I tend to be someone who lives in the future rather than the present. I’m always thinking about where I’ll be 5 or even 10 years from now, and I think about what I’d like to accomplish or where I’d like to go. Lately, my Facebook feed and real life conversations have been revolving around family, marriage, and any topic related to the two. Since I can’t seem to escape these topics, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want out of them and what I don’t want.
When some of my friends started getting engaged, I wanted to jump on the bandwagon. I wanted to be a bride too and not because I was in love with someone, but because everyone else was doing it. I didn’t want to miss out on the fun of engagement pictures or dress shopping. I mean, look how happy they seem in their Facebook photos. Who wouldn’t want in on that action? Isn’t this just the thing to do in your twenties?
I think the idea of getting engaged can be related back to the mindset people have at age 10. You see all your friends wearing heelys, and it looks like they’re having a grand old time. They’re skating to school or out at the park. They’ve upgraded their lifestyle from the boring act of walking to practically flying down the street. Before you saw them, you knew heelys were a thing, but you didn’t think that much about them. After all, you can’t skate, and it’s not like you’re terrified of riding a bike because you hate falling. Yet, when you see your peers with these things, you want a pair too. Not because you love the idea of your sneakers acting as roller blades, but because you don’t want to be the only kid without them.
At first you beat yourself up for not being part of the trend, but as time goes on you realize that you don’t actually care about the heelys. Soon you’re even grateful that you didn’t get a pair because you’d probably be happy for a week before tossing them into the back of your closet.
This is how I feel about people my age getting engaged and starting families. I hated feeling left out because it’s difficult watching your friends move on to this part of adulthood without you. For me, I also felt like not having a ring by 24 meant I wasn’t maturing quick enough. What was wrong with me? Why wasn’t I finding the man of my dreams or even getting a simple movie date? Am I defective?
Now I’m starting to grow out of the “I think I want this because everyone seems to want this” mindset. I’m remembering that I don’t care much about marriage, and that it isn’t something I’m choosing to actively go after. If I end up meeting someone and we get together, great. If I don’t, well, that’s fine too. I don’t want to feel like I’m worth less because I haven’t found someone to be with. Not to mention that I don’t ever want the debate about changing my last name (because I don’t want to. My name is part of who I am), and I don’t ever want kids. More and more, I think I’m better off not following the trend.
Some people love heelys. Some don’t. Some think they need to love them. I say always be true to who you are (yes, I know this sounds cheesy). If you want those heelys, then go get them. Don’t let people stop you. If you don’t, then don’t. Don’t go after something because it seems to mark a section of adulthood or because you feel like it will give you value. You give yourself value – heelys or no heelys.