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.