Hola everyone! I’m back from Punta Cana, and I’m happy to say that I got to accomplish a lot of reading (poolside, of course) over the past week. One blog post that was floating around Facebook particularly struck a nerve with me though, you may have read it, but if not… give it a quick skim: 23 Things To Do Instead Of Getting Engaged Before You’re 23.
So before I get into my opinion, let me state that I understand that everyone else is also entitled to their own opinion. This blogger obviously has the (very strong) opinion that marriage shouldn’t happen before you are 23 years old; and while I may also not agree with marriage at such a young age, I’m not sure I would ever write a whole blog post about why you shouldn’t do it. What actually made me sad about this part of the post is that the author seems to think that it’s not possible to develop yourself as a person when you’re in a relationship. Now I’ve been single, and I’ve been in a relationship – and obviously they are both very different experiences, but I don’t think that one or the other is necessarily better than the other, and either/or is certainly not the same for every person. I definately recognize the importance of staying true to yourself, and sure, I’ve seen people dissolve into their relationship, but I can honestly say that my relationship with Paul has brought me out of my shell and made me a more adventurous person. We have so much fun together, and he’s seriously my best friend! We’ve talked about marriage obviously, but we’re certainly not planning on making that happen anytime soon, because we’re not at that point in our lives. But if others decide that they are, who are we to judge?
But enough about me – I actually found that the most disappointing part of the post was the “23 things” you should now do instead of getting engaged. Like I was ready to get inspired…. and then I was really let down by the list. At first I was just going to rant about why this post bothered me so much, and then Paul challenged me to come up with my own list. But here’s the thing – you don’t have to do all of the things on my list before you’re 23 – and you can be engaged already! These are some things I just think everyone should do. Enjoy!
1. Fall in love with yourself – every wrinkle, stretch mark, and pimple.
2. Get a degree/diploma/certificate/etc. in something you love, whether it’s accounting, plumbing, environmental science…
3. Challenge your greatest fear. Heights? Do the edge walk. Spiders? Hold a tarantula.
4. Open a savings account and dedicate a certain percentage of each pay cheque to your savings.
5. Make as many best friends as possible.
6. Get up early on weekdays to learn how to be a morning person.
7. Having trouble finding a job in your field? Volunteer, intern… don’t think you’re above working for free if you’re just starting out.
8. Learn a new language. Travel to a country where it’s spoken and put your skills to the test.
9. Find a fitness routine you love for more than just the visual improvements.
10. Get lost in your schoolwork – spend a term aiming for the Dean’s List, then do it again, and again, and again…
11. Buy a pet. Find enjoyment in training and raising it.
12. What’s your skill? Perfect it, then enter competitions and contests to showcase your work.
13. Move into a new place for a fresh start. Search Pinterest for ideas on how to make it your own on a budget.
14. Rock a new hairstyle.
15. Find your soulmate (whether it’s a dog, a man, a woman, a hobby….)
16. Allow yourself to take a break and relax. Like reallllly relax.
17. Find a reason to enjoy every season – learn to ski in the winter, puddle jump in the spring, hike in the fall…
18. Try a new food and use the experience as a conversation starter. Fried grasshopper anyone?
19. Hallmark holidays aren’t that overrated – embrace them and find a way to celebrate no matter what your personal situation may be. Dress up for themed karaoke on Halloween, have drunk brunch with old friends on Easter.
20. Treat yourself to a gift every so often. Spa days, new handbags, and froyo are all acceptable and encouraged.
21. Call your parents on a regular basis.
22. Break a bad habit.
23. Most importantly, don’t let a blog post tell you how to live your life. There’s nothing wrong with being in love and committed to someone at 23.