It’s funny how freedom tends to weigh you down sometimes. Let me explain.
In May, I got married. She is the most amazing person in the world, without a doubt. She’s definitely the more mature of the two of us. People can’t believe I’m actually married. I’m told my personality apparently dictates otherwise, whatever that means. Must be that immaturity. I’m only 23, and I guess in today’s society that’s a little young to tie the knot, but I can honestly say it’s the best decision I’ve ever made, and I’m so happy. Oh yeah, right, freedom.
You see, getting married meant a few things: For starters, her and I both moved from the relative serenity of our small town home to the suburbs of Pittsburgh. We are both in grad school, her for physician’s assistant, me for “mass communication and journalism”. We are both fairly certain of our goals in life, her perhaps more than me, but obviously, plans and goals can change. It’s just the two of us living in our suburban apartment, not counting our two cats, Ace and Pearl. Each day, we commute to the city for school, and most days I drive up the road to Primanti Brother’s, the World-Famous Pittsburgh based sandwich mecca that’s made fries and coleslaw a staple of any Western Pennsylvania lunch item since 1933. There’s a grocery store a little further up the road where we buy food and there’s a bunch of restaurants within a mile of our place. Six months ago we had to drive 20 miles if we wanted to go to a nice restaurant, and even then our idea of “fine dining” was Applebee’s.
Moving away from our home has allotted a ton of new found freedom. “Hey babe, I didn’t make dinner, you wanna get pizza?” is a very common question in our household. But a lesson I’m quickly learning is this freedom comes at a price. Six months ago, my only worries was if the wedding would be nice. Six months before that my only worries were graduating college, and even then I was working as a sportswriter for a local newspaper, so school was kind of on the back burner for me. I’m realizing now those worries are trivial compared to what’s going on now. Bills, money issues, payments, groceries, school work, making food, work/school balance, etc. I’m now realizing what it’s like for every working adult in the country, and I’ve gotta be honest, it’s an adjustment. Sometimes, it feels like I’m drowning.
When I was still engaged, I was constantly warned married life would change me as a person. Sometimes this worried me. I thought I (or she) would turn into a different person, and we would slowly begin to resent each other until we were in our late 30’s, with a mortgage and two kids, and by then we would just stick it out because it would be too hard to start dating again. Thank god this cynicism never really sincerely inhabited my brain. Yes, I worried money fights and stress of us both being busy with school or work or whatever would be enough to cause issues. However, I’m seeing that being with her makes all that other stuff go away. As cliche and cheesy it is to say, any sort of financial woes or anything like that will sort itself out. It’s just all about staying positive and loving her no matter what.
Honestly, this analogy is applicable to anyone, just switch out the marriage part with whatever you love. I’m obviously no expert on finances, and I won’t be for some time as these loads of student loans are going to bear down on me in a few years. Freedom comes with a price, and for most, unfortunately it’s their sanity when it involves finances and other stresses of life. I think the best advice for staying sane in a sea full of obligations and stress, is to latch on to the one thing that you love and use it as a lifeboat.
And don’t ever forget, there’s more important things in life than making money.