Sunday, December 23, 2012

GBE 2: Decision

I've recently joined a writing group that is casual and meant to be a fun writing exercise.  It's called GBE 2 and you can find the link here on Facebook.  At the end of the post, you can find more information.

This week's prompt: 

love quote love quote love quote

For my very first prompt, I'm going to discuss a topic that is really personal to me.  Going against my original "life plan," I got married pretty young.  Ryan and I knew each other from high school and stayed friends while I was in college.  Getting married at 21-years old was completely against the pathway of a graduate from a public ivy-style university.  What "you're supposed to do" involves graduating in 4+ years, establishing your career, then start dating and eventually get married.  At least that was the life plan that I thought I was going to have for myself.  However, after dating Ryan in my junior year of college, I fell madly in love with him.  I didn't really date while in high school because the guys, to be frank, had really vague ideas of their goals.  I knew that I wanted to get into a really great university and no one was going to get in my way.  I was devoted to amping up my resume and being the best student I could be and because of that I was kind of awkward around guys in high school.  When I got to college, I was now surrounded by these guys that were career-driven and liked to have a good time.  Nevertheless,  a lot of college relationships were very shallow and fleeting.

When I started dating Ryan,  I knew he was something completely different than the guys that I had been dating.  He was genuine and incredibly driven as a person.  He wasn't wrapped up in partying on the weekends.  As a young person, he fought in two deployments overseas and his Friday nights consisted of patrols, not Jaeger bombs.  It was just a completely different dynamic.  We also had amazing conversations.  I think it really was the element of having to communicate over phone calls, text messages, e-mails, etc. that forced us to really explore who we are as people all over again.

Ryan first asked me to think about the idea of marrying him on February 9, 2011.  I thought he was out of his mind.  This went completely off the college path.  However, we discussed it for weeks and I knew that I loved this man more than anything.  Then came explaining this to my parents, the rest of my family and my friends.  They didn't take it too well.  This became a long, drawn out process in which my dad, who is one of my best-friends, refused to acknowledge or talk to me for almost six months.  Ryan proposed to me on St. Patrick's Day on a beach close to Camp Pendleton, while I was out there for my spring break.  I could not have been more ecstatic.  I was welcomed back with so many well wishes and blessings.  There are still some friendships that have gone through a lot of strained processes and we're just getting back to where our friendships started.  Although there were many happy moments, it was still one of the most stressful times in my life.  Here was this wonderful and happy occasion of two people uniting together in love and there was so much unhappiness surrounding it.  I had family members telling me that this was an awful idea and it just weighed heavily on me.  It was also a time in my life where the cliche of realizing who were my "real" friends were and they were happened because these were the people who had learned to accept me as a person, the relationship I was in, and that not everyone needs to follow the same path.

Having been a military spouse and being in the military myself, I've witnessed what it's like for young people, from both college-educated backgrounds and not, experience what comes along with getting married young and that type of decision-making.  Yes, you choose to grow up quickly but that's something we accept with our lifestyle in the military and falling in love.  It's also taught me to not be so quick to judge other's actions and decisions because I absolutely hated when people did that to me and to my husband.  Everyone has to go on their own journeys and make their own life decisions.

Blogging GBE style is simple. Every Sunday evening there is a new writing prompt/challenge on the GBE page. You can then interpret the prompt any way you want and blog on it in any way you see fit. Once you’ve posted to wherever you normally blog, drop the URL to your post as a comment into the weekly topic thread so that other members can read/comment. Blogs should be posted by the end of the following Saturday night.

One thing: This is for fun, and it should NEVER feel like work. So if you join in, feel free to skip a topic (or 10) and read/comment as much or as little as you want. NO PRESSURE.

That’s it!

Happy blogging!


  1. The question is, just how young are you? I've always told my kids that they need a college degree before they can get married. I got married at age 24 and had earned my undergrad and master's degrees by then. I was ready to settle down. Are you ready? Are you at a stage of life where you know where you're going and what you want to do? If so, go for it.

    1. Thanks for the comment! I'm 23 right now but I've been married for almost 2 years. It's fairly common for military service members to get married at a younger age. My husband and I are both service members and I'm an officer in the Air Force, so although I am in my early 20s, I hold quite a bit of responsibility. Part of that is understanding who you are and having a high level of maturity. So do I believe that for me, getting married at 21 was a good decision? Yes, I do but I definitely don't think it's for everyone. I do think that waiting until post-college is a great guiding plan, but like I stated in my post, it's not the path that everyone may end up following. I think it's a completely different story for everyone based on circumstances. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin in four years and I'll go to grad school most likely next year once I'm at my new base. I plan on accomplishing all of my goals and I don't really consider getting married at a younger age a deterrent to any of my life plans. Thanks again for the comment :)

    2. Sounds like you made a good decision. I have a former student who got married at 21. However, he already had his accounting degree, had been in the work force for almost a year, and had dated his wife since middle school. I was all for Paul's union. Good luck with grad school.

  2. Good luck and great blessings. Military life ain't the easiest road.

  3. I remember when I told my parents that I was getting was a nightmare. They were so angry with me. I was angry with them too. I was their only daughter and you'd think they would be happy. They had asked me for five years when we were going to get married and when we finally decided to they were annoyed. Suffice it to say that they made the whole thing really difficult for us because not only were we getting married, we were moving out of state. Oh well...that was 20 years ago and I haven't looked back yet.

    So happy that you are made your decision and are sticking with it! Good for you and I wish you all the best in the world!

    Looking forward to reading more of your work. I am a part of this group too, but have been gone for awhile. I hope you get a chance to read my work too!

    Susan Dusterhoft
    Today's Working Woman

  4. Great first entry! Very nicely written and now we know a little bit about YOU. Well done. I was married at 17! YIKES, I know. We divorced after 10 years and I am now married to the man who was made for me. We've been together nearly 31 years (March).

    Good to meet you!