Am I Behind?
One of my greatest fears in life is that my biological clock will start ticking before I am ready, and I won’t be at a point in my life where I can do anything about it. Fortunately, that time still hasn’t come, but I will admit that I have found that there’s an entirely different clock ticking in my head at night. It’s the Clock of Life, and it’s just not focused on one specific thing.
It’s the clock of relationships, career, finances, and everything else you can fucking imagine. Even just saying it makes that annoying tick-tick-tick sound louder in my head. It’s what keeps me awake at night and what causes me to start each morning with coffee and end every other evening with a glass of wine. “Am I behind?” is a fundamental question that’s driving me, someone with an A-Type Personality, up the fucking walls.
I’m at the age where most of my friends are getting married, having babies, traveling the world, and/or making big moves in their careers. While all of those are things that I strive for, and am proactively working hard for, I’m still not where I want to be. And when I look at my self-determined metrics of personal development: my pay stubs, how I spend my Friday nights, the average use of my sex toys, the number of days since my last vacation, and my level of financial preparation for the future, it doesn’t seem that I will ever catch up; let alone be at a level where I feel comfortable stunting on social media.
Yes, I understand that you shouldn’t yearn for the approval of others via likes on your photos on Facebook or Instagram, but I’m not going to lie, sometimes I just want to stunt. It’s a fucked-up reconciliation between the vain and humble sides of myself, but I am who I am. So, as I sit and write “Yasssssss” and “Congratulations” on the social media feeds of all of my friends, I’m constantly asking myself: Am I behind? Shouldn’t I have already achieved some major life milestones? Am I doing something fucking wrong?
I know that you should never compare your journey to someone else’s or even believe half of the things that people put on social media, but it’s something I’m still struggling to internalize. Shutting down your social media will only get so far. You can’t shut down your friends, and it’s extremely difficult to be there for them if you perceive them to be in a better position than you when you’re struggling to keep your head above water.
I would say it’s damn near impossible. And in those moments of impossibility, I inevitably find myself comparing where they are to where I am. Why am I struggling to make advances in my career? Why am I not married yet? Will I ever find someone I want to have kids with? Should I just give up now and prepare for my life as a spinster? Listen, I know I’m not the only one who goes down this spiral.
When other people constantly tell me that I’m light years ahead of where they were at my age, my general answer is usually along the lines of “I just don’t fucking see it.” Because it really doesn’t matter what you or my parents or my mentor tells me, it never seems like enough. I’m not where I want to be; therefore, I’m not where I should be. It’s irrational, and I know it. And to that end, I’ve come up with two possible action-oriented responses anytime I find myself questioning my current position in life:
I can jump into some shit that I’m not ready for in an effort to stay on some artificial timeline that society, and my subconscious, have imposed on me? I can find a job and ride that motherfucker to wheels fall off. It doesn’t matter if I like my work or not, I can ride it to the top. I can fuck the next man that hollers at me, have a baby, and end up in a relationship with someone that I’ll resent for the next 18 years. I can end up in a loveless relationship but smile and stunt with a ring on my finger as soon as my partner proposes. These are all serious, viable options that can be achieved, and believe it or not, they would make some part of me very happy.
I can chill the fuck out, go to therapy, and take things one day at a time. I can find joy where I can, and post carefully planned and edited selfies on social media to appease my vain alter-ego. I can acknowledge those moments when I’m comparing myself to others, assess them, not be ashamed of those moments, and not allow them to weigh them down. These are also viable options that may make me sad, but I could find some happiness in them in the long run.
Listen, I can’t judge anybody who may choose Option Number 1 no more than I can judge a person who chooses Option Number 2. We all have our own choices to make and our own crosses to bear. Personally, I’m woman enough to admit that I flip flop between the two because having options makes me feel better. I feel more in control, which is key in my life where I sometimes feel like I’m riding a bucking bronco. So, I’ll continue to ask if my life is running behind and weigh the pros and cons of each option based upon how I’m feeling that particular day.
Maybe something drastic will happen in the near future, and I’ll stop asking. Or, I could be asking this question until the day, I die. Who knows?