I haven't even been 30 for a week and I already feel like I'm lagging behind. I remember in my early and mid twenties when everyone was either getting married, settling down, graduating from college, getting full time jobs, having kids, or all of the above. I knew that life phase was coming, had learned about it in a college class, but it still stung a little. I thought it would pass by the time I turned thirty, but now there's a new wave of friends getting married (or remarried, as the case may be), having kids, getting jobs. Once again I feel left behind.
Logically, I know there is no good reason for this. I am not a huge failure. I am able to pay my own bills, keep my cats fed, and work on my relationships with friends. The only outstanding debt I have is to my parents, since they paid for my school, and hell, I'm even managing to pay them back right now. They are proud of me. My boyfriend is proud of me. My friends are even proud of me.
But none of this changes the fact that I constantly judge myself by society's standards. Sure, more people are getting married and having kids in their thirties. But there is still some stigma to it. It seems like that is only acceptable if you're working hard on your career (and I don't think a part time job counts). I don't want to feel negative about it, I want to be positive and happy for my friends. I have known for most of my life that my internal tune is different, and I thought that I had made peace with that. But I truly did think that I would have kids by now, that I would be on my way through an adoption and fostering process. It hurts to know that having kids might still be a long way off, because I have wanted kids since I was a teenager.
I know that I need to accept this feeling of nostalgic loss in order to move on and grow, but it's proving to be quite the challenge. I know that I will come out stronger for it in the long run. No challenge is presented to us unless the Universe deems us worthy. I just have to find reasons why I love my life (I get to work with kids, my friends let me play with their kids, I can always make my car payments, I only have to worry about feeding myself and my cats), and hold on to them.
This too shall pass, and I'm sure I will miss this life when I'm up all night with a screaming baby of my own.