What I thought: Marriage is the last point on life's to-do list.
What I know now: Marriage is more fulfilling when you achieve your personal goals with your partner.
I grew up with this blueprint of my life in my head: Graduate from college with honors. Work at an amazing company. Get my Master's degree abroad. Start a business that changes the world. Get married. So imagine how the overachiever and ambitious woman in me winced when I decided to get married much, much earlier in the game. I silently cried at the demise of my dreams and detailed plans. Fortunately, my husband is wise as he made me realize that getting married did not ever mean that the woman would be robbed of her dreams. Sure, there's going to be a rearranging of priorities (family might have to take first place and career second) but if there is respect between the spouses, there will be respect for ambitions and goals. In marriage, husband and wife can actually work together to help each other move forward. And the best part is, now, I can share my struggles and triumphs with someone whom I know will always support me. Honestly, that's much better than going through life alone.
What I thought: Getting married will make me a whole new person.
What I know now: I'm, essentially, still the same woman I was before marriage.
"Single you is married you." I read that statement somewhere. That was one of the few things that hit me hard. I thought that I would change and become perfect since I finally got married. I really don't know where I got that idea. Sure, I'm probably more domesticated but in all honesty, I'm pretty much the same person—traits, values, and all. The same thing goes for my husband. We still have the same bad habits, insecurities, dreams, fears, and strengths. Hoping for change shouldn't be one of the reasons for pursuing marriage. As I have come to realize, change happens because of choice and not because of circumstance. Over the past months, the changes in ourselves have been because of a decision to be better, not because we got married. That has made it more rewarding.
What I thought: Marriage is a never-ending dinner date.
What I know now: Marriage is full of responsibilities and sacrifices.
When I was engaged, I couldn't wait to get married because I was imagining there would be romance, adventures, and moments worthy of chick flicks all the time. As a married couple, we could go on spontaneous road trips, try out new restaurants, and watch Netflix films on the couch till we fall asleep. That bubble burst only a few days after marriage when my husband and I realized that we had a condo to furnish, laundry to do, money to manage, and meals to cook. No more helpers, just him and me. I remember the moment that came to my head: I got so overwhelmed that I didn't know where to start. While we have found our groove as a married couple and I have become more domesticated (yay!), sacrifice is needed every single day—such as the sacrifice to clean the dishes, skip a gimmick, and give up a new outfit—to keep the household and marriage running smoothly. Seeing the marriage thrive amidst all that makes it all worth it.
What I thought: I can be with my husband whenever I want.
What I know now: The one common time we have together is during dinnertime, after work.
I thought I could be with him any time I wanted to. We came back from the honeymoon and I realized he has work to attend to and I have errands to run. In marriage, the reality is that for most of the day, my husband and I aren't together. Our breakfasts are usually spent in a rush so the best time we have for alone time is at the end of the day. Marriage has never been about being together all of the time. It's always been about living one life together and coming home to the same person every single day. And it's true what they say: Separation makes the reunion sweeter as we can fill each other with individual stories, lessons, and memories to make the marriage richer and more vibrant.
What I thought: There will always be butterflies in my stomach.
What I know now: The love shared between each other takes on a whole new level.
"Just like the movies, that's how it should be," sang Katy Perry. So that's how I envisioned a marriage: smiles and laughs all around, looking impeccable with the perfect tracks playing in the background (I am revealing my hopeless romantic persona here). Almost a year into marriage and I have realized how inaccurate these portrayals are. Getting married is a risk because you give up feeling like you're on cloud nine 24/7. The truth is every day won't feel perfect, every moment won't feel romantic. But that's okay because it's perfectly normal. I've realized that love actually takes on new expressions and new gestures such as making dinner, spending time with his family and friends, forgiving even when you're still hurt, among many, many others. Through marriage, my love for my husband has matured and deepened, has become more selfless and more centered on actions rather than on feelings. The best part is, it's still growing.
So many theories dumped, so many truths discovered. I have to say, getting married at a young age has made my life so much more interesting as it has given me a very fresh and very real perspective. I can't wait to experience a lifetime more of it.