I have a wedding to go to this week. I say "have" because I don't really want to go. The bride is 19 and somehow that bothers me, though I can't decide why.
It's either because I'm slightly afraid for her that she's too young and has no idea what she's getting herself into or because I'm subconsciously jealous that she met her soul mate so young. I'm admitting to the latter because I'm trying to be honest here, but I don't really think it's true because...
I'm so happy that I didn't get married at 19. While there are pressures in the Orthodox Jewish community to get married young and most of my high school classmates are married, many with children, by now, I can't help but feel a sense of relief that I'm not one of them. Call me selfish and self-centered, but I'm glad for the time that I've had to myself without the responsibilities of a husband, children and home.
Maybe some people don't need that time to grow up and mature as much as I have. Maybe some people don't feel the need to perfect themselves before they start perfecting a family. Personally, I'd prefer to grow up before I start having kids; to learn how to take care of myself before I have to take care of others.
There are those in the frum community who argue that you should marry young and grow together with your spouse; well, that sounds all sweet and romantic but I think that there's something to be said for personal growth. How about growing into your own skin, finding out what makes you who you are - and what makes you happy - before going out and looking for a guy who'll make you happy?