Day Twenty-Three: Worry
Worry plagued much of my singlehood. I don’t know if I was the typical late-teenage/young twentysomething, but it seems that nearly every week brought similar haunting questions.
When will I get married?
Will all my friends be married before me?
Will I ever get married?
What if I get married and my husband leaves me?
What if my parents die before they see me married?
Am I not marriage material?
Am I too marriage material?
How will I manage to care for my parents with one income if something happens to them?
What hobby can I take up so I don’t worry all the time?
Could I learn to fly fish?
Where does one fly fish?
When will I accrue enough days off to go fly fishing?
What if I drown on my fly fishing excursion because there’s no husband to save me?
As you can see, my thoughts were varied and deep, but there was a big focus on marriage. Spoiler alert: I never seriously considered fly fishing, but if someone has any tips, I’d be happy to hear them because I’m increasingly curious about it. Darn that Brad Pitt movie.
It didn’t really hit me that all my fretting was unnecessary until I was speaking with a former professor of mine, Dr. Molly McCaffrey, about a friend who had recently gotten engaged. This sparked a conversation about numerous former and current students of hers at the time who were either engaged or already married. As I recall, she remarked something to the effect of:
“Why are people your age getting married? I mean, twenty-one, twenty-two, twenty-three years old? You’re babies!”
Normally, I might bristle at someone’s suggestion that I’m still a kid, but not in this case. The implication wasn’t necessarily that my peers and I are ignorant or stupid, but rather that we don’t see how young and ripe for new experiences we are. The worry and the urgency surrounding marriage when we’re barely old enough to vote, drink or order products off TV infomercials is pretty ridiculous.
(I’d like to note that I know several married couples who are about my age or younger, and while marriage that young wasn’t right for me, it seems to work for them, and that’s totally cool.)
I realize I may sound like a hypocrite, since I just happened to have that conversation with Dr. McCaffrey within months of meeting Cory and am engaged at 25 years old. I also realize that there are people who read my blog who are older than I am and on the lookout for a husband.
But I think that no matter how many years one is single or unmarried, there is still a period of worry, possibly even distress. All I know is, I wish I would’ve cast those worries aside sooner. I don’t believe it would have brought me to my future husband any sooner, but I know I would have had some much happier days.