Throughout life our perceptions will change depending on our circumstances. I found that my perception on marriage changed, oddly enough, while standing in line waiting to walk across the stage. From the moment I took those steps I knew that due to hard work, my life would soon change. It was the day I received my Associates degree.
As a young mother at the time, I had to work a full-time job. It wasn't easy to make it through night classes and long research papers. It wasn't easy to go to class when my son was sick. It wasn't easy to keep pushing when I felt like giving up. But I did it, and it gave me, along with many others like me, a great sense of satisfaction. To finish this part of my journey was a great accomplishment, and that is when my mind began to shift. I started thinking about other things that people consider to be accomplishments, like marriage.
Originally, I had always viewed marriage as “just a little piece of paper”. To many, it is assumed that if a couple is already sharing a home together, then marriage couldn't change much of anything. Some even think that marriage can offer nothing more than a legalized paper that confirms your status.
Well, during my graduation while in line, I overheard an outside conversation. During that banter, I heard them refer to the diploma I was about to receive as “just a little piece of paper.” This statement brought up a lot of emotions inside of me, as I begin to try to process what they said. “How could they think that?” I thought to myself.
Then, as I sat there reflecting, I thought about things I recently considered to be “just a little piece of paper”. It was in that time I realized things, like marriage, are much more than a piece of paper. Personally, I was offended to hear someone say that my diploma was just a piece of paper. That diploma represented something much more to me; it was very personal. It was a representation of hard work and dedication. It represented all the times I wanted to quit and didn't. It represented the part of me that is able to succeed as long as I am willing. When something is achieved that involves this type of commitment that little piece of paper means so much more.
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It wasn’t until then that I was able to firmly grasp the fact that this may be how others perceive marriage. If that was the case, I may have offended someone with the way I was thinking before. After all, marriage is a huge accomplishment for a couple. It involves many years of dedication and commitment and is made up of much more than “just a little piece of paper”. I have a personal respect for those who are able to commit to something, whether it is school or marriage.
Marriage is something I feel very strongly about now, and maybe you will be able to take something away after reading this as well. Perhaps, if we spend more time listening and less time being judgmental, we can open our eyes to a world of new meanings.