A friend recently asked me if I felt like life was passing me by or that time was ticking by faster and faster. He and I are both in our early 30s, childless, and in monogamous dating relationships but not married.
I responded to his email, and said, “In a nutshell, yes. But let me write a longer response, too.”
I’d have to be blind to not notice the barrage of Facebook posts related to births of friends’ babies, little cuties dressed up for Halloween, or conversations regarding pregnancy and its pros and cons. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t also viewed countless photos of weddings, 10-year anniversary trips, and perfect-looking family pictures.
Thanks to my own experiences in life, I know that things aren’t always as perfect as they appear.
I was married (twice), and in both relationships, things probably looked adorable, affectionate, and admirable to outsiders, including close friends and family. There were good moments, but there was obviously more bad than good, or I wouldn’t be writing about it all in the past tense.
It’s easy to convince people I’m happy even when I’m not. I did it for years.
The difference now, in addition to the fact that I don’t pretend to feel things I don’t feel and fake appearances, is that I’m actually happy. I’m truly content. I’m at peace with my place in the world, with the pertinent relationships in my life, and with my Perfect Love, who persistently proves to me that He Is Who He Says He Is. Have there been times when I was miserable? More than you know. But I don’t have to be miserable. It’s a choice, and I’ve chosen to change what I can. Just because each circumstance doesn’t suit my taste doesn’t mean it has to ruin my day. Just because things need improvement doesn’t mean I can’t celebrate the progress I see today. So, dear friend, in response to your question, yes and no.
Yes, I’m aware that most of my friends who are in my age group are having babies or raising children. I’m aware that almost all of them are married (happily or unhappily, but married nonetheless). I’m aware that several fellow alumni now hone graduate degrees.
But no, I don’t feel that life is passing me by. I feel very much in the center of time, of right now. I find joy every day in what I do, whether it’s advising a student at my very wonderful part-time job, folding countless pairs of work jeans for James, or hiking in my own picturesque and gigantic backyard. I’m right where I’m supposed to be right now doing just what I’m supposed to be doing. I know this because I just try to do the next right thing, and I’m doing the best I can do, and between God and me, everything’s kosher.
I don’t want anyone else’s life, and I don’t want what I do not have. By a miracle, I presume, my Higher Power has opened my eyes to see that everything is what it is. I am who I am and where I am today. I am not just accepting reality. I’m giving thanks for it, rejoicing in it, and immersing my soul in every precious second of it as it comes. Because it won’t come again.