Bryan and I were young when we got married—23 and 24 to be exact. Absurdly enough, I didn’t feel like we were young at all. I felt like I had been waiting forever. I was so ready and so sure. Almost three years later, I’m still sure. But I can also see that we both
had have a lot of growing up to do.
That’s the thing about finding your person at such a young age. You still have to do the hard work of growing up yourself. But you also have to grow together. As you figure out separately who you are and what you want to be, you also have to figure out how those two people fit together. How do you continue to dream each other’s dreams as those dreams are changing? How do you continue to build a life with this person who is different now than when you started?
How do you grow up and grow together at the same time?
That’s what we’re learning to do a little more each day. Little by little, our marriage is shaping us and teaching us and challenging us. We are learning how to ask forgiveness and give a little and extend grace. We are (still) learning how to live with and beside each other, when to bend and when to hold our ground, when to fight for what we want, and when to let the other person win this round.
Growing up in itself is hard enough, but learning how to grow together comes with another set of challenges. But here’s the other side—we get so much time. We have been there for so many of the big moments that most couples miss and only get to relive through stories and photographs. I was there for Bryan’s 16th birthday and his high school graduation. He was there when I moved into my college dorm room and graduated in Kenan Stadium. We were there for first jobs and grad school and family milestones and almost a decade of Christmases and Thanksgivings and birthdays. We known each other’s best friends from the time they were new friends. That’s a big deal.
We were young and we’re still young and we’re still learning, but I wouldn’t change anything. Growing up together is part of our love story. And if I have to suffer growing pains, I can’t imagine doing it with anyone else.