(My Version) of 23 Things to Do Instead of Getting Engaged Before You’re 23

My friend and I began a tally of people we knew who were engaged as of the Christmas and New Year’s season. I think he reached about 6 couples, and I counted about 4. It does not help that every time I log onto Pinterest, the bride-to-be has mapped out the entire wedding.

I understand. Though many people may consider me the single cat lady, I too would like to get married some day…but not right now.

Let me tell you what I was like during 2013:  During student teaching, I decided I realllllly did not want to teach. Ever. I graduated with a degree that I no longer wanted. However, I found a Master’s program that I am absolutely in love with. Until recently, I was glued to my cell phone like a teenager. I probably had a “crush” on at least 8 guys. More than once, I was determined to cut ties with some “friends” (but never did). At 22, I finally found the sport in which I am talented:  archery. I acted like a 22 year old during 2013.

Though I am pursuing my Master’s, I have no idea where it will take me. At least 50% of the time, I have no idea what I am doing. I still live with my mom and dad. I do not even know what tomorrow will hold for me. And that is exciting and beautiful. It makes me feel young (which I am)!

I am really confused. What is so great about being engaged/married before or at 22/23 years old? Maybe being engaged/married so young is enticing to my age group because it is like playing in The Hunger Games; Effie may be cheering the young couple on, but let’s be honest, the odds are not really in their favor.

I will admit, all of these engaged/married couples make me question myself. “Why am I single? Is there something wrong with me? Is my window of opportunity gone?” Then, I quickly realize how silly I sound. I am awesome. I am pursuing my Master’s, I am independent, I still get to hang out with whoever I want, I do whatever I want, I made a career/degree change to make myself happier, I work with WKU athletes, and the list goes on.

I am living MY life.

I agree with Vanessa Elizabeth in “23 Things to Do Instead of Getting Engaged Before You’re 23”

     I can’t help but feel like a lot of these unions are a cop-out.

     It is a way for young people to hide behind a significant other instead of dealing with life’s highs and lows on their own. It’s a safety      blanket. It’s an admission that the world is just too big and scary to deal with it on your own; thus, you now have someone that is          legally obligated to support you till one of you dies or files for divorce…

     If your love is truly eternal, what’s the rush? If it’s real, that person will continue to be committed to you 2 months from now, 2 years      from now, and 2 decades from now. Grow, learn, travel, party, cuddle, read, explore. Do. Freaking. Something… other than “settle      down” at 23 with a white picket fence.

 Because you owe it to yourself.  You are a human being that deserves to thrive inside AND outside of a relationship.

I will get some heat from Bridezillas on Facebook and Twitter. They will probably delete me as a “friend” and compile a list of reasons why they are so much better than me because they are engaged or married. So while they fret over which shade of blue they will use on their wedding invitations, here is my version of 23 Things to Do Instead of Getting Engaged Before You’re 23:

  1. Pursue [even] higher education
  2. Take up a new hobby
  3. Learn to play an instrument
  4. Work a fun part-time job or begin the job of your dreams
  5. Adopt a pet
  6. Go to Hawaii
  7. Create a blog or YouTube channel
  8. Watch the entire How I Met Your Mother series (9 seasons)
  9. Take selfies like no one is watching
  10. Cut ties with “friends” that are not making you happy
  11. Have a designated tea or coffee time (mine is 4pm)
  12. Discover your style (I personally gravitate toward Kate Middleton’s style)
  13. Hang out with friends of the opposite sex
  14. Hang out with your parents whenever you can
  15. Figure out what issues are truly important to you and fight for them
  16. Learn more about U.S. History & Government so you may be a more educated citizen
  17. Enjoy the silence
  18. Create a Vine account, and make vines that you think are funny, but are really not.
  19. Watch the following movies:  Shawshank Redemption, The Last of the Mohicans, Legends of the Fall, and the Robert Redford version of The Great Gatsby
  20. Read the following books and/or book series:  The Hunger Games, the Divergent series, The Great Gatsby, and a biography about your favorite celebrity or historical person
  21. Paint something, even if it turns out horrible
  22. Go to as many sporting events as possible
  23. Learn to be independent
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