Do you ever feel like nearly everyone else’s life is progressing to the next level, while yours is stagnating?

Well, perhaps stagnating is pushing it a little; there are still little (some may say major) developments in your life – like the new job you took up, finally getting a place of your own, taking tennis lessons, dabbling in watercolour painting, keeping busy with rehearsals for upcoming performances, and that friendly cat you’re adopting. Pretty exciting stuff, admittedly – and arguably anything but stagnating.

But while your friends are getting engaged, starting families, and hunting for pre-schools, here you are, single (mostly in repair and recuperating, partly resigned to your fate), and hardly anywhere close to where they are.

Not that it’s bad or anything. Some days you look at how harrowed your married friends with kids are – have you packed extra diapers? how could you forget *didi’s Stinky Blankie! sorry guys, she’s due for a nap now – can’t stay! – and you’re secretly glad that you don’t need to deal with any of this. In fact, you wonder if you’ll ever be ready for all or any of this.

Which is a far cry from how you envisioned your future when you were a wee teenager.

At 15, you always thought that you’d study your way through to university, meet an amazing boy midway through your tertiary education, and you’d be married by 25.Your husband would have a stable job – an engineer, perhaps – whilst you’d either be a teacher or take on a job in the public sector. You would have at least two children – your first one by 27 or 28 – and the elder child would be a boy, the younger, a girl. Your family would be simple and ordinary, but loving.

The reality couldn’t be any further from the truth. Here you are, just a year short of the big three-O, exceptionally single, in a profession which you never thought you’d be good enough for (kudos – i’m proud of you), financially and emotionally independent, and the only kids you’re likely to fuss over are probably canine or feline – not human.

While you’re pretty much happy and contented most of the time – especially since you love indulging your inner introvert with books, songwriting, music, painting, long walks alone, and solo trips to cafes – there are moments when you flip through old pictures and realise that nearly every single person smiling back at you from that glossy memento from yesteryear is either engaged, married, or pregnant. (What an oxymoron – every single person? Pfft.)

Which makes you wonder – what on earth is wrong with me? 

The simple answer is – nothing.

Nothing’s wrong with you at all. I’d like to think that it’s precisely because you’re so well-adjusted and comfortable in your own skin, that’s why the universe is racking its brains trying to locate the best fit of a partner for you. In the meantime, you’ll always have enough to occupy your creative brain, sufficient faith to get you through the minor hiccups along the way, and most importantly, an abundance of love which never runs dry – because of the sheer goodness in, and of your heart.

So no, you’re not stagnating – you’re merely achieving lateral development in a world which focuses on vertical progression.

That’s all.

 

*didi – ‘younger brother’ in Mandarin 

 

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