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I didn't follow the marriage and kids trend that my peers did... Here's my biggest regret.

Updated: Feb 21, 2018

Some would probably say that comparing yourself to the person next to you is inevitable and that it is a part of our human nature. I would have to argue that comparisons happen as a result of feeling inadequate with the qualities that you possess on your own. With so much research and studies proving that we compare ourselves to another person's highlight reel is very true and through my own experience I had to gain the courage to stand in my own truth...Whatever that meant for me. From a young age we are growing with this group of individuals but we never think of it as comparison because we are in the same place in life together such as middle school, high school, college etc. The comparison begins when we have to begin taking on life on our own after college is over and everybody goes their separate ways. Sometimes we don't manage to move away from "group think" or cohort development and we often times compare our lives to what others in our age bracket are doing or what society says we "should" be doing. This kind of thinking must end... like seriously.

I realized I was not ready.

All of my friend girls and guys from high school and college began living their lives in a way that was unfamiliar to me. That way was simply being joined to another person ( as I am the highest level of introvert, you could understand my imperative need to be with oneself only). Whether it was in a relationship, marriage, or through a shared child I saw that my peers were making what I considered to be "really big moves" and for me, I just was NOT ready for that. I barely felt like I was scratching the surface of my real autonomous life, how could I give all that up for a man, a child, or both! I did not subscribe to what my cohort of friends were doing and for the most part it made me uncomfortable, but to them I was characterized as "unstable" or "too independent". When you leave college you're barely 21 years old. I know that our earlier generations moved at this rate and that was their cultural norm. Something deep down in me was just not ready to take that kind of leap, and honestly a question I asked myself for a long time is... "Is something wrong with me or is something wrong with them?"

The Blame Game

When you make a decision to do something or not to do something you usually have a reason why. The question is what variables are you using to weigh your decisions? For me, I looked at it plain and simple when it came to this term of "settling down"... I thought to myself that I don't want to be caged, suffocated, and silenced. To think that I associated these derogatory terms with "settling down" you would think I was the stereotypical man right? I know... But the truth is there are woman out there who want freedom just like men do. So then the question becomes, who made you this way? Why do you think like this? What are you so afraid of? I wish I could blame it on the relationships I've had in the past, or the kind of men I dated. I wish I could blame it on the fact that I come from a beautiful loving two parent home. I wish I could blame it on the friendships I let go of because they weren't conducive to my growth. However, the only person that is responsible for my train of thought is me and I completely accept it. What I want women like me to understand is, sweetheart, it's ok that you don't want those things in your life right now, tomorrow, or ever if you so choose.

The point is it's your choice and I have had to take time to become comfortable with the decisions that I make in my life.

There's a difference between settling and standards.

I'm pretty sure every #BossWoman that's able to think for herself has been told she will never find a man because her standards are too high (heavy eye roll). To me, there's a difference in settling and setting standards. I believe that a standard sets the tone and the foundation of your relationships with friends and significant others alike. I believe that a standard is where you hold yourself in high regard and you expect that your partner will do so as well. Standards are kinda like the instructions on the back of the baking box for the perfect pie recipe. If you have all these ingredients you should come out with a delicious pie. I consider my standards to be the ingredients needed to produce a finished product. Stay with me. With settling, its like disregarding the key ingredients and going for whatever you have in the pantry. The ingredients call for sugar, but since you have none in your pantry, you're just gonna use salt (eek!). The ingredients call for two flavor shots of vanilla, but since you have none your just gonna use the coconut oil you have in the pantry. Like, at this point it's not even a pie anymore. It may look like a pie when it's done, but I garuntee it won't taste anything like a pie. Why? Because the main ingredients were forfeited for something similar but not quite right. This is how I feel about a relationship. There are certain ingredients that I must have, and #thatpart my friends... is the standard. Now adjustments to the pie could include adding some pecans, or adding apples and caramel instead of apples and cinnamon. Adjustments don't necessarily mean settling because the main ingredients are still present. This can be compared to preferences in a relationship. You know what you prefer but you won't die without them.

Settling is making a complete drastic change to the recipe or the relationship and expecting the pie to still come out perfect or expecting the relationship to still prosper, which is simply delusional.

So you see... communication, christ, and connection are essential ingredients for me that cannot be substituted for something less than. So in essence, spare me with the "independent woman" notion. My creator knows what's important for my life and I will allow him to intercede on my behalf. The idea that some of my friends and peers have settled really bothered me for a while and here is my biggest regret... not speaking up sooner.

The Biggest Regret

Now anyone who knows me, knows that I have absolutely no problem in the area of speaking up about things that matter to me. However, in this case it's a little bit different because these were life decisions being made. I even remember in one friendship being threatened to either accept their significant other, or leave their life completely. I regret not speaking up and continuing to go with my first gut instinct. I see so many failed marriages and relationships around me now that I almost wish I would have just spoke up then and just lost the friendship at that time. As peer pressure sets in for people, some don't have the strength to back out of a bad situation and others don't even see the bad situation coming. However, I do believe all will heal itself and their future relationships will prosper like never before. Essentially, it's all about the timing. You have to do things when your heart and mind are ready. Never make decisions out of fear of losing someone or missing out. What is your will be yours and there is nothing no one can do to change or alter that reality.

Lesson Learned

Stand in your truth, no matter what it is. Something that took courage and isolation for me is the very reason I am thriving, whole, and happy at this juncture in my life. I have peace about my present and I'm extremely excited for my future. Understand that people have to make their own life choices and that doesn't mean you have to follow. Create your own path. Define your own success and live your own life. That is probably the most freeing thing you could ever do. I wish you blessings, love, light, and peace.

What's your experience like with your groups of friends? Share in the comments below!



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