Thursday, February 10, 2011

Stronger (sorry if that put Britney in your head)

Yesterday you got a teaser for today's post. The actual story is that I tried to be fancy and set a timer for my post like some of my more blog-savvy friends, and then became too busy to finish the post. In any case, the graphic included the quote from Gauguin:

"One must be strong to endure solitude, and to work alone."

Now many of you may have an issue with 18 year-olds getting married. Not me. Admittedly, an 18 year-old is hardly a person. As a general rule anything with teen in the title is not a person. So you might think that it's not responsible for an almost-person to get married. Because chances are good that they will eventually become a person, say 5 years or 5 babies in the future. And that person 5 somethings later may not like the spouse they picked out back when they were a person-in-training. So while I certainly don't think it's ideal for an 18 year old to get married, I'm not willing to say this is always, 100%, most definitely a bad decision. But, honestly, it probably is.

I point this out, because I'm about to report one of the few advantages to not being married at 28, and I don't want it to seem that I advocate staying single until you're 28 always, 100% for everyone. I don't.

However, if through circumstance, location, personality or hairline you are single at 28, you've experienced a decade that those love-stricken 18 year-olds will never experience. A decade. Apart from my own stupid field of medicine, where else do you set aside 10 years to train for something? You've spent your 20s with only yourself to learn, analyze, train and improve. Sure there are friends and family and potential beaus that you work on along the way; but the time and effort you spend on others isn't nearly as encompassing as when you're married. You have only yourself to grow.

And often, it sucks. Some spend this decade in solitude out of personal choice, but mostly we don't. But the fact that it often sucks is why it's strengthening. As Gauguin said, you're enduring the solitude, but you're also working. And the happily-marrieds certainly get a decade of training as well, and from the whining they do I'm sure it's hard as well. You'll get their decade of training a little later, but they'll never get this one.

Happy Valentine's Day.

(And no, I didn't try to time this post to pop up on Valentine's Day; I'm just leaving my weekend open for a surprise elopement. Hope springs eternal.)

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