March 9, 2020
Familiar with Dear Abby or another advice column? Notes from Camp is our version!
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Today’s Life Lesson: Life is more than a bunch of homework assignments.
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Word of the Week: Worthy
So, every few months now for the last couple of years ( I’m in my early thirties) I find myself obsessing about not hitting the typical life “milestones” that my friends are doing – getting married, buying a house, having kids, etc.
I’m in a committed relationship and see myself marrying my current partner someday. We’ve been slow on buying a house or even moving into a new apartment though – mainly because we feel just so cozy and happy where we are. I do want to get engaged or married eventually, but also kind of nervous for that whole thing going down. I want to have kids one day but I am in no rush.
I love my life the way it is right now, but I am worried because the majority of my friends are married, have children, and (the ones not living on either east or west coast) have bought a house. Lol while writing this I’m getting mad at myself for not having “achieved” those things, and concerned that I am some super freak for not being on the same timeline as most of my friends.
My Type A side feels like I missed a huge homework assignment: find a husband and get married, have babies. I feel like I have missed some major life test, but on the other hand I’m 33 years old and I love my life and I don’t want those things (marriage, home, family) to be something I rat race towards. I also compare myself to my parents at my age, and worry I am aging out of the possibility of having those things.
Am I behind? Should I just turbo-rush these things through? I have seen friends do that.
Maybe being in your 30s is just a weird, confusing time!
Thanks for all you do E! Love the Monday Vibes!
Gosh, I feel like you are reading an entry from my diary! I am constantly feeling like I am missing “homework assignments” (I love how you put that). Isn’t that interesting, though? That we feel like life is a bunch of homework assignments?
This is on purpose, by the way. These homework assignments. It’s how our society makes money and keeps people (especially women) believing that they are powerless. It’s all a hoax, though. Whether or not we reach these milestones in no way reflects how worthy we are as a person. We are worthy just by being human.
I know how hard it is to tune all these voices out, though. Especially with social media shoving daily reminders in our faces about how “behind” we are. I often find myself getting jealous of things I don’t even want, like a house.
I’ve found it’s super important for me to ground myself in my own hopes and dreams and values so when I feel like a feather in the wind, grasping aimlessly onto other people’s ideas success and happiness, I have a way to come back to what is important to me.
So, ask yourself, what is important to you? What do you truly care about? Oftentimes, it has nothing to do with these life milestones. For example, I don’t want a house but I do yearn for a sense of stability, spaciousness, and community. These are very different things than buying a house. However, these feelings get activated when I see other people buying houses and I get tricked into thinking homeownership is at the root of my longing (when that’s not the case). It’s important to get clear on what you long for so you don’t chase after the wrong thing.
More than anything, be compassionate with yourself. You are in a tender stage of life. There are a lot of changes happening around you and it’s no wonder you are pausing to question your own choices. Comparisonitis is real and you are taking a brave step to examine what you truly desire. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to do life. Do what feels good to you.
Ask Yourself: When do you get activated by feelings of comparisonitis? What do you find yourself desiring? Is this truly what you long for or is there something even more potent beneath this longing?
Weekly Mantra: I am worthy just by being human.