“Nobody likes you when you’re 23-” Oh, that’s right, thanks for that reminder Blink 182. Now that’s out in the open, I read an article hitting close to home. A girl, by the name Vanessa Elizabeth writes about 23 Things To Do Instead of Getting Engaged Before You’re 23.
What started as an interesting article, quickly deteriorated with Vanessa’s list of what you should do before 23 instead of marriage—
“But then I look at my life, my relationships, and my future… and I realize that, I’m fucking awesome. It literally isn’t me, it’s them. I have begun to notice a common thread amongst all these young unions: inexperience. Inexperience with dating, traveling, risks, higher education, career direction, SEX, solitude, religious exploration, etc… and it’s insane that I have already experienced more of the world in the last 22 years than my married peers will ever experience in their life.” Vanessa Elizabeth.
This is how you sound like a self-righteous asshole online. Just because you’re an expat, doesn’t make you better than everyone else. You’re having experiences, yes, but they’re different from someone else. What is us, them, and inexperience? Inexperienced are the ones quick to point fingers and judge what they are ignorant of. I’m young, 23, and I don’t have the same views as this expat.
Having been in a serious relationship myself, and being blessed to have love and lost, I recognize decisions we make from being in love. I can sympathize with woes of those who haven’t experienced a soul gripping love because not too long ago, at the tender age of 19, I believed there was something wrong with me for not having been in love yet.
Truth. There is no age limit to falling in love. If it’s not your time, it’s not your time. Don’t knock on others in love. I rejoice with my friends who have significant others as they rejoice when living vicariously through me.
God had other plans for my life. I knew once I stepped through the gates at O’Hare Airport and got on a plane to Japan, there was no turning back. I accepted this as truth and plunged headfirst into what has been the adventure of a lifetime.
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” Mark Twain.
1. Get a passport.
Before I begin, I’d like to take a moment to dedicate this post to Mark Twain, one of the greatest American authors and Mississippi conductors of all time. My dearest Vanessa, even with your passport and travels, your prejudices and narrow-mindedness has not disappeared. I guess getting a passport before 23 hasn’t fixed your woes.
2. Find your “thing.”
Life is about discovery and making new dreams. When you complete it, dream, chase after it, and dream again. Why limit yourself to only one “thing”?
3. Make out with a stranger.
While in Macau, a Colombian David Spade said, “What happens in Macau never leaves Macau.” Here’s to refuting that. I made out with his best friend (13 years my senior) and it WAS NOT one of my finer moments in life.
4. Adopt a pet.
Adopting a pet grounds you. While I’m all for saving animals, your pet requires love, attention, and time. When you have a pet, you cannot spread your wings at the beckoning call of an airplane…you get to stay home or find a sitter—money better spent on a hostel or souvenirs.
5. Start a band.
I appreciate my friends’ bands more than I would my own.
6. Make a cake. Make a second cake. Have your cake and eat it too.
Sound off to all curvy girls who work for their bodies and know eating junk food won’t maintain a healthy one. That other cake sure isn’t going to waste. Someone else will eat it. So much for having a cake and eating it too.
7. Get a tatoo. It’s more permanent than marriage.
I don’t have tattoos because at 18, I was too dumb to know what I wanted. Who says marriage isn’t forever? As you said, “LGBTQ isn’t ruining the sanctity of marriage, the Kardashians are.” Maybe you should stop watching the show?
8. Explore a new religion.
I have my strength from God. I respect other religions and opinions. While Japan is primarily Shinto or Buddhist, I do not partake in the practices but observe. How about we change this to observe a new religion?
9. Start a small business.
Once you have your business, your time, energy and money goes into the success of the business. If that’s your dream, chase it but if you’re a traveler, beware.
10. Cut your hair.
Many people experiment with their hair in high school or college. My long locks were long chopped off before I became an expat.
11. Date two people at once and see how long it takes to blow up in your face.
Why would you cause people that kind of heartache? This is what breeds a vicious cycle of assholes and bitches. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
12. Build something with your hands.
Here’s an idea, why not build the hands of friendship or love everywhere you meet and not hurt people in the process?
13. Accomplish a Pinterest project.
While Pinterest is cool, why not make life a project where you set goals and keep them?
14. Join the Peace Corps.
A big round of applause to all you who dedicate your time in the service to others and God (or whatever deity you do or don’t worship). Bless you.
15. Disappoint your parents.
One of my greatest joys has been making my parents proud. From walking across the stage at my university’s graduation ceremony to becoming an accomplished and loving teacher at a Japanese high school, I’ve done nothing but make my parents happy. Why cause the people who love and raised you anguish?
16. Watch Girls Over and Over again.
First of all, what the hell is GIRLS and why should I vegetate my brain in watching this? Vampire Diaries, anyone?
17. Eat a jar of Nutella in one sitting.
Take that jar of Nutella and stick it where the sun don’t shine. Healthy eating equals healthy bodies and happy minds. I can’t even find a jar of Nutella in Japan. Bite me.
18. Make strangers feel uncomfortable in public places.
Being a weirdo only attracts other weirdos…especially in a foreign country. See you on the next episode of “Gone Without a Trace.”
19. Sign up for Cross Fit.
While Cross Fit is cool I guess I missed the deadline of things to do by I’m 23. Whoops.
20. Hang out naked in front of a window.
This is quickly escalating into another episode of Maury…
21. Write down your feelings on a blog.
Boo boo, some opinions were better put in a paper journal and away from the eyes of others.
22. Be selfish.
Be selfish in the right ways when it comes to making the best decisions for you. Don’t be selfish in imposing your self-fulfilling prophecies on others.
23. Come with me to the Philippines for the Chinese New Year.
If intentionally acting weird to attract weirdos, hanging out naked in front of windows, and being a player is a part of your agenda, no thanks. I’d rather go with my friends who love me to a different place, far, far, away from you.
I love my life. I enjoy being single. I have no ill will when it comes to those who married young nor do I judge them harshly. Sure, I wonder why they married so young, but they have their reasons and I have mine for not getting married. Of course, there is always the little monster of jealousy on the inside… Do I wish I had someone sometimes? Of course. But I know it’s not my time.
When I think about everything I’ve experienced, I know I’m on the right path for me. When God says it’s time for me to fall in love again, it’s time to fall in love.
The world is my oyster and there are so many undiscovered pearls.
Until then, God, when I fall in love again, find me a man who will love, cherish, and come along on all my adventures with me.