In my younger years, I assumed my life would go something like this: graduate high school, go off to college, meet a great guy, get engaged, get married right after college, have a couple children by my mid to late-twenties. When I look back, I know that could have been my life, and things could have happened that way. Instead, I followed another path and ended up getting married in my early 30’s..
I’m glad I waiting until my 30’s to get married (and have children). There are many reasons why, but here are my top reasons:
I got to live and work where I wanted to.
After college, I traveled for a year. I got to visit a bunch of different states and see a lot of the U.S. I also got to choose a job in any city or state I wanted. I did not have to choose one based on where my spouse was going to work/live. This offered a lot of freedom in my 20’s.
I learned to be independent.
I lived in my own apartment, paid my own bills, shopped for my own items, and made my own decisions. I didn’t have a significant other to discuss issues with. I learned to budget everything: my time, my money, etc. I had to think things through and make choices on my own. I moved to a few different states independently in my 20’s, and I learned how much I could handle and how strong I was. It definitely helped me become a more confident and assertive woman.
I got to have fun.
In my 20’s, I got to go out to parties, I went on road trips to visit friends, I dated different guys and learned more about what qualities were important to me in a partner. I stayed out late if I wanted to, slept in if I felt like it, and ate whatever I wanted each night. I had fun, and I didn’t have to worry about a husband or kids at home while I was doing it.
I finished an advanced degree.
I’m not sure if I would have completed my MBA or applied to law schools if I had been married or had family already. After my oldest was born, I decided to work on my teaching certification and an advanced library science degree. I didn’t finish them. After two semesters and having to find baby sitters, trying to spend time with my husband, and working on growing our family, it was a lot of added stress. Many people manage to do this, but it was so much easier for me to finish my degree and work on coursework when it was just me.
I had my own money.
By the time I got married in my 30’s, I was in an upper-level position at work, I had my own decent salary, and I knew I didn’t need anyone to help me pay the bills. I knew I could manage on my own financially. It felt empowering to know I could take care of myself and live independently financially.
Would my life look different if I had married out of college? Probably. I’m sure it’d be a good life, and I would hope that it would have been a happy one. But God has plans for all of us, and I’m glad the plan for me was to get married and have children later on. I got to have fun and experience things in my 20’s that I never would have had I married early on. For all my experiences in my younger years, I am grateful.