Every single girl from the day they exist starts planning her future. Me? I was going to be married at 25, starting in on my army of kids. My fiancé was going to be successful and he’d buy me the Tacori ring I dreamed about. I swore my answer would be no without that ring (lol).

First, my wedding would be fabulous. Something straight from the movies. Then I decided I’d just get married on a beach somewhere and serve tacos. Pinterest was invented, and I started pinning my dreams onto my “somedays” board.

Then, 25 hit. I had just been cheated on (for the 3rd time…by the 3rd boy) and I was nowhere near wedding bells. But I was OK with that. In high school and college, 25 seems so far away. Being married to the love of your life and having an army of children at 25 seems so plausible. And normal.

What no one tells you while you’re busy planning your future from the Ikea desk in your first apartment, is anything about real life. How many frogs you have to kiss before you find a prince. How tired of kissing frogs you’ll get. How much a house costs. How much a wedding costs. How much keeping a car on the road costs. The cost of groceries, and heating oil. The stress of not only figuring out a career and working a 9-5, but them coming home and keeping your house clean and your family fed. No one tells you how hard it is to actually keep your head above water when you are juggling every single thing that your parents made look so easy, all while smiling at the lady who hands you your latte.  But most importantly, no one tells you how all of this will cause a severe shift in your priorities.

At 26, I met my fiancé . On a “girls night” my sister took me out on to help get me over my latest failed relationship. Goes to show, life’s unpredictable and everything happens for a reason. By 27 we bought a house and we’re living together. People would ask when we were going to get engaged, but we didn’t know.  We didn’t care. We were more concerned with figuring out this adulting thing together.

For the next 3 years, we took time to learn about each other, and learn how to get by together. We were growing up fast but trying to slow the process down. We learned a lot. How to pick battles and how to bite the bullet occasionally for the greater good. We learned how to live with some of the habits that annoy us (like leaving ice trays in the sink, or leaving your inside-out socks all over the house…) because that person also does something you need them to do (like clean the bathroom or mow the lawn). Teamwork at its finest. Bite your lip, throw the sock in his room (accidentally knock some shit off his dresser), and go on with your day.

Now, since we started dating there wasn’t a doubt in my mind he was my one. That certainty is what put any race for a ring or mad dash to the altar last on our list of things to do. I guess when it’s clear, there is no rush. There is no competition. You take your time and don’t think about it.

When he asked, we were ready. We’ve been through some shit, we made it out the other side and there is no doubt that we’ll be able to make this thing called marriage our bitch. If you work towards something to fight for, flight is never an option.  We speak the same language, we share family and friends on a level deeper than acquaintances, we read each other’s moods, and we vibe off each other.  Sometimes we want to kill each other but we don’t. And that my friends, is winning. We’ve achieved “goals” even though my idea of what that is has changed drastically over the last 10 years (I don’t even like that Tacori ring anymore). *

*Still not ready for kids yet, so please (for the love of the Lord) stop asking.

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