I’ve mentioned this on the blog before, but my life at 30 doesn’t look like I thought it would’ve looked when I was younger. If you would’ve asked me at 15 or even 20 what I thought my life at 30 would look like I would’ve probably said that I’d be married and adopting my kiddos by now. Well even Stevie Wonder can see that that’s not what’s currently going on with me now. I had a timeline in my head, and if we’re being honest those timelines are dangerous.
I’m super grateful that my parents never really pushed those kinds of timelines on us, in fact, they haven’t asked me for grandkids. Now I don’t know if this is because my other siblings all either have kids or are pregnant, but my grandparents and other relatives have asked when I planned on reproducing. This of course always leads to me reminding them that I plan on adopting and that yes, they’ll really be my kids and not rentals (I swear I’ve been asked that). I used to get really pissed about being asked those questions, but I finally understand that there’s this unwritten timeline for women, especially those of us in the South.
Steady boyfriend in high school and/or college.
Married & homeowner between 22-24.
First pregnancy and baby by 25.
Second pregnancy and baby before 27.
Now I know that some of you are probably rolling your eyes at this because it looks ridiculous, but what’s scary is that this is fairly common. In fact, it’s so common that I’ve had friends and even acquaintances tell me that they feel “behind” because they’re 30 and chose to pursue their career or higher education instead of settling down early. They feel “behind” because their friends are on baby 2 or 3 before the age of 30, while they’re still dating around.
Y’all! We’ve got to stop believing the lie! I tell women all the time to disregard that timeline bullshit because that’s what it is. Bullshit. Don’t knock your educational achievements because you don’t have someone to “share” them with. Nine out of ten times you do, your other loved ones! Parents, siblings, friends, folks you meet at the bar while celebrating the fact that you passed the bar, got that promotion or even got into your Ph.D. program. One of the ladies in a Facebook group I’m in dropped a truth bomb this past weekend and I want to share it with y’all.
Here’s the thing…signing a document that legally ties you to another person and procreating are not accomplishments. They aren’t something you earn by working very hard and honing skills and sacrificing for. They’re just life events.
Being “behind” in life is a myth perpetuated by a society who says that your value only comes from being tied to other people like a spouse or a child. Life isn’t a game to be won. It’s not a ladder to see who can climb to the top fastest.
YOU get to decide what success in life looks like for you. You get to choose. Your path may look different than someone else’s but no one is ahead or behind.
That spoke to me on so many levels, and I knew that I had to share it with y’all (with the author’s permission of course). Here’s the thing, I want to be swept off of my feet and experience that 90’s R&B kind of love. Not that struggle, begging to be taken back because he cheated or was abusive kind of love, but that good, all-consuming love folks used to sing about. In fact, I went to a 90’s R&B event this past Saturday and that’s what we were shouting out all night. If it’s at 90’s R&B love, I don’t want it. But I want it on my own terms and on my own timeline.