This is something I’ve heard all of my life. I heard it growing up, and I still hear it now. Here is a list of some of the things I’ve said I would or wouldn’t do and have been told to “just wait until…”
1. I’m not going to smoke like everyone around me.
2. I’m not going to drop out of school.
3. My girlfriend, then fiancé, now wife, and I will drive 400 miles roundtrip EVERY weekend to see each other.
4. I can’t wait to get married young.
5. I’m going to have many kids.
6. I’m not going to let my kids…
I believe people say this because they weren’t able to do it themselves, so they think the same thing of me. Maybe it makes them feel better about themselves. Maybe it makes them realize what they did wasn’t the best, and maybe someone out there is stronger than they are.
Growing up, everyone around me smoked cigarettes. It was just how things were, and I hated it. It was as if everywhere I went, I was breathing in the toxic fumes. I swore it off very early. I knew it was something I just couldn’t do. I was very verbal about how much I hated it and how I would never take up the disgusting habit. I won’t say who told me this, but someone close to me told me, “I said the same thing. You will end up doing it just like the rest of us.”I was appalled at hearing this. Why would someone believe I would end up making the same mistakes they did? Did they not think I could possibly be a little strong than they were? I’ve never smoked and I never will.
Long-distance relationships are tough. Even if you’re just a few hours away and can only see each other on the weekends. It’s even tougher if you factor in college and a full-time job. When Emma and I started dating, there was a lot of doubt that it would last. The doubt came mostly because of how long-distance relationship are hard, and how it hadn’t worked out for many people. If Emma and I hadn’t worked out, it would not have been due to the distance. We both made sure of that. When she lived in Richmond, she would ride the bus up on Fridays and I would drive her home on Sundays. I would then drive back to work at 3:00 am on Monday morning. When she moved back to Virginia Beach, we switched every weekend driving. When her schedule got tough, I would drive multiple weekends in a row and she did the same for me. I was told that eventually, we would miss a weekend, and then two, and then before we knew it we would be growing apart. Well, we didn’t! Instead, we got married and got through the long-distance part of the relationship.
I wrote a blog post about getting married young right before I got married. I wrote it because of the overwhelming negativity I heard about marriage during that time. When people would ask if I had a girlfriend and I’d tell them I was engaged, the stupid warnings were sure to follow. “Don’t get married young”, “you’re still too young,” I said the same thing when I was your age” are examples of the nonsense I heard. We are only a couple of months into this thing, but I’ve never been more confident of anything in my life. If you need more reasons to get over the “don’t marry young” garbage talk, check out Marrying Young Shouldn’t Be Scary
Here’s a tip for anyone out there that uses this saying. If you ever hear someone say something that may sound a little too ambitious for you or is outside of your comfort zone, don’t think they can’t do it. You should definitely not tell them they can’t do it. People are different and some people capable of things you are not. Don’t let it make you feel inferior, it just means that person made it a priority and you didn’t.
Emma and I plan on having many children and raising them the best way we see fit. We will rely heavily on what science says. Our children will remain backward in their car seats until they are grownups (not actually, but for a long time), they will be given healthy foods to eat and snack on, and they won’t be spoiled by technology at a young age. These are just a few of the ways we plan on raising our many children. We know it won’t be easy, but support, optimism, and advice are much more appreciated than skepticism and, “you say that now, but wait until you have one or two children.”