I try to keep what I write about pretty positive, because that’s the type of person I am. I’m also not one to get super vulnerable on here because it’s scary. But, as I enter into my late twenties, I figured why not open up? I’ve got nothing to hide. I also realize I’m not the only one who has ever felt this way. Maybe it’s quarantine getting to me, who knows. I turn 27 on Monday. I know for most people reading that they’re probably rolling their eyes and thinking, “that’s so young.” In the grand scheme of life, it is! But, for some reason it’s hitting me hard and has been as I’ve been approaching my birthday. A lot of it has to do with the fact that I’m only three years away from being 30. Does anyone else my age feel like there comes a point where all anyone focuses on is how we’re “almost 30” like it’s going to be the end of the world?? I’m guilty of focusing on it too! I think there’s so much pressure to have your life together by 30, especially as a woman because that’s when your “eggs are going to start drying up.” But, what does having your life together even mean? Figuring it out has been stressful to say the least. I think back to a couple years ago and the pressure then was even different. The pressure to get my life together was there, but it didn’t feel as urgent. I guess this is all part of the territory with being in your twenties.
Let’s rewind for a second and take a look back to Katie’s life plan that I literally can remember having since I was at least 13. I thought by this age I’d be married, starting a family, and own a home. Oh and have a dog! Let’s see, I’m very single, nowhere near starting a family and can’t afford a down payment, at least not in this area. Oh and no dog. As my mom likes to say, “epic fail.” Or at least that’s how I feel. I know, I know, you can’t plan out your life because it doesn’t work that way. Trust me, I realized that a long time ago. I think not achieving any of those goals mixed with not feeling like I have my life together is what has really brought on this feeling of true dread as I approach my birthday.
So, what constitutes having your life together? In my mind, it includes a routine where you get up at 5am and do a work out that is then followed by time spent drinking coffee while reading a daily devotional before showering and getting ready to then be at work at about 8/8:30am. After you complete your work day by 5pm, come home, cook your healthy dinner because I forgot to mention you’re disciplined in your eating and unwind before being in bed promptly at 9pm after having done your nightly skincare routine. On the weekends it means knocking out that long to-do list of life tasks around the house, doing some fun activity with friends and ending the weekend with going to church on Sunday. That’s just the routine portion of having your life together. The what I’ll call “asset” portion of having your life together in my mind includes owning a house but having enough money to still have a social life or do whatever it is you want, own a car, be in a committed relationship, have multiple plants that you’re keeping alive and again, have a dog. Why do I keep mentioning having a dog? I think it’s because dogs are responsibility and therefore being able to take on that responsibility shows maturity and therefore equates to having your life together. This is just what having your life together means to me and I’m sure your version includes some differences but maybe a lot of similarities too. Also, if you are someone who checks all those boxes, please contact me so you can tell me your secrets!!
Having this knowledge now of my failed life plan and what I constitute as having your life together to mean, will hopefully give you context as why for a while now I’ve been feeling like I’m walking around with a barbell on my shoulders with 45 lb weights on each side (I’m not that strong, I don’t wake up at 5am and work out every morning because I don’t have my life together, ok?!). Especially, the last couple of weeks. Last Saturday I woke up late morning with a headache from the wine I probably had a little too much of the night before. My room was, in my standards a mess, because I had been to lazy to put my shoes and clothes away earlier in the week. I got up to wash my face which was ironic because truthfully, I hadn’t showered in a couple of days. I just looked at myself which I hate doing because all I can focus on is the black bags and wrinkles under my eyes that have formed, and it kind of just hit me, “what the freak are you doing?” I spent the rest of the day thinking about literally everything and how I’m at the point, or honestly probably past the point, where I shouldn’t be acting or putting up with certain things in my life but I don’t know what to do. I couldn’t help but think, “It’s no wonder your so far behind on life plans or having your life together, you aren’t acting mature or in a way someone who does, should. You still call your mom for literally everything; Katie have you heard of Google?! You can’t even make a decision without your parents approval. GROW UP.” Y’all, we are our own toughest critics. Mom, thanks for being my own personal Google!
I don’t share all of this looking for pity, to play victim or because I’m seeking attention. Man, is that the last thing I want. I know I’ve made it sound like I never leave my bed or do anything and just sit with my sad thoughts. Well, actually with quarantine, there’s nothing better to do…kidding! I share it because I know I’m not alone in my thinking and feeling. I also share it because while a lot of the beliefs or wants I have I actually can’t control, there are some I can and that’s what I need to focus on. This past weekend, I was watching church and it talked about idolatry. My beliefs and views on what I should have, where I should be at my age, and what defines having your life together are idolatries that I should not follow or pay attention too. Don’t get me wrong, I think there are definitely some important factors that play into my beliefs like living in the D.C. area where the pace of life is fast and the focus is careers, social media and the constant visibility into everyone’s “perfect” life and then comparing your life to that (trust me I’m just as guilty as the next person for displaying certain “good” parts of my life just for social media), and also our parents and knowing where they were at when they were my age. All of these things I think factor into my beliefs and I’m not blaming anything or anyone as ultimately we do control our beliefs.
Moral of the story? I shouldn’t be idolizing this idea of having my life together or needing to have certain things in my life at my age when if I take a step back and look at all God has blessed me with and what I do have, I have everything I need and more. Heck, I do even check a couple of the boxes of having my life together. If I’m being honest here though, it’s hard for me to take a step back and feel that way sometimes. Ok, a lot of times. Now being one of those times. But, I do trust God’s plan as He has not failed me yet, and I know that this is just a season in my life that I’ll probably look back on and laugh at for how much time I wasted thinking and feeling upset because of idolatries that were somewhat self-imposed.
27, I do have high hopes for you, simply because 27 is my favorite number. I bet you all thought I was going to post some sort of inspirational reason as to why I have high hopes for 27. Sorry to disappoint. One of the things I’ve learned the hard way, over and over again is to try and not have high expectations, you’ll most likely be disappointed. Cynical, I know but maybe that’s part of my maturing?? It’s also much easier said than done though! Plus, anything is better than this quarantine so it can only go up from here, right?!
Have a wonderful and safe Memorial Day Weekend everyone!