Career Life Relationships

A response to “Single and not waiting”

Since “Single and not waiting” was posted, it has been a bit overwhelming. OK, very overwhelming. (I’m a prairie girl whose high school graduating class consisted of 14 people. No joke.)

But it has also been exciting and encouraging. Thank you to those who have read and responded with encouragement.

(On a side note: please stop asking me out over the Internet (you know who you are). While I’m flattered, I think you’ve missed my point. We are all aware of the ad for Christian Mingle that is hilariously situated next to the article. There’s a reason I haven’t signed up.)

While “Single and Not Waiting” is (clearly) about singleness, it’s also about something deeper. Whether you’re married, single, or in high school, there is something tempting about longing for greener pastures. When you’re a kid, you can’t wait to be an adult. In middle school, you can’t wait for high school. And when you’re in high school, you can’t wait to graduate and get out of there. We all have a tendency to count the days.

But there is something common about those childhood experiences; we generally go through those stages with the people around us. And then when school’s over, you’re surrounded by people who are going through different experiences; it feels as though you’ve been held back a year. As if everyone else is advancing, and you just didn’t make the grade.

So many of you are right. At 23, I haven’t been waiting long. I do not understand what it feels like to wait 10 or 20 years. But my experience of watching others go on ahead to different life stages has caused me to feel at times like I’ve missed the boat. Like I’ve been held back.

And I’m not the only one. I have friends who are dating who feel this way about others around them getting married. And clearly, many singles have identified with the experience of watching those in their age category date and marry around them.

You might be the last one to graduate university, the last to discover your career path, or the last one to have a child. And it probably feels like you’ve been left out.

But we’re not in grade school anymore. And keeping that mentality is hurting us. Because when we are constantly living ahead of ourselves, we miss out on what God has for us now, in this moment.

Whether it’s a relationship or career success, we need to stop counting the days. The concept of what our lives should look like at a certain age is somehow engrained within us. We feel obligated to follow it. We look to it, and to those around us to tell us where we should be, rather than looking to Christ.

But we’re chasing after a carrot. And I think we’re exhausted and worn out.

We already have everything we need.

Having dreams and desires about the future isn’t wrong. (Carrots are a healthy vegetable, after all.) And of course feeling like you’re missing out on what everyone else seems to have is going to crop up now and again.

But don’t miss out on today. Embrace the fact that your life should not always be expected to move at the same pace as everyone else’s, that there is not a set storyline you must follow. And stop and consider what you are counting the days for.

Flickr photo (cc) by bthomso