I went to this birthday party over the weekend and ran into a friend who asked me how I’m doing, what I’m working on, who I’m with, etc. I started in on this neurotic rant that barely left room for breathing… “I don’t know which things are gonna pan out and which aren’t, I’m almost thirty and I don’t even know what I’m doing or who I am or who I’m supposed to be or what I’m meant to be doing. I don’t know how to live in the grey area and my age sounds so much older than I know how to act! But I think I’m good, but I cant tell, what’s wrong with me?!” He looked at me and just started laughing. He put a supportive hand on my shoulder and said, “You are doing everything exactly how you should be doing it. You are asking all the right questions. You are doubting yourself in all the right ways. You are so much younger than you realize and will look back and see how all of these things put you exactly where you needed to be.”
Sometimes we’re standing with our nose up to the map and so we can’t see where we are. But if we step back and take a look, everything is right where it’s always been. We’re trained to doubt and question and be critical – and they’re the qualities that help us survive. But sometimes it’s important to have faith in ourselves and know that we’re doing the best we can and that’s the best anyone will ever do.
There was a time when a woman could just be a mom and a man could just have a job and everyone was satisfied with what they brought to the table. But now we want to be all things to everyone at all times. We want to be independent women who make our own choices, but we also want to be a mom and we want to run companies at the same time as not missing any soccer games. We want to look better than good for our age, we want to look ten years younger than we are. We want to stay in touch with everyone but be a great friend to those close enough to need it. We want to be approachable and kind but let people know we wont be taken advantage of. We want a man who will take care of us but not make us feel like we need to be taken care of. No one can win.
We are insatiable for perfection and as a result, no one feels like they’re doing enough. We can only see it in other people, how big of an impact they are making on the world, how good of a job they are doing. Which is why we always need to remind each other of it. Sometimes I see girls who are beautiful and successful and are the whole package. But because they aren’t married or planning a wedding, they think they can’t breathe easy. So I watch them dilute their worth. Getting too drunk in the lobby of a hotel, embarrassing themselves, hitting on the innocent twenty year old waiter, dressing like the younger girl they wish they were even though there is a woman at the next table who would give anything to be her age. They’re all chasing their tails. And everyone else just watches them running in circles, wasting time.
Every mistake is an excuse to laugh at ourselves, every wrinkle is proof that we lived and every disappointment is a reminder that we are still hopeful.
You’re doing so much better than you even realize. So live it up and enjoy it.
Featured image via http://deviled-angel.tumblr.com