Let’s try this again, shall we?
I got married at an age many would consider young. I was twenty.
I married a girl I’d met a few months ago online. She was an older
woman, a divorcee, with two kids I didn’t even meet until after we
were married. Practically overnight I went from being an elligible
bachelour, with my own apartment and a disposable income, to being a
husband and stepfather struggling to pay the bills. I took on a
family and a woman with issues I had no clue about.
I would be lying if I said I never had any regrets. When things get
rough there’s a voice in my head that says I could be single, living
the good life, with toys, freedom, girls galore and no commitments.
I’m 23, I could be playing the field, going out every weekend. After
all, I was young – too young to know what I was doing! I was a brash,
infatuated young fool, rushing into something despite the advice of my
elders. What could I know at 20?
And then I take a look around at my friends who are still single. I
read their journal entries. I see the heartbreak, over and over
again. I see the shadowy loneliness that haunts them at night. I see
the longing for nothing so much as a warm embrace to come home to
every night. I see the nagging worry about making the right
impression, what the other person is thinking, whether they are “the
one”. I watch the repeating arc of discovery, euphoria,
disillusionment, rejection. I see them tiredly picking up and trying
again, and again, and again, with one more piece of their heart torn,
deadened and jaded.
I remember then, that the voice in my head is a liar. I was
not a brash young fool when I got married. If anything, I
was wiser then than I am now. I had already looked around me, seen
what my friends experienced while “playing the field”, and wanted none
of it. I knew what I wanted in a woman, and when I found her, with
her ageless heart old and young at the same time, and her sparkling
questing eyes that made me feel known and at home wherever they beheld
me, I recognized it and snatched her up as quickly as I could. If I
had found her when I was younger I would have married younger.
It’s easy to chalk anything I’ve done in my past up to youthfull
foolishness, especially when I’m not enjoying the repercussions.
That’s the easy way out, to just say ” I was stupid”. It’s harder to
admit that I knew exactly what I was doing, and give my former self
due honor by staying the course I set in the past. But when I look
around I’m forced to admit the wisdom of that course, and to be
grateful once again that when I found what I was looking for, she
welcomed me with open arms.
I don’t write this to gloat over my single friends. I’ve been lucky
to find what I have. Some of you haven’t been so lucky yet, some of
you are perfectly happy as you are. I write this to remind myself
that I was no reckless fool when I said “will you marry me”. I had
been planning that for years, even I had only known the recipient of
the words for months.