I Love My “Wasted” Twenties

The other day when I got on twitter, I saw a tweet that rubbed me the wrong way. It said:

“I hate this pandemic. If I had wanted to waste my twenties, I would have gotten married and never left my hometown.”

I’ve seen these tweets before and I never really let them bother me but in the span of twenty-four hours of seeing that first tweet, I saw three other similar posts all liked or posted by people I consider friends or at the very least acquaintances.

There seems to be this idea that if you don’t travel the world, do what you want when you want, and live life unattached from anyone and anything then somehow, you’re not living life to its fullest potential. When my husband and I got engaged at 20 and 22 some people tried to warn us that we were settling. We had the whole rest of our lives to get married and settle down after all.

What bothered me most about these posts is that people I know are the ones liking them and reposting them. People who know me and my husband, know where I live, and know what I do for a living believe this nonsense. They believe that somehow my life is a waste because it doesn’t look like theirs.

Well, I’m here to tell you that I got married at 22, never moved out of my hometown (even my college was only 45 minutes away) and believe it or not I’m *wait for it* happy! That’s right! I love my life and wouldn’t wish for anything different. So, I figured I would share some of my favorite things about my life just so people can see that it’s possible to have a happy and fulfilling life even if it doesn’t look like what others tell you it should.

I love living life with my best friend

One of the most common things I’ve seen people say is a waste of time is getting married. To tell you the truth, marriage is one of the hardest and most humbling things I’ve ever done. I’ve learned more about love, sacrifice, compromise, and compassion in my short eight months of marriage than I think I have in the rest of my life combined. Marriage is slowly but surely sanctifying me and that’s not a jab at my husband, that’s a testament to what God made marriage to be. I am a better version of myself now than I was 8 months ago when we said, “I do.”

I love living with Chase Cumbie! He is my best friend in the entire world. I love waking up next to him every morning. I love coming home and eating dinner with him. I even love just sitting in the same room with him while he plays video games like I am as I write this. I just enjoy being a part of his life and vice versa.

After we first got married a friend asked me, “don’t you ever get tired of him always being there? Isn’t it annoying that you can never get away?” The honest answer to that is no. We both have our own hobbies and our own ways we enjoy spending our free time, but I don’t ever wish he wasn’t there. Do I get annoyed sometimes? Of course, but I never want to do life without him. On several occasions, I’ve been mad and he’ll offer to give me some space and I always tell him not to leave. I want him to know that no matter how mad, sad, frustrated, anxious, or annoyed I am that I always want him there.

It’s nice to have your best friend by your side no matter what. When I’m upset, he knows, and he helps me talk it out. When I’m anxious, he knows, and he helps me work through it. When I’m super excited, he knows, and he listens as I tell him all the details because he knows how much I love to talk. He’s my life partner and boy would life be less fun without him.

We haven’t missed out on a single thing because of being married. We’ve still traveled, gone to concerts, hung out with friends, and enjoyed life to the fullest just together instead of on our own.

I love living in the same town as my family

Not only do I adore living life with Chase, but I also love the fact that we live in the same town as our families. It’s so nice to just spend time together whenever we want. His parents have come over to our house several times for dinner. We go to church with my dad and spend time with him almost every weekend. We go see my mom if not every week then every couple of weeks. Not to mention, our grandparents are here too and are always ready to offer help, advice, or just to teach us about life.

God knows what He’s doing when He leads us to do things or make big changes in our lives. If you don’t know this, I lost my Papa a couple of years ago. He was my hero. I would do anything in the world to talk to him and give him a hug one more time. God allowed me to move home halfway through my junior year of college. I thought I was moving home for a job but really, I was moving home so that I could take full advantage of the last year I had with my Papa, and what a sweet gift that was!

I relish the time I have with my family. I have no idea how long I’ll have with my parents, grandparents, siblings, and in-laws, but I can tell you one thing. No matter if I have 5 years or 50 more years with all of them it won’t be enough. So, yes, I live in my hometown, and that’s okay. It’s more than okay. It’s one of the greatest blessings of my life.

I love being invested in the community I grew up in

Another thing that’s really cool about living where you grew up is that you get to be genuinely invested in your community. Growing up in Montgomery, everyone dreams of leaving. We all talked about how we dreamed of moving away and making something of ourselves. We talked about how Montgomery wasn’t the city of dreams but the city where dreams went to die.  Looking back, I feel so bad for my younger self that she felt like the only way to be worth something was to leave everything that made her who she was behind.

My city has its problems, but if everyone keeps leaving it instead of working to make it better, then nothing will ever change. Every single person in this city has potential. We all have the ability to stand up and make a change. We are all capable of impacting someone’s life for the better. Maybe the “City of Dreams” was less of a statement of what is and more of a statement of what’s to come. I intend to stay here and do my part to make Montgomery the city of my dreams.

We all have different dreams, and that’s okay

I love my life and I only see it getting better from here! I hope you can say the same for your life wherever it may be and whatever you may be doing. If it looks like my life, that’s great! If it looks absolutely nothing like my life, that’s awesome too. If your life dream is to travel the world on your own, building a career around you, and making friends as you go, then that is incredible and I wish you well, but don’t hate on my life and dreams because it’s different.

What it all comes down to is this: we are all different, our lives all look different, but we are all people. Let’s stop tearing each other down and belittling others for not living life the same way we do. Instead, let’s start lifting each other up and celebrating the good things in each other’s lives. If we can begin to identify the good in each other and call that out, I think the world might begin to look a little more positive and beautiful!

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