July 26, 2014. The best day of my life. The day I married my best friend and haven’t looked back since. It’s funny, DJ and I are only 24. We are turning 25 this fall, in October to be precise, exactly 10 days apart. I’m 10 days older… he likes to remind me that I find that amusing. Yet, I don’t feel as “young” as everyone tries to make me feel. I like to joke that I’m an 85 year old woman trapped in a 24 year old body, but y’all it’s kind of real. Aside from the creaking bones, couch potato tendencies, and love for animals, I don’t feel like I skipped some big adventure that I was “supposed” to have experienced.
People like to have an opinion about our decision to get married right after college. If I set aside the part of me that wants to respond with “it’s none of your damn business” or “nobody asked you,” I find myself overwhelmed with sadness and a heart for people who haven’t found their person yet. People like to make jokes and ask “Why were you in such a rush?” or “Oh, so are you pregnant yet?” or they just awkwardly laugh when they make snide comments about young people getting married and I say something to let them know I got married at 22. Sometimes I get irritated, but sitting here, thinking about my marriage and my life decisions, I have some other thoughts.
Everyone is different. That we know. But that’s the beauty. In a society where it’s not cool to be serious, and partying till 3 AM every day on the weekends, possibly hooking up with people you don’t know, and making a point to seem totally independent and free is ideal, it’s hard to believe that something else exists. Perhaps you’ve had a bad relationship that really hurt you – physically, emotionally, or maybe you just haven’t had a good enough one yet. I’ve been there. I get it. That’s why I know I’ll never regret getting married at 22, because from the second I met my husband, he was different.
So no, I didn’t get married because I was in a rush, because I felt pressured, because I want to be a house wife or a stay at home mom. I got married because 3 months into dating a boy named DJ, from Friendswood, Texas, who made terrible puns and made me laugh until my side hurt, I had my first ever real wedding dream. I am not a girl who dreamt of her wedding her whole life. To be honest, after a high school relationship, I was on the single until I’m 30 train and was happy to be there. But when I woke up at the end of my Spring semester my sophomore year of college, I realized I had just had a dream about my wedding. I could see the church, the white dress, the aisle, and a man at the end. And instead of it being blurry and distant, the doors opened and I saw DJ standing there. I distinctly remember telling my best friend about the dream and being kind of terrified… Being this in love messed with my plans. But I didn’t run away, I leaned in and I’m so glad I did.
Two years later, I love DJ more than ever. Do we have ups and downs? Yes. Is life always easy? No. Is it always worth it? Without a doubt. I knew from the get go that he was different – his texts, his attentiveness, he sweet tendencies and genuine character – all showed how he was a great man. He still is, but now I get to live my life with him everyday and love how we’ve changed even in the last two years. I love that we are growing together and all our favorite memories will be with each other. I love that we were bound together in front of God and our families in a Church where traditions are honored and revered, and that “The Lord’s Prayer” was sung by a soloist who watched me grow up. I love that now, we have found a church home where are walking with likeminded young adults and growing our relationship together in a healthy, positive, God centered way. I love that I wake up next to his messy morning hair every day, that he still makes terrible puns, and doesn’t mind binge watching Netflix shows with me. I love having a best friend who knows me better than anyone, who knows all my flaws and quirks, but loves me no matter what.
So to everyone who ever asked me why I got married so young, or why I’d even want to do that – because it was never a question. And I pray you find that, too, because it’s worth it.
I love you, DJ. Happy 2nd Anniversary! xoxo- e
All photography from our amazing photographers: Inked Fingers