Today I woke up with the feeling that I have accomplished absolutely nothing in my 26 years on earth. OK, so I think I’m having a bit of a quarter-life crisis…
I know this obviously isn’t true and in the whole scheme of things I’m doing pretty well for myself, but I can’t help but think I’m somehow not where I should be.
While I hate to admit it, I think the fact that at least 5 of my childhood friends have gotten engaged and a few more pregnant in the past few months may have a little something to do with this.
I don’t know when I decided, or even where I got the notion, that marriage and motherhood somehow represent a level of achievement and adulthood for women in their mid-late twenties. This is pretty backward thinking and I like to consider myself a fairly progressive modern gal. (This idea certainly didn’t come from my mother who waited until after 30 to have children, choosing to focus first on gaining financial independence and professional success). The strange thing is, nowadays women are generally getting married later, having children later and enjoy more independence than ever. So how in the world did I miss the memo and look to decades old standards of women’s success for guidance?
I know that I’m not ready to have children and while marriage may be a bit closer on the horizon, I’m not ready to rush into that any time soon either. So why do I feel the sudden need hurry up, get hitched and pop out 2.2 kids?
I’ve always felt pressure to “keep up” with those around me whether it be academically, professionally or even socially. I’m competitive by nature and hate nothing more than feeling like I’m falling behind the pack. I also, like many people, have a real difficulty living in the present. I’m a planner. I focus so much on the future, where I want to be and what I want to be doing, that I often fail to enjoy all the wonderful things happening in the present. Not only does it make it difficult to appreciate my life as it is now, but it also puts so much pressure on the future, so much of which is out of my control.
So I’m going to try a little something new. I’m going to start regularly setting a few short-term goals that will help me feel more satisfied, happy and at peace with the present. I want to get out and do more in the city, plan some fun activities and day trips for Sebastiaan and me and take some time to enjoy the smaller things in life. Of course things may not always work out how I’ve planned, and carefree days soaking up the sunshine may be few and far between but that’s OK.
It’s all going to be OK… Right?
“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The great blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.” ~ Seneca