I’ve always felt as though I was just a couple steps behind of everyone else.
I struggled with what I wanted to do with my life, for the rest of my life. I thought for awhile that I really wanted to make a difference. I debated on becoming a homicide detective. Then, I got really into photography. That’s when I decided maybe I could become a homicide photographer. Go, take pictures of unfortunate crime scenes and not have to worry about someone coming after my family. It was a good plan and I was excited about it, but then I lost interest.
That’s when I thought that maybe I could be a teacher and work my way up to being a principal of a school. I could put a hard stop to favoritism that I had seen corrupt my own high school. I could try harder to make sure kids felt welcome and that bullying rates were reported and shut down. That’s when I got a book from my mother about this wedding team that worked together to pull of these amazing weddings. I loved the idea that I could make a magical day run smoothly for a couple.
I was so jealous of all the people in my class that already knew exactly what they wanted to do. I had all these great ideas about helping people in my mind and I had no idea how I was going to do any of it. These was nothing that I was passionate about, not at 18. There was all this talk about people wanting to be doctors or major league athletes. I had friends that not only knew they wanted to be teachers, but they wanted to be high school algebra teachers. They were so passionate that they had every detail of their dreams lined out in front of them.
Then, as I was about to graduate high school friends that I had started having children. I graduated high school and there were six girls that were about to have their first child. There were two that had already had a one. They were starting lives and they were starting to make a difference with the new incoming generation. I would see pictures and videos all over my social media of these young families that were just filled with joy and happiness.
There was nothing appealing to me about having a child while I was in college. Since I was 16 I told myself that I would get engaged my senior year of college at the absolute earliest and everything after that would just fall into place.
Yet, I watched all these people with their little mini “them”s and I felt like someone I was supposed to be at that stage in my life too. I was supposed to be thinking about my future family which helped me decide to give up my dream of detective. Finally, I made the decision that leaving for work every morning unsure if I was going to return home wasn’t something I wanted my family to deal with. I decided that photography, wedding photography to be specific, would be my new dream.
If all this wasn’t enough I started seeing friends getting married. I currently have 16 people from my graduating class that are happily devoted to someone. 16!
Do you know how crazy that is?!
Sixteen people and I have had two serious relationships in the last five years and they ended before we could even imagine the possibility of marriage. It had me going crazy. Weddings were my business after all! Was there something that I was doing wrong? Was I being too picky about the guys that I would meet, was I too busy to date, or was there something about me that was simply unattractive? All of these people had already found the person they wanted to spend the rest of their lives with and I was sitting at home trying to figure out if I could round up some change to go to Insomnia Cookies for the third time this month.
But it’s all ok!
It’s all ok. We all live by our own biological time clocks. It’s ok to feel like we are coming in last in the race of life sometimes. It’s important that we go through life at our own pace because no one else is going to live the same life that we are. It’s good to take time off and do things that you enjoy like traveling, or taking a few extra classes, or going to Insomnia Cookies. It’s ok that I am not married or even seriously dating right now because it gives me time to focus on how I can better myself. It is fine that I am waiting to get married or have kids or figure out what I am going to do for the rest of my life career wise. I have time.
I know people who had their first child at 16 and who are still planning on waiting 10 more years. I know people who are married and those that have already gotten a divorce by age 21. I know people who are happily single, those in an unfaithful relationship, those that wish they were engaged and aren’t and those that think that they will die with dogs. I know people who have already found the job that they love and will have until they retire at 80 and I know people who still have no idea what they want to do in life. I know those that graduated college when they were 20 and those that are still going to be here by the time they turn 26.
The point it, it’s ok. It’s our time clock and we have to make the life that matters to us. We have to decide when it’s time to make memories happen and when we are ready to take that next big step in our lives. It’s ok to see friends that you have that are way in front of you in portions of their lives, because it doesn’t mean that you are behind, it just means it’s not your time yet.
Instead of being so hard on yourself, take a moment and just marvel at all the things you’ve already accomplished. Look at the heartache that has shaped you and the adventures that have forced you to dream bigger. Think of all those moments that have made you wiser and have forced you to grown.
At the end of the day remember it’s not about how fast you finish the race, but instead that no matter what comes your way that you cross the finish line. In time you’ll see that you’re a winner as long as you finish strong.