On getting older and not conforming

The older I get, the more I don’t want to do what everyone else is doing. Actually, that’s not quite right. The older I get, the more comfortable I am not doing what everyone else is doing. I spent so much of my time (all 25 years of it; har) trying to fit in, to find my “niche”. But I’m thinking more and more that I simply have to carve out my niche; it’s not out there waiting for me to come fill it.

Free thoughts on getting older and not conforming

I was talking to Lucy’s godparents last month about what career I w

anted and when I should pursue it. I’ve always felt like I was in a race; as if I had to do everything RIGHTNOWWITHNOBREAKSDON’TBREATHE. And so I graduated college a semester early, got married young and started having babies young. None of that I regret. It’s just that now I’m in some sort of weird limbo. “I” have become “We” and “we” are now 4 – Ryan, myself, Lucy, and Brooks. And that can get overwhelming and a little frustrating sometimes. So anyway, I was talking to Miguel about the benefits of pursuing a Ph.D. in Economics sooner or later and how to go about that and whether it would ultimately be beneficial to my family and myself or whether it is a purely selfish pursuit. It was a good conversation, filled with great advice. But it was the side conversation, really just a few short sentences from Xhonane afterward that really have stuck with me. Lucy is only 2, Brooks is due in August, Ryan and I have been married for all of 4 years. God only knows where we will be next month, let alone next year. So she took me aside and reminded me that my family is young and I have all the time in the world really. “Why don’t you take this time now, while your children are young, and learn about being a mother and wife. You can read about everything you are interested in right now.” So basically she was saying “slow down. learn your priorities. learn how to live those first, then everything else will follow.” And that’s really stuck with me.

So now I’m reading about Charlotte Mason and Maria Montessori. I’m listening to podcasts because I like them, not because I think someone else would approve of them. I’m trying to take time out of my day to intentionally play with Lucy each day. We’re doing storytime once a week. Today we played in the rain. And the more I think about it, the more I think my family doesn’t fit in with a lot of what mainstream and even non-mainstream people think is “normal”. And I don’t want us to. Ryan’s job with Southwest opens so many opportunities to us for travel, just not to popular destinations during peak seasons. Plus we have specific goals for our money right now that will evolve obviously as we reach those goals. On top of that, we don’t know really how many children we will have, though we’ve thought about it a lot. What we want for our family (small home, big city, walkable area and by walkable I mean we can live with one car) it seems like most people don’t want. We just don’t fit in. Before, that would have worried me and I would have tried harder to change us to be more…I don’t know. Acceptable? But now my mantra is lately “You do you. I’ll do me” and BOY is that freeing.

I’ve decided to start a little something called “Free Form Fridays”. The idea is thus: I’m just going to write what I’m thinking, as I’m thinking it. No editing. No worrying about flow or paragraph styling. I always enjoyed this style of essay when we’d read it in school. It was like really delving into the writer’s mind, all the twists and turns and connections that that writer was making but weren’t always or sometimes ever apparent to the reader. 

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4 thoughts on “On getting older and not conforming

  1. I totally sympathize with this. I’ll be 25 when my first is born and I feel like “Oh no, I’m behind if I don’t have every perfect detail about my future hashed out!” But we are very young and life and its events (small and big) move us along no matter what. No need to rush it! I joke that sure we don’t have a nursery, and our front door jams so we have to really mmph it to close it, and there’s no ac in the kitchen – but we’ve gotta enjoy getting those things. It’s a journey, and it’s good to have things to look forward to. I mean how boring would it be to have everything figured out at 25?

    Love the free form idea! Kudos to you for being honest, I really appreciated this post. 🙂

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    • Haha, we had a nursery for Lucy and she has yet to spend any time in it. It got changed into an office/dressing room.

      Right, having it all figured out already would be so..blah. Sometimes Ryan and I feel like we’ve made it to the finish a little too soon – married, house, kid + kid on the way, good job (him), stay at home (me). But then Lucy goes through a stage that has us exasperated, or I’ll read something that leaves me just so thankful for my family and I’m reminded that our journey’s are never going to end, really.

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  2. I love this post. Honest. Real. Something I still struggle with. I feel like I’m racing towards…well I don’t know what I’m racing towards honestly.

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    • Exactly! I can’t figure out what I was in such a hurry for through high school and college (well, I was in a hurry to marry Ryan but that’s because LOVE 🙂 ). Where did I think I was going?

      Like

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