I met and got engaged to husband and the innocent age of 19.
Upon our engagement, I vividly remember comments from people I grew up with. While the majority of people extended their congratulations, there were a few who did the opposite. A friend of my parents said, “He’s just looking for a young girl to marry and get pregnant.” Another added, “Her life is basically over.” Neither of these individuals had ever met Tyler, nor kept in touch with me after high school. While these comments stung for a split second, I knew in the back of my mind that they weren’t true. So, skeptics, this post is for you. I’m about to tell you why being married at 20 years old was the best decision I’ve ever made.
Throughout my years in middle school and high school, I was always the youngest person in my grade. I began elementary school in another state where the cutoff age was different – meaning I began school far earlier than any of my peers. I graduated high school at 17 and turned 18 just days before college. Because of this, I have always felt my maturity and education levels were that of someone a year or two older than I. I was a sophomore in college at 19 years old, but I felt older.
On a recent trip back to my hometown, I dug through my parents crawl space storage and found a box full of my things from middle and high school. Among old trophies, photos, and other knick-knacks, I found my dream board. In 9th grade health class, we were tasked with creating a collage full of photos that represented our dreams. I wish I would have taken a photo of it – but I’ll tell you what was on there. A photo of a girl in a wedding dress holding hands with her husband. A huge BYU logo. A photo of the temple that I was later married in. A photo 0f children representing my own one day. Giant letters that spell out H-A-P-P-Y.
Almost everything on my dream board has come true. All the things I wanted (with the exception of children – yet) when I was 13 years old have come to pass. My dreams have literally come true. I have a built-in best friend, a support system, a partner, someone to share the joys of life with. However, because I have these things at such young age, society looks at me differently. Our world is funny that way.
Being married young has allowed me to grow in ways I never thought possible. I’ve learned how to sincerely love someone. How to put someone else’s happiness before my own. What it feels like to be genuinely happy. It had nothing to do with religious stereotypes, peer pressure, or the fact that Tyler is 8.5 years older than me. I chose to get married. I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world.
Being married at a young age hasn’t held me back from any opportunity in life. In fact, it’s done quite the opposite. When others say, “I don’t want to be married until I’m done with college.” Or, “I don’t want to get married so I can focus on my career.” My question for them is, why not? All of these things are still possible in a marriage. You can still go to college and pursue a career. In my opinion, it’s better that way because you have a partner to support and encourage you.
Now, I understand that finding the right one isn’t always easy. I was fortunate to find the one at 19. However, keep an open mind. Don’t rule marriage out because of young age. If you meet someone amazing, don’t let them pass you by because you’re young. They could be the one.
Marriage isn’t something you can dip out of if things get tough. Marriage takes bravery and courage. Committing yourself to a partnership where the future is completely unknown. Promising to work and never give up. I knew I was mature enough, brave enough, and courageous enough to make this commitment at 20 years old. And it was the best decision I ever made.
Last month, we did a shoot in our exact wedding attire. Wedding photos are basically my life and I was dying for some new ones of us for the walls in our home. I know, that’s probably really weird… But I think they turned out beautifully. I can’t wait to print these. Thank you, Casey James Photography for these gorgeous photos!
Thanks for stopping by.