I am 23, but not by today’s standards. I do not like going out. I do not understand Twitter, or Instagram. I actually hate the taste of alcohol. I’ve never smoked a thing in my life. I’d rather lay in bed with my dog and watch Netflix on a Saturday. I couldn’t wait to get out of college because it was so not me. I’m saving up for a house. I’m married. I’m expecting my first child. I am not your typical 23 year old.
My brother just turned 22 and will be graduating next month. He’s dreading it. He wants to stay in school with his friends hanging out forever. He loves school and going out and socializing. When I told him I was pregnant, he told me he wasn’t ready to be an uncle. We are so polar opposite.
Sometimes I feel alone in this. It’s very hard to find friends that have the same interests and goals as I do. I worry everyday that when I’m a mom, how on Earth will I make mommy friends – will other moms just see me as that young mom that they can’t relate to because I’m only 23? New Jersey isn’t exactly a hub for young moms.
I will never, ever regret that I got married at 22 or that I will become a mom at 23. It’s the same age my mom had me, her first, and for some reason, I find that comforting. I already get looks and back handed comments. I try to ignore them, but I’ve always been the kind of person that takes things like that to heart. When my fingers started to swell at night about two weeks ago, my husband made me agree to take my rings off for a while, and I’ve felt self-conscious thinking about what people may thing since then. But I know I have to get over it.
In the coming months, I will struggle with a lot of insecurity. I will face criticism and “advice”. Whether or not this is because I am 23, I will never know, but I do know that being 23 has given me an advantage that many may not expect – a greater ability to grow and learn and be more accepting. And I am determined to use that to do big and wonderful things.