I recently came across a silly picture on Facebook (shown above). The picture seems like a perfectly normal, “Pinterest-worthy” family photo, with each member holding a cute sign. The signs read: Expecting, Excited, Engaged and finally... Egg Salad.
I couldn't stop laughing when I saw the picture -- because of its relevance to my life.
After all the laughs, it got me thinking. I’m not engaged, I’m not excited to proudly watch the children I raised and I am certainly not expecting. I am, however, egg salad.
So here's what it's like to be the egg salad....
For me, I'm simply the youngest of my bunch. Sometimes that means feeling a bit behind the curve. Sometimes it doesn't. Unfortunately it does for me. I'm behind that curve, whatever it’s supposed to be.
I know we all take life at different paces and choose different paths. While I am pursuing my undergrad degree, others my age have already hit the workforce.
Peer comparison doesn't affect me much because I'm well aware that we all do things differently. It's harder (if not impossible) to be the egg salad among peers because you can always find someone in the same boat.
Family comparison is where I stand out like the egg salad I am. No matter how much older your siblings are than you, they often go through major milestones first. If younger siblings hit milestones first, you might wonder if that should've been you.
Being the youngest, of course, I would be the last to learn to drive or graduate from high school. Those are givens. But what about the milestones that don't come with age? Youngest or not, we all compare ourselves to our siblings and other family members.
It seems like everyone in my family has a lot of big, exciting stuff going on in their lives right now -- and I'm just doing… whatever.
I'm not saying I want to be engaged or have a baby, because the truth is I don't. I'm OK with where I’m at right now.
I'm not doing nothing with my life. In fact, I'm doing pretty well for your average 20-year-old. I am doing well in school. I have a part time job, good friends and I'm involved in a variety of campus activities. Pretty average, yes, but really all I could ask for.
Just because I don't have anything huge or exciting going on right now doesn't mean I'm not doing well or moving forward in my life; because I am.
My day will come when I hand off my egg salad sign for “promoted” or “homeowner” or whatever comes next in my life. I’m excited to be excited for a big thing, but just because I'm egg salad right now doesn't mean I always will be and it doesn't mean I won't be again.
Everyone is the egg salad at some point. Bask in the freedom of being able to do whatever you want because no one is paying close enough attention to talk you out of it. Keep moving forward, and get excited to be excited.
Yeah, I’m the egg salad of my family, but I'm OK with it.