“I feel like everyone we know is out here chasing their own version of the American Dream and you and I, baby we’re just living our lives”.
This sounds like a line out of a country song, doesn’t it? It’s not.
D said this to me when we were on our way home from our most recent date night and it has managed to become stuck in my head.
Getting married young (or at all, honestly) is not something for the faint of heart. Life is hard, life is really freakin hard. She is coming at you 24/7 whether you are ready or not. And if you don’t have someone by your side to hold your head above water when you can’t do it anymore, you will drown.
One of my favorite things about the man that I married, is that he is not about keeping up with the Joneses. D does whatever it is that D wants to do, or whatever we decide is best for our family, at that point in time. He isn’t concerned with what anyone else might think. I really don’t think it even crosses his mind.
We will have something come up and I’ll say..
“Oh dear sweet Lord, what are people going to say?”
And this mans response is always, “What people? Who the hell are these people?”
Around the time when we were planning our wedding, I heard a few rumors circulating that I actually thought were quite comical. They were said by ignorant people and repeated to me by ignorant people, so I won’t repeat them or name any names. But the gist of it was that my poor little self had found herself a man with money, and I was locking him down.
D thought this was hilarious. “If you’re marrying a rich man, it will be a surprise to the both of us,” I believe is exactly what he said.
Now don’t get me wrong, we wouldn’t be where we are today (or anywhere) without both of our families.
What’s better than two parents hitting you with knowledge? Four parents hitting you with knowledge. Write that down. (P.S. I’m sorry if your in-laws suck).
But I feel like we, as a society, have become way too dependent on what we think others will think of us and we allow this to shape the way that we live. So what if I was marrying a rich man, why would that bother me? I have always been a bit prouder than I would care to admit, but the idea that anyone thought I would marry for money sickened me.
And just knowing that someone had actually said those things, just to put themselves above me, made me sad for them.
I see people I went to school with posting pictures on Instagram of their pretty, new houses and their freshly-painted white picket fences, and the first thing that comes to my mind is: I wonder if they’re happy. I hope that they are happy.
And by talking with others, I have come to the realization that not everyone thinks this way. We become so jealous of what we convince ourselves that we think we need, or deserve, that we allow it to transform us into something gross.
Hey, I want a pretty new house. Yes sir, I want two stories and a kitchen island the size of Noah’s Ark. And every single time D asks me what I want my answer is either a.) a baby or b.) for him to build me a damn house.
But I want it on my family’s land. WE want it on my family’s land. Don’t let D tell you stories, he has fallen in love with this Water Valley way of life. However, this means that we need more money starting out in the project than others who are buying their first (or second, yes I see you girl!) houses, so it will take us a bit longer to get to the end result than most. And that is okay.
As I’ve talked about before, we are currently living in a two bedroom, one bathroom house owned by my Grandfather. It was built decades ago and it doesn’t have central heat and air, and we catch more mice than I will ever admit, but it is our home and we are proud of it.
And at the end of each day, I can honestly say that we are happy. What more could you want?
Live your life. Live your life the way that you want to live it, not the way you think would look good on paper.
Be grateful for what you have. So many more have a lot less.
Embrace the small things. Ask that old man how his day is going. Hold the door open for that woman holding hands with her children. Turn and smile at that cute kid in the booth behind you who keeps pulling your hair.
And for the love of God and all things holy, if you shame that sweet girl with tears in her eyes at the grocery store check-out who is trying to load her cart and pay for her groceries, with her tiny baby screaming in their car seat, I will find you.
Help her load her cart.
Put a hand on her arm and tell her she’s doing great.
She doesn’t need your comments. Babies cry. It is one of 3 things they know how to do.