Monday, November 3, 2014

the grown-up version of junior high

Listen. I'm not old. I know I'm not old. 26 is practically a baby when compared to an entire lifetime.
I know this.
And generally speaking, I feel pretty dang young.
So, really. I don't think this post is about feeling old.
(Although I went rollerskating the other day and oh. my. back.)

I think, perhaps, this post is about feeling out of place. And I think that might have very little to do with age. I'm currently in a situation where I've been done with college for a few years now, I have a career (someone called my job that just the other day and I was like "hold up, you're right, that's what they call what I'm doing with my life THAT SOUNDS SO GROWN UP ICAN'TBREATHE."), and I'm still living in a college town which means I'm still hanging out with in college people.

But I'm not in college. So, somehow I feel like the misfit. I don't have any reason to go to the library or really hang out on campus much so then my brain tells me that all my friends are like "you can't sit with us." And I've officially reached the point of life where all those friends who said they weren't going to get married for a while and probably wouldn't start having kids until they'd been married forever have started announcing their pregnancies. And I have other friends who sent kids off to kindergarten this year.

And, let's be honest, I'm kind of grown up. Not all the way, but kind of.

It's possible that the biggest stress is actually the fact that the "next steps" are either entirely in my control or really dependent on someone else's agency. Example: I could up and move to Arizona. Or Rome. And that would be pretty much my very own, big-kid decision (read: scary). And on the other side of the example spectrum is marriage. (Which is actually, in my mind, the kind of next step I'm looking for.) And that's a whoooole lotta dependent on someone else's agency (read: scary).

So, I'm hanging out in limbo land a little bit. Don't get me wrong, I love my job. I love where I live, I love my still-in-college friends, I'm pretty in love with my life. And I'm still doing what I'm doing very intentionally. This is where I want to be. But that doesn't take away all the feelings of something missing.

Realistically, things are great. I know my life is on a really good path, I know that God is a big part of that path, and I do genuinely trust Him. But there is also a lot of outside pressure and conflicting messages coming at me from all sides: do what you want! marry young! be a female entrepreneur! try tinder! move to a new place! stay in your first post-college job for at least three years! And this voice in my head says: "Nah, just do what you want. Do what feels right." And that feels good, but also feels like going back to square one because a lot of what I want is a husband and I can only do so much (plus, also, I don't actually want to be desperate).

So, hey. That's life, right? Recently, I've been reminded that I'm actually only 26. I'm not supposed to have the wisdom of my grandmother, I'm not supposed to have the maturity of a mother of four... I'm in my mid-twenties. This is the figuring things out stage of life and maybe, just maybe, this 'limbo' stage that feels so awkward is actually the part where I break through the struggle and get to some destination of knowing who I am and what I want and how to be okay with what I have right now. Rome wasn't built in a day, tinder doesn't solve your dating problems overnight (or maybe ever, I broke up with tinder last week), and life doesn't figure itself out in one blog post.

And when I get too stressed about feeling out of place, I just remind myself that I did actually survive junior high, so, I totally got this.
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