By Allison Annala, IATG ContributorJune 10, 2016
Out of my closest girl friends, one is engaged, ten are married, and seven have become Moms, gifting the world with eleven beautiful children between them. Society tells me that I’m behind. At 29, I should, at the very least, be engaged, planning a beautiful Midwestern wedding, and looking forward to starting a family with “my person.”
But I’m not.
The world doesn’t always agree with the path I’ve chosen. I can’t go a week without someone asking one of the following questions:
“What’s your plan?”
“How long are you going to be staying here?”
“Are you dating?”
Worse than the questions are the condescending responses offered when I answer with:
“I like where I’m at.”
“I love my job, but I’m not really sure.”
“No, not presently.”
I have gotten more well-intended lectures on how “Mr. Right” will come when I least expect it than I can count. Keeping a level head isn’t easy when everything and everyone around me is inferring that I’m doing something wrong. It feels like I’m coming in dead last in this race toward happiness, and it can be really hard to stay positive when you feel like people are looking at you with pity in their eyes.
This just in: I’m 29, single, and happy.
I love being referred to as “Auntie Al” by all of my surrogate nieces and nephews, and I love the freedom of living my life on my terms… for now. You see I’m not ready to settle down just yet, and I’m not about to apologize for it.
Sometimes it’s really hard not to compare myself and my life to the lives of my friends. But this is the path I’ve chosen. I have made choices for my health, for my career, and for my comfort… all of which I stand behind. Have I made poor choices? Absolutely. I wouldn’t be human if I hadn’t. But at this point in my life, I am refusing to allow myself to fall into the trap of comparison.
I will not gain any joy comparing myself to others.
It will not give me pleasure to assess my life based on where other’s lives have taken them. Of course it’s a challenge not to feel left out of “couples night.” It’s also pretty typical of me to feel overly sentimental at weddings when two people take that leap of faith to commit to one another. Of course I want to get married… someday. And there aren’t enough words in the dictionary to express just how much I desire to become a mother… someday. The amazing thing is is that there is no ONE WAY to travel down life’s path. Some people hop on a jet and fly off into the sunset. For now, I’m enjoying the view as I walk the path at my own pace.
How have you lived life at your own pace? We’re always so caught up in the end result, but take some time today to simply appreciate the journey you’ve taken and the place you’re at right now!
Allison is a huge advocate for girls and women, particularly when it comes to body image and self-worth! She coaches gymnastics and teaches at her Alma Matter, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Visit her blog www.allison-lifeisbeautiful.blogspot.com.