"There's no reason we should spend so much time pining for another version of our lives. "
A co-worker of mine said that today in a discussion we were having about loneliness. The words really resonated with me. It seems like "growing up" means always waiting for the next version of life to begin. From wanting to be "a big girl" when we are toddlers, to waiting to get our driver's license, waiting to be 21, waiting to graduate college, waiting to get a job, waiting to get married, waiting to have children....everything is about the "next" and not about the now. What scares me about being in my late 20s is that I feel like I'm growing farther away from what I want from life. Actually what scares me is that I have no control over the things I want. After college, the milestones of life aren't controllable or certain. I knew that I would learn to drive, that eventually I would turn 21, that if I worked hard enough and studied diligently I would graduate college, now I no longer "know" if I will hit the next stages of life. I don't know if I will meet someone, I don't know if I will ever have a family. The "nexts" in life are not as certain as they once were. Statistically as I get older, the likelihood of marrying dwindles significantly; physically, my ability to bear children without an increased likelihood of complications decreases; and mentally, my openness to change of routine and solitary habits diminishes, as does my hope. My co-worker has a point though. Waiting for possibility causes stagnation and a narrow view of the definition of what "a good life" is. People always say that after someone dies, "she had a good life", but what does that mean exactly? They followed a formula? education + job + marriage + kids = peaceful death?? What does education - minor academic detour + job + moving across the country for fun + job in completely unrelated field + owning a copy of "He's Just Not That Into You" equal?