessons and pain shape me to be better.
I now realize everyone has their own life. And that’s okay. As a recovering people-pleaser, I was desperate for everyone to like me- which (in my mind) meant I had to be like everyone in order to be fun and relatable. But the truth is I’m everything but. I’m married when most girls are in college or getting closer with their girlfriends, I’ve created my own business when others my age are still studying the best ways to be successful, and we’re building a Tiny House when society says ‘bigger is better’. And sometimes, it’s draining. And usually, it’s sort of lonely because honestly, we aren’t that relatable. But I’m learning to embrace my differences. This is my story, and it’s okay that it’s not the same as everyone else’s. its okay to stick out like a sore thumb. My life and experience isn’t any better then anyone else’s- but it is what’s best for me.
Was I ready to be committed to a life-long relationship? Was I ready to be socially different? Was I ready to ‘give up’ my dreams and face some hard things? Nope. But I’m definitely way better off for it.
What do you think? Has there been something you’ve done that’s not normal but you are better off for? Have you ever regretted pursuing something that others discouraged?