Love, happiness, marriage…AKA…Am I really that old?!

I admit it.

I’m a romantic at heart.

I love love.

Since I was a little girl, I’ve dreamed of what my perfect wedding would look like.

I imagined the dress (strapless, or with cap sleeves; ball gown; veil; white), the shoes (low heels, same color as my dress or matching the bridesmaid dresses), the bridal party (a compilation of family and friends from different parts of my fiance and I’s lives). I could see my parents walking me down the aisle. I could hear a close friend or family member performing the readings on the altar (with this being one of them).

And, I could even taste the plethora of cookies that would undoubtedly be making a statement at the reception. Mmm.

But not just yet…right? I mean, I’m only 23. I’m a little too young for that. I have enough trouble keeping track of myself, how could I be expected to keep track of someone else?!

And yet, within the past few months, a lot of people I’ve known have gotten engaged. In fact, two of my close friends are in the process of planning each of their weddings!

It’s a wonderful time. A happy time. And a…

FRIGHTENING TIME!

Despite all the excitement over a friend’s engagement, it quickly brings up thoughts about my own relationship status.

Me? Single (and searching).

My initial thought on hearing of someone’s engagement is something along the lines of, “YAY!!!! I’m SO excited and happy for you!” While my internal thought process goes something like this, “Seriously, another one?!? Are we really that old? Is that what I should be doing now? I guess I’m just going to become a cat lady for the rest of my life!”

It’s amazing to think how things related to marriage have changed over the years. For example, in 1980 the median age of men at first marriage was 24.7 and the median age of women was 22.0. In 2010, the median age of men increased to 28.7 and for women it was 26.7. (Good news-I’m only 23, so I still have some time!)

The point is, when I see my friends getting engaged, it scares me. I think about how I’m only 23 and still have to finish my master’s degree. And then I remember, I’m probably going to spend another 4-6 years obtaining my PhD. Which means I’ll be pushing 30 by the time I finish school (eek!) and get a job. Then hopefully (assuming someone will put up with my shenanigans) I will get married and start having kids (immediately…before I’m 40)!

Has anyone else ever had this feeling? Maybe not about the marriage thing, but just about getting older? Where you or your peers begin to do things that you think should be done by someone older? The thought I have is, “Wow. We’ve reached the age where this is what happens and is the expectation.”

When I was younger (i.e., high school and younger), I used to think that people in their 20s were mature and would be ready to take on grownup experiences (take that as you will). Now that I am that age, I think about how wrong I was. Although many of my peers may be ready for these things, I’m not…or am I? I don’t feel old…but does doing any of these things mean I have to be old? I only feel 23 (whatever that means).

It’s like all of a sudden, it hits you.

You. Are. A. Grown-Up.

You are ready to open the doors to so many opportunities that you never had access to before. You may not have the opportunity just yet, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not ready.

So, what’s the point of this ramble? Well, here’s one:

And, holy cow! I better get a move on =)

Just kidding. In reality, know that you can do your own thing. Weddings bring weddings, but they have to be for the right reason. There is no rush. There is no hurry.

…(but if you happen to know someone, feel free to send him my way 😉

3 thoughts on “Love, happiness, marriage…AKA…Am I really that old?!

  1. I have to say it’s is odd growing up. My mother got married right out of college and had me exactly 9 months later, she was 23. When I was younger I thought that that was how it was going to work for me, find a guy in college, get married, & start having kids. Life likes to mess up your plans, because none of that happened. It took me longer to finish college than I thought.In fact after college, I didn’t even want to think about men, marriage and kids. I wanted to find a job that payed me decently and it just wasn’t happening. Life wasn’t working out how I planned at all.

    Two years after college and still nothing close to a career. Then all of a sudden, boom, meet a guy. A year later we got engaged. By the time we get married I will almost be 28. A whole five years older than when I thought I would be getting married, and five years later when I thought I would be having kids. Yet sometimes I feel like I just graduated high school. It’s odd doing all these grown up things but at the same time it’s exhilarating.

    Sometimes life throws you something when you least expect it. If you do meet someone I wouldn’t put things on hold until you think it will be easier. It maybe harder to fit in getting married, kids, and school, but life only gives you so much time.

    • It’s amazing to realize how things turn out so differently than you had imagined! I’m with you-I used to think I would be married by now, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon. I think it’s really cool that despite things happening very differently than expected, you seem to be doing really well. It gives me hope for the future 🙂

      And, you’re definitely right about life only giving you so much time! That’s one of the biggest drawbacks about being in school for so long because I feel like I’ll have to put this part of my life on hold, but we’ve only got so much time on this earth. Thanks for the advice! I guess I’ll just have to try not expect things and hope things will fall into place!

      P.s. Congrats on the engagement (loved your pics!) and good luck with your wedding plans!

  2. Pingback: A Few of My Favorite Things « Dames Who Dish

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