When You're Not as Far Along As You'd Hoped to Be
There have been a handful of moments where it is like if I listened in close enough, I could hear myself breaking. And one of those moments for me has been under the heaviness of feeling like I am not as far along as I should be.
As a teenager, I had these really romantic ideas of what my future would look like. I imagined that maybe I'd have a family, or a bursting career, or a published book, or a beautiful home. I had these expectations of what this perfect life would look like as an adult woman.
The more I grow up and the closer I get to thirty, it can feel like those teenage expectations are a quite a different reality than the one I wake up to every morning. That difference can sometimes feel like a heavy weight on my heart to "get it together."
Like I am running behind, that I need to catch up, that I am too far gone, that I must rush to get somewhere I defined many years ago.
So the question I have when I strip it all away is, "what I am rushing for?" Is it simply that I am running to fulfill this teenage expectation or was there something about that vision that told me this is what success looks like? And so to not have it now is telling me something about how much of a success I am.
That is why I think it is a dangerous feeling to feel like I'm not as far along as I need to be. And why I think it may be dangerous for you too.
Because the reality of it is that we are right where we need to be. That not being where we "should be" leaves no room for the adventure or for the journey of this life, of fulfilling dreams, of building relationships. It leaves no room.
It glorifies the end point without ever giving credit to the moments that led to getting there.
And the difficulty of that is that is pushes us to provide results without ever taking into consideration who we are or how we are. It tells us to sacrifice ourselves on the altars of achievement as it calls to us, "just show me what you can do." It doesn't take into account anything about joy, about purpose, about significance. It is like a master in a factory demanding perfection.
So what I am wondering is that maybe it was never about the getting there, but about the way our hearts were formed in the process of the getting there.
You know, what are the things that we really dealt with? How did we grow in love? How did we learn to grapple through our own fears? Where did joy rise in us? How did integrity play out from within? What did we let go of and what were we able to finally receive?
The answers to those questions aren't found in the names in burning lights. The answers to those questions are found in the mundane moments that no one ever sees.
So maybe you're not where you thought you'd be, but maybe you are right where you need to be. Maybe you can look around you and see growth and beauty in you. Maybe you can look at your life and see not just what you've done, but also how you've transformed.
Maybe you can find the simplicity of being an imperfect woman in the perfect place. And maybe that is the sweetest success of them all.
That you are a living, breathing human life that is making her way to greatness.