Language alert! If you are offended by a little profanity, then please forgive me or choose to read a different post.
I’ve lost momentum on my 500 words per day, so I’m going to get some in now before bed time. Per Jeff Goins, I’ll write about something that I wish someone would’ve told me 10 years ago. Or maybe long before that. Yes, in my teens and 20’s.
I wish someone would’ve told me that there is more to life after high school besides finding a boyfriend, getting married, and having children. Mind you, I did only the first, and it was the worst 3 years I’ve ever experienced with relationships.
I grew up on Disney movies, with Prince Charming and happily-ever-afters clouding how I perceived myself and what my goals were and my potential to grow as an individual.
I went to church with well-meaning leaders and pastors who perpetuated this ideal. No where did anyone mention to me the possibility of traveling, seeing and experiencing the world while I was young while having few adult responsibilities. My parents were just trying to make ends meet. To dream too much wasn’t practical. It didn’t pay the bills or put groceries in the fridge. So, they didn’t exactly pump me up with, “You can do whatever you set your mind to” or “Go see the world” or “Create, invent, experience.”
In the church world that I was so busily dedicated to, it was always, “Why aren’t you married yet?” or “Haven’t you met anyone yet? Don’t worry, God will bring you someone in His timing.” Though the latter might be true, why did everyone assume that I couldn’t be complete or a whole, content person unless I said “I do”? It made me feel inferior. Like my life wouldn’t really start until I found someone who would love me forever as his wife.
I spent years in singles groups, reading books about finding your mate, making lists of “What I Want in a Husband.” I guess I can look at it as a learning process, but it kind of makes me sick right now to think how much time was dedicated to these things instead of just learning about and enjoying who I was.
As a 47 year-old, strong, and content woman, I’m just going to say that all of that was total bullshit! Now, I’m not saying that I don’t respect marriage and see it as a covenant before God. What I AM saying is that it’s not for everyone and it shouldn’t be expected of anyone, nor should it be suggested for anyone under the age of 30! NO ONE knows who the hell they are when they’re 20! Divorce is rampant, so why push marriage on “kids” who don’t have a fucking clue about being themselves. Who are self-centered insecure to the point of trying to control the other person?
I wish someone would’ve encouraged me to somehow raise money to go be an exchange student somewhere. Or just to go visit another country. I wish someone would’ve guided me through my college years. My parents didn’t have the experience to do that. The only friends of my dad who had gone to college had majored in psychology and philosophy. He thought they were nuts and had strange ways of thinking. He was afraid I’d do that too. Become too big for my britches and think I was above all the common folk. (Truth be told, every young person thinks they know more than their parents until about age 25.)
I believe everyone can benefit from leaving their own comfort zone, if only for a few days, a few weeks, a few months. Get out of your own little world and see that there are other cultures to learn from, other people with different traditions than you. With different ideas. I don’t mean you have to suddenly embraced someone else’s belief system. Just learn about it. And in the process, you’ll learn that you’re not so different from them. They laugh, love, hurt, and hate just like you do. They have goals, ambitions, likes, dislikes, personality quirks just like you do.
With all of that being said, I’m finally in a relationship. A year ago yesterday, we met. And we’ve been learning about each other ever since. Slow and steady, we’re experiencing life with each other. Allowing each other to be themselves. Is it always easy.? No, of course not, but so far, it’s fulfilling enough for us to want to keep going.
If I’d only known back then that being in a committed relationship does not define me. We should complement each other, make each other better individuals. That’s what I’m trying to do now. If I’d only known.