My first boyfriend just got engaged.
Before you start squirming about what a stalker I am, allow me to point out that:
A) He was my “boyfriend,” um, 12 years ago (gulp. I’m old);
B) I use that term loosely given we mostly held hands and chatted on AIM;
C) We stayed friends far beyond that two-month relationship; and
D) We’re Facebook friends. And all this stuff is on the Internet.
I’m not upset about R. getting engaged. Though I cried my 15-year-old eyes out when we broke up via AOL Instant Messenger, that was approximately 10 billion years ago. I’m now in love with a man who knows me — really knows me — and have a job I enjoy, a family who supports me. A roof over my head. A little change in my pocket. I’m happy.
What I am upset about? The fact that everyone I know is old enough to be engaged. Heck, that many people I know are not merely engaged but married and starting families and making real, honest-to-goodness adult decisions. My own boyfriend is a homeowner, for cryin’ out loud. We all have debt and are more concerned with the state of our health insurance than what we’re doing on a Saturday night.
Or maybe that’s just me. Those books aren’t going to read themselves, you know.
I’ve drafted a post similar to this one a hundred times but never hit “publish.” Probably because you can find variations of this “We’re all growing up!” consensus on most blogs written by 20-somethings, and I know I’m not adding anything new to the conversation. But I think there’s comfort in solidarity. In another person shouting into the void, “I’m with you. You’re not alone.”
No matter your age, we all experience growing pains.
Life is messy. It’s complicated. It’s tough not comparing yourself to others, wondering where and how you measure up. Are you ahead? Behind? Stuck somewhere in the middle?
It’s impossible to know. And does it really matter?
I don’t think so. And Facebook isn’t helping me decide.
Lest this dissolve into a “Facebook is evil” rant, I’ll curb myself by saying this: I’ve had to work hard in recent years to cultivate confidence that life is unfolding just as it should. “All things in time,” as they say. Scrolling endlessly through a newsfeed — comparing, contrasting — doesn’t bring me peace.
In three weeks, I’ll be 27. The years pass too quickly . . . and I’ve had a frightening sense of that since I was a child. There’s just so much I want to do. And see. And experience.
And I’m not a little kid anymore. Neither is anyone I know.
But jealousy isn’t a good look on me. If I start to get the “comparing” bug, I pour water on that out-of-control inferno immediately.
Most of the time, anyway. I am only human.