The Happiness of Growing Up

Growing up, I’ve always had a sense of feeling like I was on a perpetual delay.  Like I was three time zones behind the majority of my friends or something.  I didn’t really start dating until I was a sophomore in high school, I lacked direction when it came to college, I worked a variety of jobs that never suited me and I felt like I was always a few steps behind where I “should have been.”  I saythat because I do feel like I’m comparing myself to society’s standards, but at the same time, it did take a while for me to get my shit together.

While I was moving around the country trying to “find myself,” my friends were getting engaged.  While I bounced around from college to college, my friends were getting married.  While I bartended and stayed up until 5am and slept til 3pm, my friend were having babies.  I just felt like I was bopping around in a totally different universe, and often times I felt like the universe was population: One.  Just me.  I wandered around aimlessly, waiting for life to tap me on the shoulder and invite me to join or something.  For the life of me, I couldn’t get it together.   

When I finally got it together enough to graduate college last May, I felt triumphant.  I felt as though I’d really accomplished something that was important and of significance, and not just for my family, but for me as well.  It’s not to say that I never felt like I wasn’t good enough or any of those things, I just really wanted something that was “mine,” and getting that diploma was it.

I’m learning slowly but surely that happiness is what you choose.  It’s not what society wants or what your friends do, it’s what makes you happy.  If it’s a little different than what most people do, that doesn’t make it wrong – it can be just fine if you do it your own special way.

Chris and I buying a house together has been yet another milestone that I’m incredibly proud of.  The process has most definitely not been easy, but it’s just shown that we can be a great team together during challenging times and that we’re capable of succeeding. 

While I’ve deviated from what most people consider to be “normal” (or societies expectations), I’m finding that I’m happy with my life and what I’ve done with it.  It may have taken me longer to get to where I need to be, but the detours were often times fun.  I’ve had a lot of life experiences, (some were better learning experiences than others) and if it weren’t for all of those different experiences, I would most certainly be a different person. 

I’m just proud.  I’m proud of where I am today and I’m proud that I don’t have to compare myself to other people in order to find happiness anymore.  It’s a really great feeling and I recommend you try it.


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