Wherever this finds you, but especially if you’re under 25, people might be telling you how you have to prepare for the rest of your life, “start these habits, get this degree, get this job,” etc… This isn’t one of those talks… This is a friendly warning to let you know what I’m learning now, and what I wish someone had told me when I was younger.
Have you ever thought about the fact that the normal way of life & how we live in our teens & twenties is the exact opposite of how the next 50+ years of our lives will look? … Before you mentally zone out, hear me out. I WISH someone told me this in my teens. So many of you can feel like there’s huge life pressures being put on you, but no one is telling you HOW to do this thing, right?
If you’re between 15-25, your life somewhat revolves around you, right? The questions you have to get down are “What’s your schedule? Who are your friends? What’s your plan for life? Who do you want to marry?’
Especially in America we’re taught to look out for #1. That it’s ok to “just take some time to love myself & not worry about others.” These years teach us to focus on ourselves, individual preferences, and “how can I more successfully make life about me.”
Let me tell you–this is the ONLY time in your life that this mindset will float. If you want kids? Life isn’t about you for the next 50+ years. If you want a husband/wife? Life is definitely not about you: you have a permanent roommate who you have to share your stuff with and. they’re. always. there.
Now I’m not ragging on having a family. Being married is the best thing that happened to me & I’m excited for the adventure that kids will bring. It’s not supposed to be doom and gloom… so why am I telling you this? So you can start getting ready NOW!
Get mentally prepared for the time when your preferences aren’t #1. How? There’s plenty of opportunities to practice wherever you’re at.When your mom/brother/sister change plans, and you have to adjust for them, sacrifice your desires & be selfless—embrace it. Learn how to be flexible, how you react, why & get over it asap! Do you think a beautiful, wonderful mother with a newborn gets to choose when the little one wakes up at 2am? Probably not.
If you can learn this now–the sooner the better– you won’t be in for a rude awakening when all you’ve dreamed about is having a family & all of a sudden there’s a spouse and baby in your house that you’re responsible for. Even your career won’t be about you. Find your dream job? Great, I hope you do. Just realize from start to finish, they’ll ask questions about what you have to offer them, how you can sacrifice to flex to their schedule, etc. Be ready with these expectations so you won’t be surprised!
I’m 24, newly married, and I wouldn’t trade it. I’m more in love with James than I ever have been; he’s my best friend and I’m so excited to spend the rest of my life with him. But the transition from single person (who can do whatever they want with 100% independence without asking anyone & it’s all about me), to being married & #adulting has not been what I expected.
Has anyone told you the point of marriage is to be holy & selfless, not necessarily for your own happiness? That’s the only way real love works. It’s the only way you can love someone for the rest of your life. Otherwise, we’d marry ourselves because life is just about “making me happy.” It’s not. Marriage is loving someone selflessly before yourself 24/7. And once you have kids… I can only imagine it multiplies by 100.
Family and marriage at the core are about being dependent on others and selfless. Everyday I’m faced with my unholy selfishness and have to make the choice to put others first. Love by definition prefers others above itself and lays down its life for others.
So there’s my advice: don’t be unprepared & caught off guard. Get ready! Yes, get to know yourself, your strengths & weaknesses. But not for the sole purpose of benefiting yourself; how can you use what God gave you to change your world & serve others? If this becomes part of your mindset now, you hopefully won’t be as shocked as I was because I wish someone told me this when I was younger!