After sharing my engagement on social media, many responded with hundreds of likes and many comments congratulating me on my upcoming marriage, but through the thick phone screens, many people faked their “congratulations” with judgment.
I was 18 when I received the diamond ring on my hand, and I was very well aware of what others thought of my engagement. With many family members, friends and strangers worried that I was ruining my life, my happiness soon turned to the avoidance of others‘ opinions.
With the many comments attacking my age and how I was too young to know what love is, I found myself confused and doubting myself and my soon-to-be husband.
My whole life I was taught how beautiful and essential marriage was, how we should strive to reach the eternal goal of marriage, and now people were telling me how wrong it was for me to do this to myself.
Throughout the judgmental looks and comments coming from adults, who in their opinion knew everything about my life, many people came to the conclusion that they would save me from my horrendous decision.
Many heroically came to my “aide” by continuously telling me I did not know what love was, and that I was too foolish to understand the complicated and intricate feelings of human emotion.
Does anyone understand anyone’s emotions? Who is anyone to tell me that they know more about me because they simply lived longer?
The level of education and understanding is not determined by age but life experiences that have taught you more than you can read from a self-help book.
In a Medium article, they explained that age, to a certain extent, does not always correlate with experience and maturity.
“Children around the world all experience life differently,” according to Medium. “Culture brings with it something I call “experience variation.” So, no two children would be raised in the exact same way. More accurately, no two families would raise their children the exact same way.”
Maybe I have not gotten a hold of everything there is about love, but one thing I did learn from everyone else’s examples was what love wasn’t.
Generally, love was not choosing your needs above everyone else. It was not crying for months wishing he would choose me, nor covering up the bruises or taking advantage. Finally, love was not judgemental.
I learned what love was from my grandma, who took care of my grandpa even when he could barely remember her. I learned it from my dad, who gave up time with us after 12-hour days to spend it with church members who needed it more. I learned it from my mother, who gave everything to her children.
To those who think my marriage will fail with preconceived ideas of what is right and wrong in a marriage, know that I don’t want to change your opinions. Your opinions have formed from your life experiences, but not every opinion has to be said because not every opinion is applicable to my life experiences.
After all, my parents taught me “shut your mouth and think, not everyone wants to hear opinions that contribute nothing,” but that’s just me.