By the tender age of 30 I need to have the following:
- A bachelors, masters, and PhD
- A perfect husband
- At least two perfect children
- A house and car
- A successful career
- Perfect spiritual discipline
- The ability to manage everything in my life perfectly
- A butt-load of debt that I will never pay off
And if I don’t have everything on this list by then:
- I will die
- I will die alone
- I will die childless
- If I don’t die and I try to have kids, the kids will have severe disabilities from being created from crusty, old, expired, eggs
- Also, no man will ever want me because I’m too old and that immediately takes away my attractiveness
- I will have accomplished nothing in this life
Now, after reading this list, it should be easy for you to understand why I had a hard time maintaining any type of relationship with a man, hated myself for the mistakes I’ve made thus far in life, and could not enjoy the gift of living.
If you read the list and thought, “Well geesh, the problem is that it’s unrealistic to accomplish any of that! Especially by age 30!”… You’re missing the bigger picture here, just like I used to. Accepting that this list was unrealistic didn’t make me feel any happier about the fact that I was incapable of completing it by 30, or the fact that I was gonna die a lonely, sad, unaccomplished life. You’re right, the list is unrealistic, but I’ll explain the real point here a little later.
This world convinced me that this was the way that life was supposed to be. 30 was the new 14 (since society has evolved soooooo much) and by this age, you should’ve fully reached adulthood and more important- womanhood. You should be running a household, in a house you either are neck-deep in debt for or bought using the amazing salary you now make. Your husband should be the man of your perfect dreams, giving you nothing but foot rubs, sweet kisses, and perfect children. Oh, and you should still be looking pretty everyday. Messy hair and a chipped manicures are for children and you’re an adult now!
So I did what most people have done. I made this my life goal. My “blueprint” as Tony Robbins put it. And it made me miserable. My poor choices as a teenager caused me to be behind peers my age and the “typical” adult, so I was angry at myself. No man could handle the pressure of meeting my expectation of perfection, especially by my deadline. So my life life suffered. Anxiety and fear controlled the decisions I made once I managed to get on some sort of straight-and-narrow path and I constantly tried to do what I thought was right. Depression came with the denial that I’d began trying to convince myself of regarding whether or not I wanted a relationship. I was realizing that no man could meet my expectations and throwing myself daily pity parties for it. The only time I’d ever see the light and have a little breakdown were the few moments that I was able to have some self-reflection or separation from the rest of the world. I spiraled.
According to Tony, I’ve got 2 real decisions to make and a combination of both would be ideal:
- Change my “blueprint”, my idea of what my life should be like by now
- Change my life so that it aligns closer to the blueprint
I couldn’t agree more. I do not walk the broad path, but instead I chose to follow the narrow. So why would I hold on to what everyone else thinks or says is right (or whatever)? How about I rewrite the “rules” of life for myself and I challenge what’s been stuffed into my head. How about I accept that, right now in this moment, I am exactly where I am supposed to be. This way I can align my life to this blueprint and I can enjoy every day and stop seeing myself as a failure.
Even if I never get married, my covenant with God mirrors that of a marriage. So I am a wife. There are countless parent-less children out there who could be adopted, or may just need a mentor. A mother figure. I am a mother. 30K, 40K, 50K, or 500K, I will manage my finances and learn to live comfortably. I don’t even measure success by money, but rather the quality of my life. Not to mention, my success has been promised to me and I choose to believe that it is true and will be fulfilled. And those degrees… yeah I’ll get some of them, but I may not even need them all to get to where I want to be. And these aren’t even the main points here.
I was stuck on the fact that I wouldn’t have what I wanted. That I would be unaccomplished and I would be incapable.
It’s all about me. Me, me, me. How about, what will I have done for someone else by the age of 30? In what ways will I have served God and His people? If I die having never been married, never bearing children, but I touched the lives of many and contributed to the world’s future heros? If I had dedicated myself to ministry and the spreading of the good news? If I devoted myself to people learning how to become better people, and they did? Isn’t that better than anything I could’ve done for myself? God is left off of that silly list completely. It was made by the world, for the world, and I don’t conform to this world anymore. I was never meant to. And I see now that I don’t have to become superwoman by age 30 to be happy. In fact, I might be happier by then if I devoted more of my time to serving God, building a relationship with Him, helping his people, and learning who I am and what my purpose is.
I attended a seminar at church about marriage this weekend. During the seminar, there were 3 commitments being suggested for spouses and future spouses. One commitment stuck out to me more than any other- that you’ll put all of your hopes and dreams in Christ.
When I thought about my hopes and dreams… I couldn’t help but immediately notice that they all rely on my spouse. He may not ever even exist and I’ve placed the weight of my world onto his shoulders. But this commitment is important for more reasons than the fact that I may become a wife someday. It’s important because I never realized that I was placing a significant chunk of my life dreams on the shoulders of a human. And the other chunk, well I’d placed them on my own shoulders. I stopped to think about whether or not that is the true reason I feel like I’m in quicksand. I’ve shifted my focus and my trust, my faith away from God, the One who promised me my success. The only One whom I’m already in a covenant with. I’ll write another post about this, but in my deep thought I came to the conclusion that #1 I’m severely distracted by the world around me and I need to unplug (and I don’t just mean social media) and #2 I’ve got to come up with a battle plan to combat the things that interfere with God and me when he’s guiding me back on track (such as my morning depression).
I’ll be writing more soon. Wish me luck.