“HAHA! NOPE!”-GOD, PROBABLY
*Disclaimer: No, this is not the bible. It’s my opinion.
“If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” I’m sure he’s got a good chuckle listening to mine over the years (“HAHA! NOPE!”-God, probably). I was never the girl on a timeline. Sure, I had plans and an idea of what I had hoped my life would look like at 27, but there was no timeline. I wasn’t the girl that wanted to get married at a certain age, buy a house at a certain age, have kids at a certain age. I wasn’t always the “go with the flow” type either. Throughout my twenties, I’ve grown and matured (I hope) and have come to realize, you can make all sorts of plans, but you can’t control everything. People get so wound up about the idea of being on a timeline, but I’m here to tell you, timelines are bull****.
In less than a month, I’ll be 28, which, I personally don’t think is old. It’s hard to believe, but most days I feel like I have the mind of a young 20 year old, but the body of a late 40-something year old (with the sprouting grey hairs to match). The closer I creep up on 30 however, I’m noticing something. Other people have expectations for what they think your life should be. In the last year, I’ve heard so many people (including some of my patients) say “Are you married,” “you’re almost 30,” “your clock is ticking,” “don’t you want to settle down before you’re 30?” The only way I know how to respond, is with a blank stare and try to throw out my most convincing, “I’m fine!” It’s extremely awkward convincing people you’re actually very happy when they’re throwing you an impromptu pitty party you didn’t want to be at *throws confetti sarcastically*.
Since my last serious relationship, I haven’t been hell-bound on finding someone. I’ve put myself out there, but I haven’t made it my one and only priority. For a long time, I chose to put my health, my spirituality, my dreams, my goals, in general myself, first. I remember having a conversation with my Mom, telling her I couldn’t help but notice this unwarranted sympathy I was getting. People would just start giving me unsolicited advice at my surprise pitty party, saying “you’ll just know,” and “it’ll happen when you least expect it.” *eye roll* I still believe that’s complete and utter bull****. For a while, I would reply with how I was “focusing on myself,” and how I was genuinely happy, but a person can only go so long before that unwarranted sympathy starts to make them question that happiness. Should I be upset that I haven’t met “my person?” Should that be a priority? Am I actually happy? Bitter? Unmotivated? Were my married friends and family assuming I was pathetically pretending that I wasn’t secretly depressed?
For years, the bible verse Jeremiah 29:11 got me through my absolute WORST times. “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” I had faith. I’ve found in the last year, however, that faith has wavered. I find myself doing the math, thinking about when and if I do find that someone, how long should I wait to settle down with that person? If I were to meet my “soulmate” tomorrow, would I date them for a year, get engaged, then take a year to plan and have a wedding? I shift to the timeline mindset. Stupid, right?! It’s an obscene thought for someone that doesn’t want to settle.
I’ve found myself comparing and being compared to. Sometimes, I put myself in a position where I view the grass being greener on the other side, but in hindsight, I wouldn’t change a thing. I realize that my friends that are married and/or have kids, maybe don’t understand what I’ve been doing, or maybe why I’ve made the choices I’ve made. I find myself growing a part from them. I used to talk to them about my dating life and confide in those people. I find myself becoming more and more private because my life is so vastly different from theirs and it’s clear they’re making judgments, and that’s fine.
There’s this bad connotation with being single, and sometimes I think people forget that some of us chose that. I see so many people hop from relationship to relationship, always choosing someone new, but forget to choose themselves. It baffles me how people can swing into a new relationship before they’re over what happened in their last. You shouldn’t depend on other people to make you happy. I’ll say that again for the people in the back…YOU SHOULDN’T DEPEND ON OTHER PEOPLE TO MAKE YOU HAPPY!
Truth be told, I would love to settle down and eventually have kids, but if I’m being perfectly honest, I’m pretty happy with where my life has gone in the last 3-4 years. I’ve accomplished and done things that were never in my original “plan,” that I honestly believe I wouldn’t have done had things been different. I’m incredibly grateful with every single experience I’ve had, and can say I haven’t regretted anything. I’ve made a point to be comfortable doing my own thing, on my own, because I truly believe you need to make yourself happy before you can be with someone else. I truly believe I’m where I’m meant to be in life.
So for those on a timeline, I say screw it. “What is meant for you will never pass you by.”