Some of your recent Tweets & posts reminded me about how many of us Type As, past or present, get these Lofty Life Goals set in our minds and then are mystified when it doesn't all unfold on our timeline, if at all. How infuriating it is to pass whatever time stamp we've set for ourselves, especially when we see others reaching those goals before us.
I vividly recall the wistfulness I felt on my 25th birthday, which brought me not the Norman Rockwell future I'd envisioned but rather a deeply questionable boyfriend and an impending law school graduation with no job on the horizon, let alone a marriage, house or kids. Watching friends easily snap up great jobs or meet the One was an exercise in choking back my envy to feel properly excited for them. I was having a blast doing what twentysomething singletons do - travel, happy hour & dating the wrong people - but on some level I still wondered when that (expletive) picket fence was going to show up already.
I was off by 3 & 7 years on the marriage and kid respectively. I have a bamboo fence in Austin instead of the Southern California picket one I'd wanted, and I'm still waiting on the "Father of the Bride" house and wildly interesting career - but, at the ripe old age of thirty-
My religious slip is showing with this, something this Episcopalian isn't entirely comfortable with, but - I look back and feel so grateful that it unfolded how it did, on a timeline not of my making but capital "H' His. I wasn't ready for the family I craved at the age I'd thought I'd wanted it. Wouldn't have appreciated my now husband had I not first dated the Messrs. Wrong and You Can't Be Serious. Would have balked at the staggering responsibility of mothering had I not partied and goofed around and traveled through my twenties.
I hasten to add that I don't think this marriage/kid/house timeline is something everyone does or should crave, nor do I think we should all sit back meekly while we wait for whatever higher power you do/n't believe in to make our goals possible. It is maddening to feel like you've fallen behind on your goals, whatever they may be, when you're doing everything you can think of & then some to get there - particularly when those around you seem to be achieving them without effort. Nothing I'm saying here is meant to gloss over that pain, which truly just, well, capital "S" Sucks..
My thought is simply this - sometimes - not always, but sometimes - it works out even better than you had hoped, or the Lofty Life Goal changes without your even having realized it. Besides, when you take the scenic route to the goals your peers have already achieved, you get the benefit of learning from the mistakes they make by being there first - and that, darlings, is a price beyond Tory Burch, gang signs & all.