I remember when I thought 24 was kind of old to be single. Being single at 24 meant you were having an unusually tough time getting married. You’d been out with a gazillion guys and seriously, you still couldn’t find anyone to marry? You were nebach and you were suspect.
Now I know that at 24 you haven’t gone out with a gazillion guys. That engagement isn’t a milestone you pass like a birthday, and that it’s not something you can miss by accidentally taking the scenic route. It’s something that very consciously doesn’t occur when it isn’t a good idea for it to happen.
But most of all, I don’t think 24 is kind of old any more. Women my age with 2.5 kids fill me with wonder, not envy. Maybe I’m behind in building a family, but I haven’t been wasting my time. I’m not a pathetic single, sitting around waiting to get swept off her feet. I’ve been busy, living and learning and growing.
Now is not as good a time for marriage as ever before – it’s better. I’m older, I’m more mature, I know more and can do more and can feel more. I’m more patient and less judgmental, more crystal about my own desires and less clouded by the expectations of others. I’m different from the person who graduated seminary, in some ways perhaps for the worse, but on the whole, I think, for the better.
It was that high school self who thought the current me was a sad case. And the people who currently agree with her are probably in the same stage, or never had reason to move beyond it. To all those people: I’m sorry for causing you such distress. But please don’t waste any sympathy on me, because I don’t feel like a nebach case. I’m 24 and I feel great.