I feel like I’ve spent a majority of my life jumping from footprint to footprint in some endless game of ‘the floor is lava’. Except instead of lava, I’m trying to avoid being stunted by my own self-deprivation.
I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I still don’t. I’m the kid that didn’t realize scrunchies were cool until caboodles were cooler. I didn’t get the memo that I should invest time nurturing my identity when I was younger, so that I wouldn’t graduate high school having little to no ambition, or the slightest clue about what direction my life should head in.
I spent my early adult years in a toxic relationship, making bad decisions and wasting valuable time; while most of my peers were getting an education and moving forward with their lives. I held myself back out of fear, lack of self-love, and stubbornness. I didn’t believe that I could be a successful adult, so I planted my roots where I was familiar.
Most of my friends started to get married, have kids, graduate college – all the while I remained stagnant and unmotivated. I didn’t know what I was good at. I didn’t have any special skills. The idea of being someone’s wife or mother terrified me. I spent a lot of time wondering what my purpose was, curious if this shitty limbo was where I was meant to stay. I couldn’t find worth in who I was.
The good news is I survived my stupidity. I eventually accepted that I do deserve a healthy, loving relationship. I became a mother, despite my fear of failing. My kid is pretty awesome, and so far, I’ve managed to keep her alive and happy; so I’ve got that going for me. I have a few solid friendships I haven’t completely managed to destroy, and a job that pays the bills. Still, there are some days that I struggle with finding my place in the world.
(I don’t mean for this post to be the pity-party speech that doesn’t know when to quit itself. I just wanted to extend an olive branch to those of you who may feel the same.)
I would be lying if I said I didn’t play the comparison game. I do wish I was already married. I sort of want the fairy tale wedding. I am a little envious of parents who can afford to frequently travel with their kids. Who have the big homes with the wrap-around porches and the acre of land. The ones who did it right from the beginning. They bought the house and laid down the foundation. I’m 31 and don’t know what it’s like to buy a new car or a brand new piece of ‘adult’ furniture. Sometimes I just can’t shake the feeling of inadequacy.
So here’s to the under dogs. The group of us still trying to get it right. The ones that feel like their feet are stuck in wet concrete. I understand. It’s hard to move forward with your head held high when you can’t find the motivation to keep going or the confidence to drive you. We’ll still get there, even if we are a little behind.