This week's prompt:
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.