As of Monday, the day of the total solar eclipse, August 21st, 2017, I married Jazmin Pruneda in front of our closest friends and family. It’s only been a few days, but I’ve already been asked a few times “What’s it like to be married now?” or some variation of it. My responses were poor, admittedly, though I was understandably busy.

I’ve since put thought to the question. Rather, I’ve had time to put thought to the question after three or four days of setting everything up and breaking everything down. Though we took the initiative ourselves and put our own wedding together, it wasn’t without a lot of help. I feel I’ve never been more sore in my life.

We are watching “Parks and Recreation” right now, being my second time and her first time. One episode was about an intern named April who celebrated turning 21. There was mention of being an “official adult” now that she’s reached that age. Do you remember what it was like turning 21? I sure do.

The highlight of me turning 21 wasn’t necessarily the partying or the ability to purchase adult juice. It was that feeling of being an adult. It was a feeling of “finally I’ll be taken seriously.” I can now walk into a liquor store and buy whatever I want.

Though nothing has changed and there isn’t anything specific for me to buy now that I’m a happily married man, the feeling of “being an adult” is the best way I can sum it up. It’s not like I never viewed myself as an adult, just that I now feel others have begun to take me a little more seriously.

Another way to say it is that I feel like I’m somebody others look up to, more so than when I wasn’t married. I have a few speculations as to why, though I haven’t come to any conclusion. I know that this column is only one platform for that idolization (and criticism), but I have many other platforms.

One other platform is the fact that I’m married. Throughout our relationship, I’ve had countless compliments about how we are perfect for each other or how rare it is to match. I swear this isn’t me inflating my ego even more, nor is it me bragging — it’s realizing how our relationship affects other people.

So how does it feel to be married? I feel emboldened. I feel empowered and powerful. I feel like I can conquer any challenges and obstacles that face me (I’ve fought plenty of battles on my own, but I no longer have to do that alone and there’s no greater strength than having someone else to fight for). Above all of that … I have never been happier in my life.

We’ve come across plenty of obstacles, made a million mistakes, and have had our plans derailed more times than I care to count. We even had some hiccups on our wedding day. Regardless, it’s never been a threat to us or to our character. If anything, it adds to our experiences. Being married, and the path to being married, has taught me one thing that has ultimately led to my (our) happiness.

The mistakes, the errors, the flaws; they’re all so very small compared to the millions of things that (should) outshine them on any given day. They can make us or break us. We can develop from them or crumble from them. Either way, there is a decision to be made. Learning that we make the decision to use those “shortcomings” as a tool to grow from has been invaluable.

I’ve only been married a few days, so I’m not exactly an expert on the married life, but I do think I’ve learned how to be happy. Big things have already come our way and even bigger things are on the way. We’ve already begun working on a few medium-sized goals, catching up on our finances, bills, and savings account and things along those lines.

Now that we’ve achieved everything we could have asked for, and now that we’re working towards things that we are currently asking for, we definitely look forward to paying that forward. All I can say is that I hope you’ll all be there for us when the times comes to keep an eye out on us because we’re not stopping any time soon!

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