Facebook has re-connected me with many old friends, or people I used to at least know in some way or another. And while I’m somehow finding all these clowns and adding them to my list, I found a very surprising thing. I was born in 1985, and I am 21 right now, turning 22 in October. My highschool grads are a year younger than me because I got a year behind in the midst of moving from Korea to Canada and what not. A lot of these kids are engaged already, at the age of 20, or even less.
I’m the single bachelor guy living in downtown Vancouver, pursuing my dreams as an entrepreneur of some sort, meddling in many different businesses spanning from web design, marketing, as well as foreign HR solutions for skilled labour etc. I’m very busy handling my business, as well as my health and other personal obligations with friends, and I still haven’t figured out myself yet at a truly spiritual level. They say people don’t know who they are exactly until the age of 25. I try to imagine myself engaged to somebody, and it gives me the chills, and it is such an uncomprehensible reality for me.
Another shocking thing about this is that, from what I observed, it’s mostly the Church-going type of Christians (not the spiritual, self-practising type of religious people, but the people who actually contain themselves more in the realms of going to structuralized church, attending youth groups etc.) that are getting engaged just like that. As much as I care for them and truly wish them happiness, I just cannot see how people have that mentality.
The truth is that it is a trade-off, and from an opportunity-cost perspective, it’s either a sell-out to be married that young, or it can simply lead to a shaky marriage. Maybe it’s hard to understand from my perspective. Getting a decent corporate job that pays $50,000 a year in salary, settling down, getting married, and putting money away into a pension plan is not my idea of life. I want to be more involved in the world, I want to try different businesses, make enough money to allow me to travel as I wish, and live a comfortable life without having to worry about how to make the next mortgage payment. I often worry that these friends of mine are simply settling for what they can get, at the whim and the temptations of romance lasting forever, and rushing into such situations. They seem to think that they need to “seal the deal” so to speak, and do it fast to make sure it lasts.
Oh, also, the no premarital sex part plays a huge role, I suspect. If your rules are to not have sex before marriage, well, unless you want to be a virgin til you’re 30, I guess you’ve got no other option but to get married now.
I see some of my friends living a fabulous happy life. They are 30+, living it up, living free, travelling, having fun, and developing their businesses hard. And then there are the people who are already tied down with the burden of marriage and the kids that follow with it, and not even half of them are perfectly happy.
I guess the 50% divorce rate in this country is speaking of the changes in life that people go through these days. The world is changing faster than ever, and young people are obviously very much likely to go through turbulent changes in life. I honestly cannot guarantee if I will still be living in Vancouver in a few years. You never know any of these things. What you want in life also changes. Your deepest philosophies can change, and your goals in life can change. In fact, they will change. As you grow up (and this never stops) you see the world differently each day or each year, and that pace of fast change does not slow down until later on in life.
It’s not that I wish misfortune upon my friends, nor see them as test rats, but I would very much like to keep an eye on them throughout the years and see what the survival rates are for these type of marriages. I’m very curious how they will turn out.