It all started when a number of people asked me, "Why aren't you married yet?"
Now, I can take it two ways. Those that asked knew me when I was in these long term relationship. And so it was assumed that in due time that the 'next step' would be that. Major deductive fallacy. And thank God that it is.. Or, they think that I'm "a nice girl" and that it's surprising that I haven't "caught someone" yet.. agh, seriously?! Grant it, most of these friends are from childhood or high school, so they aren't up-to-date with my current status quo. So, what seems like this irrelevant question to me is actually something appropriate despite these inconvenient feelings I have. I mean, we've all heard them before. Just in different forms. You know, those questions that if unable to provide an adequate response, a sense of discomfort and almost inadequacy rushes on by..
What college are you planning to go to? What are you doing after you graduate? Where are you going to move? What kind of work do you do? Are you dating someone? Do you love him (or her)? What's your next step? When are you guys having a baby?
I cringe to some of these questions, which is funny because I actually have answers to some of them! What I think makes these questions sometimes so difficult is that unless we have these stellar answers at hand that 1) not only are the answers people want to hear but also are 2) something that we are proud to say for ourselves. That is not to say that we do things in hopes to impress another person, per se. But there is this definite and almost immediate satisfaction when being ourselves leaves a positive impression with others, i.e. what we do and even more so who we are, are not only accepted but also attractive.
The reality is that there are these certain steps, these presumed check boxes of things we need (?) to accomplish in our lives. School, job, marriage, home, children, etc. Okay, maybe not all of it but it is suggested, in that order. And for good even logical reason, I believe. Now, before you go and hate on my lack of unconventional ways, I say this only because I am a clear byproduct of all that is non sequitur. Trust me, in that I am not coming from this high horse of conventionality, looking down to those who did not follow this proposed path. I respect and even appreciate the life I experienced, thus far. But I also wonder, would some of those difficulties, despite the lessons and the character I derived from those experiences (which mind you, wasn't always an easy task to find that damn silver lining) could I still have been as 'good' of a person given a more direct route. My friends that lived a more linear and traditional life are they not of the same value as I? And vise versa? If then we are valued the same, then why did my route to the same endpoint became so much more ___- consuming.
I hate that I can't give people more direct answers now in my life. I always was able to, until now. And yet, I am the first person to tell you that I am grateful for the path I've had. I just question its necessity if there may have been a shorter route. The quickest way from one point to another is a direct line. Given any deterence from that line, there is more time, more money, more energy put into that path. I leave this now with yet another question. Why? Why would that matter - in a specific time - in a specific way? Why do we think that our proposed 5-year plan is best? Why are expectations of others mean so much to me, to you, to anyone? Why. ... Okay but seriously, Why?