Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Best Advice I Ever Received [TGBTL 14]

"You have your whole life to be someone's wife and mother. This is the only time in your life you get to be just you. Take advantage of it."

These were the words my grandfather, Poppy, repeated to me over and over during a trip to Florida my senior year of high school. You see, my family was convinced that I was going to run off with my then boyfriend and get married fresh out of high school, and you can bet everyone was doing everything they could to prevent that. Guys, I swear I never, ever planned to get married at eighteen, but I can completely understand why you were all so concerned. I am sorry for the stubborn, know-it-all teenager that I was.

And then I got married at a whopping twenty years old. It may seem odd that I would identify these words as the best advice I have ever received since I got married and had a baby just a few years after this advice was given to me, but honestly, these were the words that drove my first two years of college life.

I have never been a drinker or partier, and I have never been reckless, much to my dad's dismay (actual quote: "Go get arrested or something!" I know you're secretly glad that never happened, Dad). But during my first couple years of college I was able to let go of a relationship that I didn't need to be in, and learn to be myself. That may be a cliche, but it's true, and it is something I am still working on all of the time.

It just so happened that I would meet my husband such a short time later, and I must confess, I don't promote marrying young, even though I did so myself. In an ideal world, I think Ryan and I would have gotten married much later, but we don't live in an ideal world, and I am so grateful to have a husband who is patient with me and is constantly able to work with me to make our marriage better--despite the fact we married young. I consider it a blessing to be Ryan's wife and Maylie's mom, but life could have been easier if we had been older. Easier? Yes. Better? Not necessarily. But given the right circumstances, I generally would encourage enjoying the time you have to be you.
Recently I've been talking to my brother a lot about his love life. And I have found that I have repeated these same words to him. I know we live in a world where temporal satisfaction is seen as the ultimate achievement, but that's not what I'm getting at with these words of advice. Instead, these words have always meant to me be you, understand you, and love you. Take the time to enjoy who you are because one day you will be covered in spit up and swimming in dirty dishes, and you will forget that you exist. You become the cook, cleaner, nurse, referee, entertainer, and personal slave to a small being, and you are all of these things before you are a student, a friend, a wife, a person. You lose yourself in taking care of others, and that isn't bad, it's wonderful. But for one time in your life it is okay, good, healthy, "to just be you."

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10 comments:

  1. I love this! Learning that lesson is so important, especially before you get into a marriage. You have to learn to be yourself and love yourself before you can love someone else wholeheartedly! Great post!

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    1. I agree! Loving your spouse is so much easier when you love yourself!

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    2. Hayley, I went back and read the comments after I put my comment and almost laughed because we said about the same thing...lolol. Great minds again! :)

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  2. This is great, Kaylyn! I think it's so true---while there are different paths and benefits to both, I really don't think there is a right or a wrong.

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    1. Absolutely, Tiffany! Everyone is different.

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  3. I really love this--and it's so true!

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  4. I got married when I was 19, and I'd do it all over again the same way--but it is good to know how shockingly fast those years of being you, of being single, can fly by. They're worth enjoying, they may not last long at all!

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    1. I completely agree! I mean no conflict with those who marry young, but enjoying those single or childless years is so important!

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  5. Love this! So true...gotta know how to love yourself before you can ever love another person. :)

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