Isn’t it funny how such good news can make us feel so sick?
One of my best friends got engaged a few days ago.
Don’t get me wrong, I am estatic for her. They are a wonderful couple that works to make each other better, and they have both grown a lot in the time that they’ve been together.
But it’s also another name to add to the list of people moving faster than I am.
My sister gets married this month. Another good friend gets married in October. Another close friend recently started a fairly serious relationship. An old roommate moved to a new state for work, and met a guy there only a few months later.
And while I am so excited for my friends and am celebrating with them, in my heart I feel a panic.
Is there some deadline that I am missing? Am I running late? Did I miss the memo?
So many people are continuing into this new chapter of marriage, moving onto the sequel.
But I don’t read as fast as they do. I’m not done with this story. Is that a bad thing?
I’m terrified of being left behind.
I had a conversation with a good friend last night, and she asked me how I felt about the recent engagement. I shared my excitement, but also my fear. And she shared something with me that surprised me.
She said that being the only one of her close friends to be in relationship often scared her. She said she sometimes feels as if she’s doing something wrong, or if maybe she should wait.
It’s easy to lean the way the majority leans. But what if what is right for the majority isn’t right for you?
In my sophomore year of college, a friend of mine moved 700 miles away to pursue her dream job. She was twenty years old.
This confused me. How could she feel ready to leave her friends, family, and everything she’s ever known? No one else in our friend group was moving anytime soon.
Yet even now, she firmly believes that she was called to move and still lives there to this day. Had she stuck with the majority, she would have never learned what she had. She would have missed an opportunity for growth.
Just because those around you move into a new stage of life, that does not mean you are to do the same. We must know ourselves enough to know what’s a good fit.
A few months ago, my counselor shared an analogy with me that also fits this situation.
“Do you like shoe shopping?”
“…yes, when I have money.”
“Of course. So you go shopping and you see the perfect pair of shoes, just what you were looking for. You try them on, but they don’t fit right. They’re too small. Or, when you walk around, they’re uncomfortable and they hurt. Does this mean that there is anything wrong with your feet?”
“No, of course not. It just means that the shoes don’t fit.”
Let’s say everyone around you is wearing birkenstocks. You want to fit in, so you buy a pair. But they’re uncomfortable and they’re hard on your heels.
There’s not anything wrong with you. Those shoes just don’t fit.
Chances are, you’re familiar with this feeling. Maybe it’s work related. Everyone you know seems to have their dream job—except you. Or perhaps it’s education. All your friends were accepted into grad school—you were denied.
But your timing is allowed to be different. Your life is unique to you.
It’s not supposed to look like everyone else’s.
Being left behind can be very scary, and it can pressure us to move onto something we might not be ready for, or something that isn’t meant for us.
Take your time to find your own path. Take your time to do what is right for you.
You’re not getting left behind. They’re just on another page.
And this page was meant for you.