So, as many of you have probably read, this girl posted a blog about why getting engaged at 23 is a bad thing. She brings up the point that marriage is taken too lightly anymore, which I do tend to agree with. As a 20-something that has seen many divorces and broken homes because of immaturity on the part of the marrying couples, I agree that it’s taken way too lightly. But the fact that her reasons for avoiding engagement to be more free-spirited and fancy free are alarming. We live in a world where sex is everywhere and it continues to sell at an alarming rate. We live in this time where it’s socially acceptable to get a divorce, but we blame others for ruining the sanctity of marriage. The judgmental side of humanity comes out at the most opportune times, but also the most inopportune.
In the blog about “23 Things to do instead of Getting Engaged Before You’re 23” she lists out 23 bizarre and discombobulated items to do instead of supposedly wasting your life on the love of your life. I found this list intriguing prior to the New Year, but more so afterward because as it turns out, I was engaged at 23. I am engaged at 23 and I feel as though I’ve lost ZERO opportunities because of it; must be because I’ve lost zero opportunities because of it.
Granted, I’ve only been engaged for a week. But in the time that I’ve been with my sweet guy, I’ve gotten so many opportunities. I’ve graduated from college with TWO degrees. I’ve gotten on a plane. I’ve roadtripped. I’ve tried new things and new experiences. I rode a 4-wheeler. I’ve experienced loss. I’ve found my faith in God and humanity again. I found love. I found patience. And much like the girl in the other blog, I found a love for Nutella. So, in keeping with the lists, here’s mine. A full 23 things to do instead of being judgmental at 23. This should mean so much more because it’s coming from an actual 23 year old.
1. Be there for someone else.
People hear problems all day, every day. But deep down, we are all psychiatrists, so be there for someone else who has been there for you.
2. Follow your own heart.
Listen to your own inner voice and focus on yourself rather than focusing on the general public.
3. Find constructive ways to help others.
If you find yourself irked by someone else, think of why it bothers you. Is it really a need to be fixed, or something you just want to fix? If it’s the former, find a way to be constructive, not critical.
4. Read a book.
A real book. Not a magazine. That’s cheesy and likely to make you MORE judgmental, not less.
5. Learn how to work on a car.
If you’re a girl reading this blog, I surely hope you know how to change a tire, check your oil, and add windshield wiper fluid to your car. If not, figure it out. Youtube is crucial. If you’re a guy and don’t have a clue, you can surely benefit from a good Youtube video too.
6. Take a walk.
Look at the imperfect beauty of the world. Realize that nothing is perfect, but everything is beautiful.
7. Talk to a stranger.
When walking a mile in their stories, you’ll find that even strangers can become friends.
8. Know your weaknesses.
When you judge others, it’s likely because of imperfections you see in yourself. Know yourself and know why it bothers you.
9. Go to an Art Gallery.
10. Explore somewhere you’ve never been.
11. Try a new recipe.
Keep your idle hands, busy and your judgmental mind on your work.
12. Find strength in your faith.
Whether you read from the bible or find peace in meditation, it can show you those that came before and you can learn from their ways. Mistakes or successes, you can learn.
13. Find strength in a relationship.
Having the ability to love someone else, gives the feeling of warmth when that love is returned.
14. Find a hobby.
Pinterest. It’s addicting. Here’s your warning. 😀
15. Adopt a pet.
Nothing in this world is more selfless than a dog, because it is basically programmed to love anything 10X more than that thing loves it.
16. Random Act of Kindness.
Kindness has been spreading lately. Do something nice for someone in the hopes that they’ll help someone else. Nothing in return for you, but amazing karma points.
17. Give second chances.
Forgive and forget. Make peace with others, make peace with yourself.
18. Make a vase on a pottery wheel.
Laugh when it takes on odd shapes or comes completely off. The beautiful thing is you can start again.
19. Focus on family and friends.
Hold onto those that love and encourage you. They will give you more wisdom than anyone.
20. Take pictures.
Make memories. Keep them. Cherish them.
Ignorance may be bliss, but knowledge is gold in the hands of the poor.
22. Help at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen.
When surrounded by those that could easily take your pity, learn love, humility, and humanity.
23. Eat some Nutella.
No judgments on how much you choose to partake in.
I do realize that a lot of these things were self-focused. I did that on purpose. When you focus on yourself, you realize how harsh you are. I’ve done it in the past. Seeing your own imperfections is a beautiful wake-up call. So, do some soul-searching, find your weaknesses, find where you’re inexperienced and learn from it. People are people, beautiful in all their imperfections, even if they did get engaged or even (Lord forbid!) married before 23.
Should you want to read the original blog post, here’s the link:
And the satyrical version (Also a very Christian version that I ADORE):