I met my husband through his cousin when I was a college freshman. His cousin was in Honor’s Program like me, while my husband back then was in the last section. He wasn’t my type at all because I liked those tall dudes, guys who were over 6 feet with Chinese-American lineage. He is Filipino-American and not so tall. We’re about the same height, and I’m only 5’8’’. That’s why when we met, there were no sparks for me, and it was like – meh, regular guy. Well, this “regular guy” pursued me, and after a few months, we became the hottest item in our batch.
The relationship became serious after a year of going out exclusively. My grandmother passed away, and Paul was there for me all throughout my pain and suffering. You could say I fell in love with him for his many good qualities and it made us close. This closeness grew physical, and six months short of graduation, I became pregnant.
The Tough Decisions
We got married and decided to play husband and wife – father and mother. I was on a scholarship that’s why I was able to study college. He, on the other hand, acquired a student loan in partial. Half of his school expenses were given by his parents and grandparents. We both had to do part-time work due to basic needs. Let me tell you this – life is so tough when you are still in college, married, pregnant, working part-time and all. IT IS NOT A JOKE. I always tell my friends and younger cousins, if you can control it, don’t get pregnant in college. As for young marriage, it is quite a challenge.
Are There Regrets?
Oh, no. No regrets, whatsoever. I wouldn’t be who I am today if I didn’t experience the things I went through when I was younger. We’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, and we asked ourselves, if not with regrets, were there things that we would have done differently but still ended up being together? My husband smiled and said, if we changed just a little bit from our past, there would be a ripple effect. This effect may be the cause of our separation. We stopped thinking about the “what if” and pushed on to moving forward.
We experienced maxing out our cards and had $5 in our pockets with a baby crying – no formula. I learned how to clip coupons and use rewards apps for extra discounts. My husband had to study diligently and go to school for 6 hours a day while he was working two jobs daily for a total of 6 hours, as well. That’s a total of 12 hours a day, four times a week. Not everyone can do that. We almost lost our apartment because our rent was delayed for two months. But with that, I became a negotiator. I negotiated with my landlady and provided my services in exchange for rent. She had a 2-year-old little angel, and I would babysit for her at night while she went to her other job.
Our life for the past eight years is full of highs and lows. If there was one thing that marrying young while in school taught me, it was the sacrifice. I had to make the necessary sacrifices for our lives to work out. We didn’t eat out for a year. I taught myself to cook, and he became a responsible person in a snap. Do you know how stressful that was for 22-year-olds like us? The road was so difficult to pursue, and there were days when we almost called it quits. Luckily, we made it. We held each other and carried on with our lives. He graduated on time, while I followed a year after, and it worked out well for us. In the end, it was about perseverance, sacrifice, and love. Always, love.