The older I get, the more I realize that everyone is doing what they THINK they should do. Okay, maybe not everyone, but I'd say the majority of people. Graduate high school at 18. Go to a four year college. Graduate with crippling student debt and a dozen or more notches in your bedpost. Jump right into a corporate job that sucks your soul and makes you miserable. Be conditioned to think that you like it. The money's good, right?
Except I didn't do any of this. After graduating high school, I didn't get into the college I'd been dreaming about. I got a full time job at a small business. I went to community college off and on. I developed some marketable skills and accidentally started a side business. I didn't date a single person. I learned about myself and grew as a human.
Some days though I feel like I missed out on all the deadlines. Now I'm 28 and so many of my friends are getting married and having babies. I'm nowhere near that. And every day, I realize that I'm grateful for missing most of those deadlines.
I haven't found a man to marry yet. I barely feel like I know myself some days so this feels totally reasonable. I'd like a man in my life, of course, but I'm complete without one. It would just be a bonus.
I don't really want kids. A lot of people around me insist that I'll have them. Maybe I will and maybe I won't. It doesn't make me less of a person if I don't. Right now, though, in this very instant, I'm so very glad that I am childless.
I screwed up the education thing a dozen times, but still ended up gaining a skill set that could potentially pay my bills. I've learned the value of art and of so many business skills. I don't always have to rely on a steady paycheck in order to make it. I've left jobs amicably. Ive left them not so amicably. I've been sued and I've missed the customers and coworkers that I've left behind.
I've made friends. I've lost friends. I've made enemies that have become my best friends. I've argued and I've fought with the people around me. I've let myself be a doormat and I've stood up for what is right. I've been stabbed in the back and told what a horrible person I am. I've been hugged a billion times and I've been told that I am an amazing friend.
It's been messy but it's been REAL.
All of these tiny things have taught me the most amazing lessons.
So I have to continually remind myself that it's okay that I haven't followed the so-called rule book that it feels like everyone else is following. I've become an amazing person and if one single thing had changed, I would not be the same. Doesn't mean I'd be any worse off, just different.