Do you remember being young and dressing up as an adult, mimicking your parents and their conversations? Do you remember being young and thinking of a number for when you'd want to be married? Do you remember being young and wondering who you'd be when you'd grown up?
24. I wanted to be married at 24. It sounded like a nice number.
I'm 25 now, and I'm not married. (And 24 still sounds like a nice number.)
I've spent the last month or two typing and backspacing and re-typing this post; I wanted to write it the right way. I'm now realizing I only want it to be right because I fear saying something "too vulnerable", "too needy", or "too bold".
Why do I fear "too"?
I am human.
I feel little and I feel a lot. I need little and I need someone a lot. I guard my heart and I open up.
I am right, I am wrong. I am vulnerable, I am needy, empty and dry and overflowing, too.
And I will write as I feel and let the "too" be whatever it may be,
because in the end, it is what makes it who I am.
I'm 25 now, and I'm not married.
And I've spent the last year asking questions.
About relationships, about marriage, about love.
Is it everything?
Is it me? Them? Necessary? Temporary?
I think it's okay to ask questions. Outside a relationship. Inside a relationship.
One of the most important things I've learned this far is that we are growing.
Each day a new day, each day a day closer to becoming whole.
And I don't believe our growth to end until we meet Him face to face (and even then).
I'm learning every day. I make mistakes, I fall and I get up, I hurt and I heal.
And somewhere in that - the core perhaps - is my longing for someone else.
I wake up to the longing of being loved.
I fall asleep to the longing of being held.
As if I was created for this.
I know that somewhere in our culture is the pressure to "find love", to "find the one" and for many, to marry. I feel it more and more growing older.
I've not been in a relationship before.
I've been asked if there is something wrong with me. I've been told I will be "rescued" soon. I've been told my "prince" will arrive shortly.
By men I don't really know. By church goers with good intentions.
I've come to realize I'm not the only one.
I've come to realize I don't have to justify.
I've come to realize this is not the end goal.
It's okay to be independent.
And that doesn't mean I want to be alone.
There is nothing wrong with me or you.
There is more to intimacy than a physical touch.
It's okay to desire it.
And it's okay not to.
It's okay to be needy.
It's okay to be in love and share about it.
And it's okay to end things when it's not right.
I'm 25 now, and I've come to realize not everything goes the way I had imagined it when I was younger.
And I kind of like it that way.
I don't always.
I get angry, I get sad, and my heart will hurt, too.
But here's the other most important thing I've learned: love is greater.
It is greater than the text I don't get back.
It is greater than my "I thought you were the one"s.
It is greater than my disappointments.
It is where I forget to look sometimes.
It is in my embrace with my dad.
In the desire to see my sister filled with joy above my own.
It is in the laughs and the tears shared between close friends.
And in the smile I exchange with a stranger.
It is in the pain I choose to share with someone else.
It is in the letting go of that someone else.
It is greater than what breaks, than what is temporary.
And it will surprise me.
Again, and again.
Whether it be in a conversation with someone I will only know for a day,
or in the one who will choose me until I pass away,
love will continue to surprise me.
And I will continue to create, to be honest and bold and grow
in hope for you.
(P.S. you'll be a special one.)