As some of you know, I have a younger sister who likes to go against the grain. God love her, but it's true, and she will be the first to admit it. She's a rebel with many causes. Always has been, always will be. So... true to form, about a year ago, she came to my family to tell us she and her boyfriend... were engaged... to be married... before me... her older, single, sister.
Well, this wild child kicks off my summer of hell, wait... I mean, my summer of 8 weddings. And while I love and completely adore every single one of my friends and family who have decided to leap into the world of matrimony, I fear for my own mental well being in the months ahead.
"Why?", you ask. "Weddings are a blast.", you say. To which I will respond, "In theory, you are right." But I am certain this theory will be proven wrong, beginning with the conversion of my sister from Miss to Mrs.
I am submitting to the court, Exhibit A, "The life pressures of a young adult."
I remember the stress and anxieties I began to feel in the middle of my Senior year of high school, when family and friends started to inquire about my college plans, dreams, and future aspirations. Being that I am usually a hot mess, and don't normally plan out my next meal until my stomach has been grumbling for a good hour or so, I did not enjoy these interrogations in the slightest form of the word. I am a "one step at a time", "take things day by day" kind of extrovert. The word "plan" and I, do not get along.
I'll admit, I bring entirely too much stress upon myself due to this organizational deficiency, and it's definitely something I am working to improve upon daily (I am proud to say I now carry a pocket planner in my purse and I even check it everyday), however, I do feel that every inch of my life cannot and should not be minimalized and categorized into a minute-by-minute itinerary. I feel that when I try to embrace this "Type A" lifestyle and plans fall apart or chaos ensues or the system breaks down, I have major meltdowns, to which I am ill-equipped to cope.
Of course, I have dreams and hopes for my life, but I've learned that little to nothing in this world is guaranteed, so ya gotta just roll with the punches, for lack of a better cliché.
For some reason, detailed plans are expected of us 20-25 year olds and if we even elude to the fact that we may not have one in effect, a label of social leprosy is stamped upon our foreheads, and we are instantly regarded as someone who needs assistance, requires restructuring, or just needs to get their act together.
So, while I can't wait to celebrate the event of my younger sister entering into a new stage in her life, I am dreading explaining to people why as an older sibling, for now, I'm complacent with where I am in my life.
Honestly, I feel the reason why so many marriages do not work out nowadays is because of this enormous amount of pressure. Being a 25 year old woman, the pressure is on and steadily persistent from the "accomplished" and "successful" peers to settle down, meet that special person, buy a home, take summer vacations, achieve promotions at work, etc. Of course, all of these things are goals that I eventually want to be able to cross off a list, but if they are not reached within a certain time-frame, many young adults either shamelessly exploit themselves on countless dating websites in attempts to find a half decent suitor or enter into a panic and voluntarily commit themselves to a psychiatric ward.
Shouldn't we be more concerned with the impact we are making on the lives of others and on our community daily?
It's an idea that I think gets lost somewhere along the way. We are definitely in the age bracket of self-absorption, trying desperately to find our way, but I fear that our connect with the rest of the world is forgotten when we are so concerned with personal gain and benefit. It's a very scary thought.
So, I will speak on the behalf of the girls (and guys) who are in their mid-twenties... be it, they are single and loving it, or in a healthy, loving, un-married, un-cohabitated relationship, or happily working at a job that does not fall under their career field of choice, or hopeful of having children one day but in no rush to get pregnant, or still renting a one-bedroom shanty downtown (and in my personal instance, almost all of the above)... As much as we love you Planning Patricia's and Pete's and have the utmost respect for the decisions you have made for your own life, I will assure you... We are fine. We are happy. And we will figure out the details of our life when we can.
That is all.