Looking at Other People

Today I walked past a girl I know from track during high school. I knew she was pregnant only I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes yet, so when I recognized her, my stare immediately went to her belly and there it was. Proof of what I heard. She must be married too because those religious people don’t do babies without marriage first.

She is not the first one of my classmates to be married or have children but I can never stop and wonder how did they get there? How are they so together, so grown-up that marriage seemed like a good idea?

There’s been a boy in my class who moved to Australia after graduation because he met a girl on MySpace and after e-mailing and chatting online he proposed to her the first time they actually met. They got married quite fast and now their second baby is on its way. I mean, it’s only been five years since graduation.

Then I was at a wedding this year of a girl I went to primary school with. One of the bridesmaids was a girl I was in kindergarten with who is going to marry soon as well.

Is this normal?

One of my close friends is already planning a wedding in her head, even though the guy in question didn’t ask her yet. And to be honest, I’d rather he didn’t because his family treats her like crap. He doesn’t even try to defend her or be on her side and I think it’s wrong. They’ve been together for five years, maybe a little bit more, and he still doesn’t stand up to his folks. Sometimes I believe they’re just together because she’s rather in a crappy relationship than none at all. This is not how it should be. I think she deserves better but she doesn’t see it.

It feels like every time I turn around and see people from the past again that they are so grown-up and I wonder where it came from. So many of them getting married, starting families. Ok, most of my above mentioned examples are rather religious so they have it in them to marry early but still.

Am I the only child in a grown woman’s body that is left? It sure feels like this sometimes. I can’t imagine getting married right now or anytime soon although I always wanted to be a mother before I hit 30. That’s probably not gonna happen though. There’s too much other stuff that has to be resolved first.

I haven’t counted the catholic girl from my math and physics classes because she accidentally got pregnant sometime after graduation. I think you should know better by 20 than to not use any form of birth control but at least she didn’t marry. She wasn’t even with the baby-daddy anymore when she gave birth to her little daughter.

Are those people all really as grown-up and sure of what they’re doing as they pretend to be? Or are they just better at pretending. Do you ever really grow up? And how do you know when it happens?

I look at them and think, wow, they’re the same age as you but they’re in totally different places in their lives. I can’t even manage to finish my project and get a spot for my thesis at the moment. I have no idea what I’ll be doing after I graduate from university. It’s probably a good thing then, that I don’t have to take care of a life partner and children but it still nags at my subconscious.

Those people are so far ahead on their life paths or so it seems at least from my perspective. More and more friends on Facebook post pictures of their weddings. Some of them actually make me vomit in my mouth a bit, especially when the pictures are of poor artistic quality.

I saw one today, I didn’t even know what it was supposed to express but I’m happy I don’t have it on my profile. They’re like hugging a crocked tree and I think they were trying to show their wedding rings because bride and groom have posed their hands very awkwardly on the tree. It looks so strange, I wish I could share it with you but of course I can’t.

Ok, so thinking of these odd wedding photos makes me feel a bit better. Also my lime cake should have cooled down by now so I’ll dive in there head first and see how long it lasts.

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  • Saw this one from Facebook: Everyone I know is getting married and pregnant. I’m just getting more awesome. :)

    • Haha, I read it like this: Everyone I know is getting married or pregnant. I’m just getting drunk.
      I prefer your version though :-)

  • I doubt that they have really grown up, I think that their circumstances make them seem more ahead and therefore more mature but that is often not the case. You’d be surprised that they are fighting the same battles as you, just with more things to be responsible for.
    Also, “Everyone I know is getting married and pregnant. I’m just getting more awesome.” I love this quote!! :-D

    • I think you’re right. They just appear to be more mature. And yes, that quote is awesome :-)

  • I firmly believe people should go crazy and wild for a few years before they settle down, because they would thus be less likely to buy macho cars and sleep with the pool boy when they are 50… But, hey, maybe I’m wrong :) True love all the way and stuff…

    • I’m not sure if it would actually keep the people from sleeping around when they’re older and going through midlife crisis but it sure can’t hurt to go crazy when you still can.

  • If it makes you feel any better, I’ve been married for five years, and most of the time I still just feel like we’re playing at being grown ups.

    Also, I’m almost positive that’s a Barney quote from How I Met Your Mother. Can’t think what episode it’s from though.

    • You know, it makes me feel a bit better indeed.

      As long as there’s an awesome in it, it’s most likely from Barney :-)

  • “Am I the only child in a grown woman’s body that is left?” – couldn’t help but giggle. My thought too earlier at the pantry while listening to my coworkers (almost my age) tell us stories of the ails and glories of being a mother. I sat there dumbfounded.

    • Oh, I SO know the feeling.

      Glad to be of service, making people laugh is the best thing to do.

  • Jessica

    I got married at 19 and I’m now approaching my 15 year anniversary with my third baby on the way.
    It’s interesting because I absolutely still feel like a kid in an adults body. I think personality has a lot to do with it (I’ve always been fiercely independent and bossy).
    Here’s the thing about doing adult things- it’s not really harder. It seems intimidating but it’s just like anything else- you just do it one day at a time. Some days I’m not a great mom and other days I’m not a great wife. But you just do better then next day just like when you fail a test at school or bomb a project at work- you just try to make up for it.
    There is not a magic moment when you find a person and you know you can do it (“it” being grown up stuff). It’s having enough faith in yourself to know you can handle whatever comes along. I also believe the more decisions you make the better you get at it. Rarely are there choices we make that we can’t make the best of. Of course we may regret a few things along the way, but you also build confidence that you mostly get it right :)

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      It’s funny to revisit this post as it is so much a product of my life at the time, with my Mom being sick and be feeling trapped. I didn’t know if when this would ever change and I get to be my own person again. I believe this was also around the time I realised I was gay but I hadn’t even put it on the blog yet because BIG SCARY FEELINGS!

      Sure, I still feel weird seeing people I went to school with or kindergarten getting married and having kids. Like you said, it has to do a lot with personality. I could never have gotten married at 19, love my independence way too much.

      • Jessica

        It’s funny because I always say my independent streak is why I was able to get married so young. I think the more independent you are, the more you can have faith that you can and will handle anything that comes along.
        I do think my ability to function by myself and not live in fear of being along has actually been a huge asset to my marriage. It just can’t be lived out in a stubborn way, you have to channel that into the relationship needs instead.

        • Wilhelmina Upton

          You’re probably right. Basically people are all different (which is good) and I know me marrying at 19 would have been a disaster.