This post is mostly just me rambling. I find when my thoughts are this fragmented and heavy it is best to write them out.
Lately I have felt like Wirt from Over the Garden Wall. He stated in a rather dramatic way,
Sometimes I feel like a boat upon a winding river twisting towards an endless black sea, further and further, drifting away from where I want to be, who I want to be.”
All day today I have had multiple experiences of late flash through my mind. Honestly, I’ve reached a moment in my life where I don’t fit into any mold for anyone my age in the workforce or social sphere. And it causes a lot of deep pondering. At 29 I feel on the brink of passing into another world, one which not many people talk about, because not many reach it.
It is a world where I have a plethora of choices laid before me. Choices I have to now make because life didn’t go as I planned. At 18 I didn’t think about a career, because I figured most girls married by 21 anyway so I wouldn’t need to worry about it. Well. . . obviously that didn’t quite happen for me. Big events in my life all fell out of order. So obvious choices I could make fall to the wayside.
To give you an idea, my life played out like this. At 18 I left home to go to college as a music major, an obvious choice since I loved music and performing. Within a year and a half I switched my major to history and lost my love for music. My childhood passion gone, my mind pointed in a different direction and I moved colleges and finished my degree at 23.
Well, there I was with my education finished and absolutely no idea what to do. So I went home and because a music teacher of all things. But I felt lost, so unsure of my decisions and my future. Fear gripped me hard at times and pushed me further into myself. Then at 24 I left for a mission, serving with those 7 to 8 years younger then myself, returning at 26.
When I returned I didn’t have a college to go back to nor a marriage waiting for me. So I came to Provo to work, wait and hopefully settle down.
But over two years have passed me by and now the future lays ahead like tumbled weeds, jumbled, messy and looking altogether useless.
When I talk to others about my desires for marriage not being in sight I receive now typical answers which could explain the why or the will be. I’ve had some tell me, “Perhaps you are meant to marry someone who is still married to someone else. You just need to wait until life puts him into a single position again.” You know, the standard Sleepless in Seattle scenario. Another person told me, “Many women don’t marry in this life but still find ways to be mothers and companions for others.”
Goodness knows I have heard all sorts of things, partially because I think people feel just a little sorry for me. I don’t fit into the mold. I don’t have a prestigious career and don’t have my own family. I am adrift looking forward into a future which is truly unknown.
I think it is easy to lay back and wait for any number of futures people tell me to come true. People tick off names of people I could become like, who were successful or who married famous people way later in life. It is easy to think, “Now that I am older I should start preparing myself for different goals and dreams because my previous ones no longer apply.”
It is also easy to become lost, adrift wanting and waiting for life to finally come. Waiting for something miraculous to just happen.
Because that is what happens to people in these types of stories. I could be like Eowyn from Lord of the Rings who could only see in her future death by the sword, a means she devised as an escape from a caged life. I could also become like Charlotte from Pride and Prejudice who settled into a loveless relationship because she feared she was on the road to spinsterhood and shame. Then again, I could be like Fanny from Mansfield Park who felt such pressure to accept marriage from a man she did not altogether trust.
I could be Sheri Dew, Wendy Nelson, or any number of successful women in this world who found happiness elsewhere outside traditional molds and stories. I really could.
But here is the thing. I am not any of these people. When people tell me what I should now expect because of my age, sometimes I just want to look them in the eye and say, “How could you possibly know what is in my future or what will happen to me?” Other times I want to scream how those lives people envision coming for me are not what I want.
Here is the kicker though. Do I even know what I want? If my future and life truly doesn’t fit into a workbook I can easily memorize and fill out where do I go to find out? Now, my life is a blank canvas and I have all the freedom in the world to make it what I want. But what picture do I want to paint?
The easiest thing would be to copy someone else’s life. Make myself one of countless people.
But you know what, NO ONE FITS INTO THESE SO CALLED MOLDS. All of our lives are set centered on our agency. I have the power to choose the destination and particulars of my journey. But I do get sidetracked. I fail to envision the possibilities before me because I see others passing by me with particular styles, accomplishments and talents. And in so doing, I never really understand myself.
I don’t think we are able to grow beyond our visions of ourselves. Therefore, I must change my perspective. I need to learn to BE ME. If I don’t know what I want to do, perhaps it is about time I figured it out.
The greatest truth I can leave anyone who reads this is, don’t let anyone steer you from creating your own life and finding your own answers. Be yourself, trust God and look forward. For “yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.”