Let me start off with the hard hitting facts. I am 21 years old, a college student, and planning a June wedding to my wonderful fiance who also happens to be, wait for it, 21. We are no stranger to opposition, to weird side glances, and almost disapproving looks from many. Many moons ago getting married at 21 was by far the norm, the days of our grandparents where getting married by 18 was something to celebrate. Getting married at 21 in the year 2014 is more like being a traveling circus or an exhibit at the Ripleys Believe it or Not museum. Most people handle it pretty well when the topic comes up, from peers its usually goes something like this ‘ohhhhhh wow! You are engaged? How old are you again?’ and from older adults it goes a little something like this ‘Wow, um Congrats! you both are so young!’. Which, is true, we are young. The rest of the truth is, I have been with my fiance for almost four years and, we have never had a conventional kind of love. He is from Brazil and the day we met was the day we kissed and the day we started dating and, if you ask him it was also ‘the day he fell in love’ (what can I say, it took me awhile to make sure). We were 17 and widely in love and that feeling hasn’t gone away through long distance, holidays, graduation, college, and now living together. We are a normal couple we have our arguments and fights but one thing we decided long ago not to fight was societal standards.We decided long ago that we would do what was right for us, not what the world expected from us. Now don’t get me wrong, if life had not taken me on the journey I am on today, I would probably also have respond to a young woman’s engagement with a little bit of confusion and a whole lot of sass. I also understand how older adults, my mothers generation, tend to be suspicious and how they love to give out the ‘well this isn’t going to last long’ look, with the rapid divorce rate among that age group how could you blame them? But what I don’t think people understand is that every love is different, and this is our love. Every love moves at a different pace, it falls apart at a different time, it works through its own unique obstacles, it fights its own fight. This is our love and for once in my life I have decided not to take my love up to the thrown of society and asks what it wants with me. I have decided to let our love evolve naturally and without reservation. I have decided to not let the disfavoring looks of my peers and my elders and society to control our love. Because, this love is ours. It talks different, walks different, moves different than his kind of love, or her kind of love, or your kind of love. Every love is different. And, it is about time we start to revel in that. We need to not let our own ideas of love and our own prejudices dictate someone else’s. Because, in the end we are the only ones who have to deal with the consequences. If it end we are the ones that suffer, or enjoy, why then should we allow society to mandate unnecessary love guidelines if we are the ones who have to face the music in the end? Will we have children, will we settle down in New York, L.A., London, will be get along, will be be married until death do us apart? The thing is I have no idea and, man, how happy that makes me. Once you cut the ties of normalcy and the irrelevant standards set by society over your life and love you will experience a freedom unlike anything you have ever known. Cut the ties. Experience your love. Enjoy your life.
Seeing the ball drop on new years was always a must do for me. Juka (My then boyfriend) promised me on my couch, new years eve of 2013 that next year that would be us. We would be the ones out there under the confetti and singing with Frank Sinatra about one of the coolest places on earth. Me, of course thinking he was all talk. He surprised me a couple months before December of 2013 saying that this was for real, he was going to take me to the city of my dreams on the best night of the year. Or, as he put it “The first day I met you, one of the very first things you said to me was that your dream was to see New York and I swore to myself that day that when I could, I would make that dream come true”, I know, I know I found a great one. So Juka and I came in a few days early to New York. We spent the days seeing the 9/11 Memorial, the Statue of liberty and of course Rockefeller center. Around 2 pm New years eve (this year) we took our spots. Yes you read that right, two pm, and if you can count that means we were outside for a hearty ten hours. We had thought that we had dressed warmly, but after a few hours we almost threw in the towel. If it wasn’t for Jukas constant “we cant turn back now” chant I don’t know if I would have made it after I lost the feeling in my feet. It even started snowing! We actually met some fellow Ohioans (OH!) and they were nice enough to share their pizza with us. Because of course like almost everyone else down there we were incredibly unprepared. As you can imagine ten hours doesn’t creep by slowly even when you are in one of the most magical places on earth. But, I would not have rather been down there in the perfect spot with anyone else. We passed the hours jumping, squatting, laughing, and shivering, and of course hugging for warmth. One of the hugs I felt something square under his jacket and when I asked him what it was he quickly responded with “Um my wallet and stuff”. When everyone was up and ready, it was within the hour that we had all been waiting for, the nivea balloons were passed out and we all got a pair of spider man gloves. A minute before the ball drop I hear Juka say something to me so I turn around to find him down on one knee and my very best friend asked me to marry him, right there on the disgustingly dirty streets of times square. I immediately put the ring on my finger, covered my mouth, and rapidly nodded yes. Just then the count down began, and I would try to explain what it feels like to be newly engaged, standing in one of the coolest places on earth, and chanting down the coming of a new year with millions of people, but I cant really find the words. When the ball was down and the fireworks began, the square became covered in a rainbow of confetti just as I had dreamed it would. We hugged, we cried, we screamed and then we took off for the subway to get the heck out of there. While it took me about an hour to feel my limbs again, I defiantly wouldn’t have changed going. I mean I probably wont go again, but hey it was an amazing once in a lifetime experience. In the middle of Times square I got engaged to a man that I only dreamed existed.