|Me in 2006 - age 24|
I feel like back in our parent's day, or our grandparent's day, there was a typical order to life. You went to school, graduated from high school, maybe graduated from college, got married soon after, got a job & started having babies soon after that. A lot of people do still follow that path. But I didn't, & I know there are lots of others out there that don't as well. Some like it that way, but some have a hard time with those in between years- I was one of the later.
I don't know what the "best" age to get married & have kids are, I'm sure it's different for everyone, but I'm 30, I got married at age 29 & have not had a kid yet. What I want to talk about is that time from graduation 'till the marriage & baby-making stuff begins- for those that want those things, but haven't found them yet. During that time for me, I felt like I was in a bit of limbo. My friends & I would joke that life was "stagnant". Where I felt like some people around me were "making progress in life" but I wasn't. This wasn't the life I was meant to have right? Has anyone else been through this stage? Maybe you're in it right now?
|College graduation 2004 - I'm second from the right - still thinking life was going to be easy :)|
I graduated from college at age 22. I didn't meet my husband until I was 26. Crazy that it was only 4 years. It seemed like forever. That period between those two milestones were pretty rough at times. I held some pretty crappy jobs where I barely made enough to get by. I watched people around me starting families while I lived alone in little apartments eating a lot of toast & Ramen noodles. I had moved away from where I went to school, back towards where my parents lived, and I missed all of my friends. When you're in school, you've always got automatic goals. Small ones, like getting through the next exam, getting through the semester. Big ones, like graduating. You are always moving forward, always making progress, but once you graduate, that pretty much comes to a screeching halt.
Everyone's experience is different, but I felt like I was being left behind. Like all that moving forward that I did before, all that hard work was NOT paying off. I felt like I was told it would, but it didn't. I felt like a failure at life. I didn't really have any regular goals anymore, or at least not ones that seemed at all obtainable. I wasn't rising up the corporate ladder in leaps & bounds like I had expected. I wasn't "making a difference". I was just waking up each day to go to work at a job I didn't like to come home to eat & go to bed to wake up & do the same the next day. Awesome... Monotony. I had a really hard time finding things in my life to be thankful for, even though I had plenty to be happy about. No major catastrophes happened in my life. Nothing that I REALLY should have been sad over. I just wasn't happy.
Now looking back, I was pretty selfish & self-absorbed. But, I was also probably a bit depressed. I remember going entire weekends without talking to anyone except the lady checking me out at the grocery store, and feeling really bad about it. I read probably 2-3 books a week from the library during that time. And for me, reading became a way to escape from the life I was living into a fantasy. I couldn't afford cable tv, so books it was.
I knew that I needed to be present in the life I was living instead of wishing for things that I wanted to come. I KNEW, it was just hard to get myself there. Please tell me there are others who can relate? I even tried going to counseling once. (I can't believe I'm admitting this.) But, I'm waaay better at WRITING about my feelings than I am at TALKING about them, and I spent the entire hour staring at the wall & crying, & no time talking. I didn't even know what to talk about! I was angry & left thinking that the lady I met with was a terrible therapist since she didn't tell me what we were supposed to talk about. I didn't go back.
|My parent's dog Pepper & I shortly before they had to put him down- 2007|
Upon reflection, I now think that there were two main things that I was lacking in my life at the time, & finding those two things, in some form, would probably have helped a lot. They are:
1) To be NEEDED or to have PURPOSE
2)To have something to LOOK FORWARD TO
I don't think it's as simple as "finding a man" and/or "finding a good job". Although those ARE things that can satisfy these needs, if you don't have those yet, there are other ways to get these needs met that could help a lot in making those years more enjoyable. I do hope you'll come back on Friday, when I plan on sharing some ideas that I have about ways to satisfy these needs, for when your life feels stagnant.
I'm linking this post up to:
Live Laugh Rowe
The Shabby Creek Cottage
Crafty Scrappy Happy
Two Yellow Birds
At the Picket Fence
Chic on a Shoestring
My Repurposed Life
Nap Time Crafters