23 Things I’ve Done Since Getting Married at 23

Photo by Anna Yong Photography

I’ve seen this article by blogger Vanessa called “23 Things to Do Instead of Getting Engaged Before You’re 23” and several responses or rebuttals going around my internet circles the past few days. After seeing many of her friends get engaged and instead of, you know, respecting other people’s maturity and ability to make life choices, she decided to write an unusual list of things someone could do instead. Much of the list is either petty, borderline self-destructive, or easily accomplished after marriage (like baking a cake?), but that’s beside the point. I briefly considered writing about the broad brushstrokes with which she paints anyone who chooses to get married young (uneducated, inexperienced, etc) or disputing her idea that personal growth and ambition stops once you say “I do,” but I figured instead I should share my own experiences since getting married six months ago. (If the list sounds boring to you, well, keep in mind that we are both introverts.)

1) Went on our honeymoon

2. Horseback riding

3. Went on a nighttime canoe ride and saw a bald eagle

4. Crazy whirlwind day trip to NYC

5. Baseball game

6. Went hiking

7. I took an 8 week photography class

8. Saw an outdoor Shakespeare performance

9. Visited several new breweries and restaurants

10. Hosted a Christmas party for our friends

11. Drove to another state on short notice for a friend’s wedding

12. Cooked lots of new recipes (some by myself, some together, and some by himself)

13. Tried out a craft project from Pinterest (hey, it was on her list)

14. Visited a casino for the first time (yawn)

15. Stayed the night in an old mill

16. Took a carriage ride around the city

17. Spent more time writing (me)

18. Interviewed for a new job (me)

19. Enjoyed doing things with my friends, without my husband

20. Went to see more movies in the theater than I ever have in a six-month span

21. Spent time with our families for the holidays (you know, because it’s better than listing “disappointing them” as a goal)

22. Went to a live show of one of our favorite podcasts, Ninjas Vs. Podcast

23. Made all kinds of dreams for the future including an Alaskan cruise, a visit to Yosemite, getting a Bichon puppy, buying a house, and realizing my dream of visiting Antarctica so I can have gone to every continent.

Getting married young isn’t for everyone, and I totally advocate for taking your time in a relationship and knowing what you want out of life. Also, marriage does require compromise- but it’s not all about serious stuff and the end of fun. If you find someone who encourages you in your passions who will love you while you’re adventuring or while you’re ordering takeout/playing video games all night, well then, don’t worry that you haven’t made that cake yet. I’m sure you’ll have time.


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