Being 20 years old and preparing for a wedding that will take place a few weeks after your 21st birthday is a slightly...what shall we call it..."different" experience.
First off, it was no surprise to me that my parents were not completely overjoyed when they heard the news. They were happy...but I was 19. You could (and I eventually did) understand. I was a baby in their eyes, even though I'd lived outside of home for about two years at that point.
Throughout the past year or so, I've had to deal with a lot of awkward comments. It was - and still is - difficult when you tell someone you're getting married (whether its a lady you've never met before in a shop or old friends you run into from high school) and the response is underwhelming.
The most uncomfortable situation was when my fiancé Luke and I jumped into a cab the weekend we got engaged and drove off to a lovely dinner with our friends. In our newly-engaged bliss, we shared the good news with our cab drive. She said, "God no....You're making a mistake. Do something with your life," and didn't even pretend to be happy for us. I got out of that cab feeling a little less than spectacular, telling Luke, "she's probably just really bitter about life."
The truth is, we're not blinded with love - we know the difficulties that we face. Right now, if I was 26 instead of 20, I'd probably be able to contribute a whole lot more to the wedding budget. We'd probably already have our own home. But life didn't hand me my future husband at 26; it dealt me an education abroad where I was lucky enough to bump into Luke. I wasn't going to play pretend, cross my fingers and hope someone like him came along again.
I had always known that I would get married young if I met the right person. My parents (bless their cotton socks), had gotten hitched later in life: My mum was already 28 and it's hard for me to watch my dad struggle between wanting to retire and still having to provide an education for his children. There's no wrong or right, but to me, being a young mom is important. Having children in my life is one decision I have always been certain about. Luckily, Luke feels the same way.
But here's the thing: Everyone is always going to think they know better. Your parents, friends, random people who don't even know you. And there's always going to be a story about how someone else's friend/aunty/whomever got married at a young age and it didn't work out. No one's going to bring up that time where a young bride lived happily ever after, even though everyone was so cynical, but it worked out just fine and they have a big house, two kids, a couple of dogs and a great life. Because that would mean that they were wrong.
I've learned to roll with the punches and accept that this isn't the only thing in my life the world isn't going to stand up and applaud me for. The people who matter are overjoyed and can't wait. And to me, theirs is the only opinion that matters anyway!How old will you be when you become a Mrs.?
- Theresa Misso
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