-Cartman, South Park
Early adulthood has probably got to be the most awkward phase in life. I would even bet it’s even more awkward than our teenage years. Sure, I went through a phase with blue eye shadow, sparkly belts, attempting to curl my tiny bangs and use make up and hair products that I had no business using. The difference is that EVERYONE was doing that. Everyone from age 11 until 18 went through the infamous awkward teenage years. We all went through it TOGETHER. That is the difference between those years and these young adult years. We aren’t in school anymore, nor are we given the same opportunities. We don’t have the same friends, and we are just out in life trying to live as best we can with no direction from our parents or teachers. After high school is done, everyone goes their separate ways and onto separate paths.
My parents got married at 26 and 22, had their first baby (ME) at 29 and 25 and done having kids at 33 and 29. My parents are probably a lot like most parents. My parents met at 16 and 20, stayed together for a long time and got married. Both sets of grandparents were also the same, got married young and had kids and stayed together for a REALLY long time. My maternal grandparents celebrated a 50th wedding anniversary, as well as my great grandparents. AND THEY ALL KNEW WHAT WAS GOING ON!
My whole life I thought that was how life was meant to be. Beginning with my first love in high school, marriage was talked about. Yes, you meet someone in high school, fall in love and think you are meant to be together forever. I mean my parents did it. My whole family did it. That is how it is supposed to be right?!
First love came and went, second love came and again marriage was a topic of conversation. Well this MUST be the one; we have been together for a really long time and after college we must not waste any time and we should get married. Again, it doesn’t always work out that way.
Life HAPPENS. Life isn’t so simple anymore. As time has gone on, women aren’t staying home anymore. Men are becoming stay at home dads. Women aren’t just bearing children anymore, and simply never bearing children. People aren’t getting married and having kids until almost 40!
These “ways of life” have always been cemented in my brain. I graduated college at 23, why wasn’t I already engaged or planning a wedding? Is my boyfriend ever going to propose to me? My mom was already married at 22!
Having cancer made me feel like “my life” as I knew it was at a stopping point. I couldn’t progress with relationships, friendships, or careers during this time. There are moments from this time where the frustration comes back and I feel that I am not where I should be because of my cancer battle for three years.
I was diagnosed with cancer at 23 after both of my parents had passed away. Going into remission, I was only focused on one thing; getting my life back and having fun. I was 26 when all was said and done. People that I have graduated high school with are now doctors, nurses, getting married, having babies and have excelled in life where I felt I couldn’t. With my parents’ death and having cancer, there was a lot of anger where my life was not going as to how I had “planned it”. At this point at 26, I was single, working at a job that was not supposed to be my career, and was nowhere near where I wanted to be. (Social media was something else our parents and grandparents didn’t have!)
As life went on, people continued to get married, have babies and start careers. I may have had a delay in my early 20’s but my attitude quickly changed in that I can’t pity myself anymore. Cancer is NOT my handicap. So what if my life was put on hold? I’m going to go back out in the world and make life EVEN BETTER than it was before. This will make me work harder to get to my goals.
There are still times where I feel life feels rushed at this point in life. Sure, I am 30 now but I don’t feel ready to have children. Yes I am married, but I got married because I have met my person. I didn’t get married just so I could have babies. Society makes us feel this way, and that we should all be having babies before we are 30-35. Many people will be LUCKY to celebrate a 40th anniversary now let alone a 50th. Also, I am selling the house I grew up in to DOWNSIZE to an apartment in Chicago. My mom was 31 when she bought this house where I am living. My husband and I have taken a lot of criticism because of this choice of moving out of a house. After you get married, aren’t you supposed to by a house? Why are you moving to Chicago now? You want to raise a family in Chicago? Why am I doing this you ask? Because I WANT to. That’s all.
My best friend and I had a conversation this weekend about life. We are 30 (alright she’s not 30 YET) and we are in different stages in our lives. We had a long talk about this subject and how everyone goes at their own pace. It is easy to feel down, because again society says that 30 is an old age and you should have many accomplishments already. (you’re as old as you feel). Who cares if you don’t have a serious relationship? Who cares if I don’t have children and have no immediate plans for motherhood? Who cares if I don’t have my dream house? Who cares if I am not making enough money or have my dream job? That is what life is; you have time to explore anything and be whatever you want to be. You have time to change, you have time to travel and do whatever you want to do. What I have learned is no one is the same, and social media has a way of pointing it out right in our face. Rather than be envious of others, support those life stages. I feel that is why I have friends in all walks of life; I have friends with children, single friends and everyone in between because we all share one common goal; to be happy and support one another.
If you’re like me, and maybe feeling stuck sometimes and you don’t feel that you are where you’re supposed to be; just STAHP IT! You are where you are supposed to be; right now. You can’t control outside day to day life, you can control what you do about it. You can’t keep blaming outside circumstances. You can apply for jobs if you want to grow your career. You can meet new people if you want to find a relationship. You can do whatever you need to do and work to where you eventually want to be. Yes it takes time, yes it takes blood, sweat and tears but if you keep working towards your life goals, whatever it may be, you will get where you are MEANT to be.
Thank you for reading. Please leave your comments and thought below 🍍💜