After much thought, I have decided that I am stuck inbetween life stages. I've been having sort of an ongoing conversation with friends lately about the expectations of what comes with our respective ages and the steps that we have or haven't taken.
The evolution of my life goals has been up and down. I waver back and forth on the when and how of it all. At 18 I wanted to be married by 22, kids by 25 and I had no career ambitions other than to graduate from college. At 20, I stopped caring about school, went through a horrible apathetic period and considered getting married to my boyfriend at the time who was a nice person but nevertheless not marriage material to say the least. At 22 I decided marriage could wait, possibly forever, and switched my major to psychology. At 23, I re-evaluated friendships, relationships and school. I graduated, I cut people out of my life that treated me badly, and I broke off a going-nowhere relationship.
Everything in my life has changed in the past 4 months. Shockingly I no longer define my life in terms of a timeline or marriage. There is so much pressure to fit into this mold of what everyone else wants you to be. Pressure to accomplish these milestones so young. So many of our friends and sisters (sorority) have gotten married and started careers or families, we start to wonder what is wrong with us, and why we haven't gotten there yet even though we know we're not ready.
The challenge is learning to set your own personal goals to reflect whats right for you as an individual, not what you think you're supposed to want. I struggle with this everyday. I started grad school because I wasn't ready for the alternative, and I am sticking it out because I know it will be worth it in the end, and I need this time. In-between time to stop worrying about what everyone else is doing and decide exactly what it is I want. I've never spent much time on that. Starting with the basics so far I have; finish grad school, stay close to family and remember the value of our family company, and to appreciate the relationship I have and enjoy it without putting so much pressure on forever.
Check back in another year. I lay awake in bed this morning and realized I am 24 years old. I'm not sure when that happened. I have no idea where I will be next year, but I can finally say I would honestly not change a thing. Everything I've been through, every choice I've made good or bad has brought me to this point.