This will be one of those posts if you haven't guessed by now.
When I was in my late teens, very early twenties - I really thought I had this whole life thing figured out. The idea of not being married by the age of 27 seemed insane to me back then. I was shooting more for the 24 mark on that event, and I wanted to start a family by 26. Back then, that seemed normal and do-able to me. Now - it is a downright laughable thought. I suppose it didn't help that most of my peers were 21 with an engagement ring on their finger and a kid on the way, but I was convinced that was how things would play out.
If you haven't guessed, that is not how things played out. I'm currently 27 years old and my left hand is not sparkly nor do I have a child on the way. However, I recently bought a home with the love of my life (6 years strong) and I could not be more content with where everything currently is. My dog means more to me than I think any child with the ability to speak ever could (sorry future children), I love my job(s), I have hobbies that have completely stolen my heart (hello, running) & I've accomplished things that I am so, so proud of.
But this does not stop the general public from commenting on my choices/where I currently stand in life. Attend ANY wedding with a family member or someone who has known you for more than a year and you will undoubtedly be harassed about "being next!" They'll ask "What is taking him so long?" and "Have you sat him down to talk about it?" Pretentious chicks in their early 20's will judge you for wanting to wait so long to have kids & criticize the fact that you're okay with having a dog instead of a baby at age 27. When any major event or vacation comes up, expect every single person to sulk away in disappointment when you inform them you did not get engaged during it. It could have been the best trip of your life, but apparently if you didn't get a ring - it was a waste.
Their opinion, not mine.
Do I want to get married? Yes, of course. Do I want to have kids? I'm sure I will one day. But why on Earth do people feel that it's okay to comment on MY LIFE and MY CHOICES? It infuriates me that Jim & I just spent our life savings on a house and everyone just CAN'T UNDERSTAND why we don't want to drop everything and plan a wedding. What's taking him so long? Maybe the fact that we don't want to spiral into debt over spending thousands of dollars back to back to back. That could have something to do with it. And why do I want to wait to have kids? I don't know, maybe because I'm not freaking ready to have a kid yet. I'm completely over people who think there's some set timeline you have to follow & if you don't - you're ruining your life. The same thing happened to me whenever I made the unpopular decision to stop going out to bars and getting hammered drunk around age 25. You get looked at like you have three heads and anyone who shares a different opinion will try and convince you that you're wrong. I'm fine with being "wrong" if that's the case, but please don't criticize me just because I want to do something different. I really love my life and that's because of the choices I've made. Being happy apparently isn't good enough for people anymore.
I've also had to cut some people out of my life recently, as well. That's never an easy decision, but it mainly just stems from lifestyle differences and criticisms as mentioned above. A big problem of mine was that I had a lot of friends who were younger than me, and I never expected my opinions and interests to change as much as they did when I hit 25-26ish. It kind of put a rift between me and some of those people, but at the same time it brought me closer to people I had drifted away from. The friends that I have right now are so incredibly loving & supportive, and they just understand me. If building stronger relationships with them means paying less attention to those who bring a bit of drama and negativity into things, then I am okay with making that change. I understand I might be criticized by some for doing so, but letting others' opinions weigh heavily on my choices is something I have also been working on letting go of. Things are much different than they were just a year ago, and I'm doing my best to look out for myself. I was never one to put my happiness first, but I'm starting to see how important that is.
I'm grateful for a lot of things - Jim, Luna, my family, my friends, my dancers, my jobs, my hobbies... Things might be different than I pictured, but in my opinion - they're better. I wouldn't trade who or where I am for anything, and I'm happy just seeing where the road takes me. Sometimes, it's best not to plan.