There is something about traveling, about getting away from it all that helps you to see it all a little more clearly.
A couple days ago I was in Baltimore with one of my absolute best friends, we stayed at a nice hotel (with very friendly, handsome staff), had access to a free shuttle, and ate, shopped, and explored Baltimore to our hearts content.
Us posing in a random park in Downtown Baltimore
Whenever I go traveling I always get a fresh perspective on my life. I’m able to get some distance and able to see the good, the bad, and in this case the gap.
The gap between reality and the life I want.
Travel gives me fresh insight to pursue my goals and stop talking about the life I’ve been wanting and to go ahead and live it already. Running off to Baltimore with my best friend was no exception. Getting away I was able to share with her some of my thoughts and insecurities, and through her wise words of love and encouragement I was able to get some fresh perspective on my life.
Not to say tomorrow I’m suddenly going to move out, get married, become a published writer, and know what I’m doing for the next five years.
Please, but it has got me thinking.
The gap I think is often strongest in our 20s because this is the time when we finally have real opportunity and power to create the life we want. We can make decisions about our jobs, education, relationships, and where we want to live. At the same time we have to deal with the problems of our generation. Which means the gap-as I have defined it-is harder to close.
Mainly I have been thinking about getting married and how that can really be a reality without too much burden, financially and emotionally.
So I was recently on my favorite website apracticalwedding.com (APW) despite the name APW is first and foremost a site about navigating growing up, with a focus on marriage and weddings, because well marriage more than most things forces you to grow up, because it’s not just about you anymore.
I was reading Millennials and Marriage and this passage stood out to me:
“Forget about homeownership, once a hallmark of stability and permanence—one in eight Millennials over age twenty-two say they’ve moved back into a parent’s home due to the recession.
In short, we’re a generation that has learned the hard way that many of the hallmarks of adulthood which previously seemed stable and secure simply don’t exist for us, and maybe never will. Having come of age at a time of such uncertainty and impermanence, is it any wonder some Millennials are wary at the prospect of yet another institution that promises stability and longevity?”
As you readers know I am not wary of marriage, in fact as the days pass I am more and more eager to be married, but I realize the friction I have had with well meaning loved ones is because of the quote above. The markers of my parents and aunts and uncles adulthood are not going to be my own, and even if they were the path to get there is so different.
My parents want me to move out on my own as do I, yet they also think my marriage should be prolonged so that I can have some time of independence (read: financial independence with a full time job). Realistically this could take years. Whereas I have a much stronger chance of actually going out and supporting myself soon, albeit with someone else if I get married. It seems especially absurd when it’s what I want. I’m educated, out of college, earning my own money. Frankly, I would like to move out and go into a great job before I get married, but again I have to face reality.
More than that S and I have been a team since day one, it may not be what my parents want for me, but we have supported each other in numerous ways, even financially.
I can do life without him, and if I wasn’t getting married, I’d be making plans to move in with some of my friends who are graduating this year. I’d still be working, I’d still be navigating being an adult with my parents, but I feel like this closing sentence really sums up my beliefs and why-while it was never my plan -getting married after college will be such a good thing:
“The Millennial generation faces a host of uncertainties and this necessarily shapes our outlook on life, as compared to other generations. But personally, this Millennial likes the certainty of knowing she’s got someone to face the uncertainty with.”
So I’m working on closing the gap. Like actually looking into prices of places I want to get married at. Declaring a wedding day. Saving up my money and creating a loan repayment plan that actually works with my life. Creating boundaries with my parents that lets all of us be adults.
My adulthood doesn’t look like everyone else’s and it for sure doesn’t look like my parents. That’s okay though.
I’m not them. That’s freeing.
Because marrying S is a good thing. It’s what I believe God wants for us. And I think in their own way my parents want us married too just on their terms, but it’s not on their terms. That, dear reader, is what makes being an adult so awesome and sometimes scary, these are my decisions to make. I get to choose who I love, where I go, and what I do. Always tempered with wisdom, prayer, and grace of course.
Of course it’s not going to be easy there’s emotional and financial hurdles I have to overcome in the next months leading up to our marriage, but I think with a lot of conversation, prayer, and compromise it’s going to happen. Now, to tackle all the other goals and dreams I have, good thing I have S to go through things with, and I’m there for him.