|Shirt: Marshalls, Skirt: Bebe, Shoes: ?, Bag: Target, Flower Ring: a gift from my girlfriends Heather and Krista|
The Road Less Traveled...
“It was weird… I was the only one at the table who was not engaged. All they talked about were their rings, dresses, colors, etc. I had NOTHING to say. I’m not even dating anyone right now. They did not talk about anything else at all. I wanted to leave. I was so ready to go. I felt reeeeeeeally inadequate.”
That was part of a conversation that I had at work today. One of my friends/co-workers was talking about a girls-only going away dinner that she attended for a friend a couple of weeks ago. She and her friends are in their early/mid 20’s and out of an entire dinner party, she was the only one who was not “even close” to being engaged. It made her feel small. Insignificant. Kind of bad. Maybe worried a little.
It’s a common phenomenon (especially for women), right?! It feels like “everyone” is doing something at the same exact time but you (getting engaged/married/buying a house/having kids, etc.); and when you are on the outside of that trend, it can feel a little strange. Did you get married and have kids when the “rest” of your friends were in college? Did you wait to have your first when your friend’s children were in the 5th grade? Are you gay/lesbian and still (in some cases) waiting to be able to get married? Are you single? I don’t mean not-married “single”, I mean… straight up single, going through the list of toads you seem destined to have to kiss before truly falling in love? Are you young and divorced? Find yourself starting over? Are you pregnant, not married, worried about that stigma? Are you having fertility issues? A single mom with a couple of kids worried about whether or not you will ever find someone to share your life with? Did you have your heart set on one thing happening and it went the complete opposite way????? Or… do you just not seem to want the exact same things that everyone else seems to want? Or at least not at the time they do?? It’s just life. Right? There is no such thing as a sure thing or the right or wrong way of doing things. Your life is YOUR life and sometimes, regardless of how well you have planned everything out, sometimes… shht just happens. You can make decisions, good and bad, but it happens regardless.
I have been wondering a lot lately why it seems like such a big deal to NOT be doing things at the same time everyone else is. I think it’s because we have been programmed that way to a degree. That is how we have become wired. We have always been “grouped” together and always been in competition to stand out from the crowd, to excel. To do things better, faster, stronger. Most of us go to school at 5 years old, get our driver’s license around 16, graduate HS somewhere around 18, graduate college in our early 20’s.
It makes sense that we feel like we have to do things at the same time. I mean, up until adulthood all of our major milestones happen with large groups of people our own age. So it is really hard to let go of the feeling that you are “weird”, “off” or somehow “inadequate” if you don’t follow suit. Here’s the beauty though… once you are an adult… you get to choose your path. Choose where you want to live, what you want to do, who you want to be with, if you want kids, if you want to be single, if you want to stay in a relationship (or leave one that does not work). You may get hurt, and you may hurt people (even if that was the last thing you ever wanted to do) but it boils down to choices.
I was talking to a girlfriend of mine the other night who got her heart broken this week. (Well, I don’t know if her heart was broken-broken, but she was definitely experiencing some pretty intense shock and disappointment.) She alluded to the fact that she may be destined to a life of loneliness… of being single. Forever. She is in her 30’s. No dude, no kids. What she does have though is a job, a family who loves her, lots of friends, an active social life, and she’s hot. I haven’t told her this yet, but I got to thinking… whether she is single or not is her choice. She does not have to be single. She could get herself a man in 5 minutes if she wanted. The decision she has made though, is not to settle. Not to settle for convenient, for less than real love. She has all the power in the world. The same with my friend at dinner, the one who is not engaged. If she really wanted to be engaged, she could be. She is beautiful, smart, sweet, etc. She is choosing not to be engaged at this point in her life. And here’s the amazing thing… choice is power. It’s big, boss-biiiiich power.
It’s a BEAUTIFUL thing to fall in love, get hitched, have a family, raise said family, etc. It’s probably one of the best gifts that we are human beings can ever have. It’s amazing. I love my family more than life itself. But… it’s not paint by number. Not fill in the blank.
Some mothers who work outside of the home, feel like they are somehow “better” than mother’s who don’t. Others feel like they are not as “good” as mother’s who stay home. They are both wrong. Women with husbands that they have been with for years long for a good, hot, steamy, pushed up against the wall French kiss. The kind that their single friends get when they are falling into new love. Women who are single long to change their last name, to get married, to get out of "the scene”. Women without kids want to get pregnant, have a baby, to be called Mommy. Women who hear “Moooommmmyyy” yelled 500 times a day long for 5 minutes of silence, and to lose the last 10 lbs of baby weight, and to be able to go to the bathroom alone.
Everyone wants a little something that they don't have... whether they would ever admit it or not.
There is nothing wrong with you if your life does not look like “everyone else’s”. It’s YOUR life, and chances are, if you start thinking about all you DO have, instead of all you DON’T have, you’ll realize that it’s pretty friggin’ rad. The comparison game is daaangerous and it sucks. So knock it off. And... to those jerk-offs who make you feel like a leper because you are on your own road… screw them. You don’t need friends like that.
Haters gonna hate.
And this beautiful poem is for my girlfriends... especially for my friend (MM). You know who you are...