Random Musings

Comparison, Longing and Impatience, Oh My!

Hello, lovelies.

I don’t know if it’s just because my hormones are all out of whack thanks to starting my period or because I set myself up for it, but I’ve been reflecting a lot these past few days and getting…slightly depressed, despite living a really, really good life.

Because, you know, I can’t stop comparing.

A bachelorette party. An engagement. A wedding. A pregnancy announcement. A book deal, an agent signing. A friend moving into a new house, friends hanging out and going on trips with other friends, friends moving across the country, starting new jobs, families getting started, lives being joined, dreams coming true. You know, these major life events that we’re taught from birth to look forward to, that they are milestones we’re meant to reach in our lives, even though some of us won’t, whether because we want to and can’t or we choose not to.

I’m old enough now to know that the cookie-cutter way we’re meant to live life, hitting these milestones by a certain age, having that certain income and family structure, is bullshit and not something I need to concern myself with. I live my life the way want to live it and not the other way around; not to fit societies agenda.

Bonesonfox GIF by Bones

Yet whenever I scroll through Facebook or Instagram or Twitter, I can’t help but notice these events as they are posted. And I want to know about these things. These are old friends and new ones alike who I care about! I want to know what’s going on with them, I want to get excited about these life changes.

Yet I can’t help thinking back and looking forward and then looking inward, at myself and where I’m at now and sometimes, if the mood hits just right, I’m left feeling…sad. Incomplete. Wanting. Lonely.

I don’t miss high school or college 95% of the time, but I miss having a solid group of friends who I saw on a daily basis. I was lucky to have a core group in both high school and college and, no matter what life threw at me, I always had someone to sit with at lunch. Someone to pass notes to during math class. Someone to text, someone to rant to, someone to help fill the days so they never felt empty.

I don’t really have that anymore. I’m very lucky for the friends that I do still have, those who I try to see but never see enough. I cherish coffee chat up dates more than people realize and I’m very thankful to social media, actually, so I can keep up with what’s going on with people’s lives, even if I don’t get to see them as often as I do. But with working a full-time job (with odd hours and me with a weird age gap amongst my colleagues), I don’t really have anyone who I see every day. Not even someone who I see every week. It’s switched from having different people to see and hang out with every day to maybe seeing a friend or two once a month, if anyone at all.

sad tim curry GIF

And sometimes…I just miss it, you know? I miss having that close connection and sometimes I feel…like I did something wrong? That the reason I don’t still have a close group of friends is because I made the wrong choices, perhaps I didn’t try hard enough and maybe it’s not just what happens as a product of growing up, but instead, this is something I’ve earned.

I know that’s bullshit, believe me. But it’s so easy to look at those who you used to tell everything to and then discover a new life event on social media or see them hanging out with others you used to–or those you never even met–and wish. And wonder. What if we were still close? What if we hadn’t lost contact? What would it be like, to have a closeknit group of friends again?

And that’s just the friendship realm. Looking in the marriage and family realm and it’s hard not to be inundated with the next set of engagement photos or baby announcement when you’re in your upper twenties. It definitely seems to be the time for it and it’s…hard sometimes, honestly, to not wish I was at that stage, too. I claim to be ready for marriage (and I love my boyfriend enough to know my answer, were he to propose) and a part of me itches to plan that wedding, to see that dream of getting married finally being realized. Just like another part of me itches to become a mother. My mother became one with me when she was 26 and I’m nowhere close to that happening. Am I running out of time? Will I still have the close bond with my kid(s) that my parents have with me if I wait to have them when I’m older, making our age gap widen?

Or even look at in from a career and life standpoint. I’ve been writing for 10+ years and I am so ready to start that next chapter of my life, this yearning in my core to experience what it’s like to have my book on the shelves. I’ve lived on my own (or with my partner) for the past eight years and, though apartments and duplexes and renting are the only feasible option right now, financially, I just feel so ready to have my own house that I can customize the way I want and settle down some roots instead of constantly moving.

Part of me itches for all of that to become my reality yesterday.

But another part of me wonders.

are you there hello GIF by Disney

I live a good life–a great one, in a lot of ways. I have a really wonderful boyfriend who supports in me utterly and believes in me 100% and loves me always. Yes, we’ve been dating officially for two years, together for almost three, so no one would be surprised if we got engaged. But do I say I want it just so I can post about it? Because I feel like I am supposed to be engaged by now, considering I turn 27 here in a few months? So I can get those likes, that bombardment of attention? Engagement, marriage, pregnancy, birth, getting published, moving away, substitute any of those dreams and the question remains the same.

If I take away social media and the yearning it creates, comparing my life to others, is that yearning still there? Or am I more content to live my life in the moment, where it is right now, and let those events I hope to happen in my future happen when they’re meant to?

I think it’s more complicated than a yes or no answer.

Animated GIF

I do know, confidently, that yes, I still do want all of those things. I am ready to start moving towards my dream career, a marriage to the man I love, living in a place I that feels settled and eventually, starting a family. I would be ecstatic if things started moving in those directions. But I also think that social media does put this pressure that these things should have already happened by now or that the fact they haven’t happened yet suddenly means I am missing out on something wonderful, when in fact, I’m not missing out at all. I’m just focusing on the wrong things; focusing on what I miss about the past and becoming impatient for the future, when I’m not even truly guaranteed today.

So it’s just been a…weekend of reflection, friends; of wishing and wondering and hoping and hurting and then recovering, only to do it all over again. I’m hoping to learn how to be more content with what IS, instead of pining for what once was or what will hopefully be. I’m hoping to learn how to make that enough. And I hope, wherever you are right now, whatever stage of life you’re in, it’s enough for you, too.

Cheers.post signature

15 thoughts on “Comparison, Longing and Impatience, Oh My!”

  1. Oh the constant wondering of….EVERYTHING! No matter where we are in life, be it choice or roll of dice, we are never ever content with it, we are always striving for more. Is it wrong? Who knows? But I think that if we weren’t striving for something we’d be stuck and, well, dead.

  2. Sorry to hear you’ve been feeling a bit down lately! It sounds like you need a break from social media, tbh – I read an article recently that linked millennial depression to time on Facebook/Twitter etc. and reading your post just made me think back to it. I think our culture is too focused on trying to impress others and also trying to compare ourselves to others, which just leads to trouble. And the truth is, as life progresses, you do tend to lose touch with the people in your past, but the good news is, you make new connections too.

    1. Honestly, you’re probably right. I’ve been on it more often that usual lately and that hasn’t helped at all. Man, I’m curious about that article, now. I’ll have to try and find it!

      Thanks for that advice, Mogsy! You’re so right. Sometimes, I just get hung up with some of the good parts of the past, even though I am very happy to be where I am now!

  3. I can relate to all of this so much. I quit Facebook a couple years ago, not long after my master’s graduation because it always, always took a toll on my mental health, yet sometimes other social media tend to do that, too. No matter what we do and tell ourselves, no matter the fact that everyone has their own path and their own rhythm to reach different goals…. it’s hard not to feel… out of place, somehow. Some people I went to college with have kids already, are moving in with their boyfriends, getting married, building houses and doing all of these things and it’s so hard not to compare ourselves to them and their stages in life, too. I know I’m not ready for these things, and yet… it’s strange just to witness that and see how different our lives are now. Same goes for friendships fading away. It’s hard to witness it, yet knowing that’s just how life goes, sometimes.
    I’m always here to chat if you ever need to rant, I completely felt this post. sending you tons of love ❤

    1. I really should quit it all, honestly. But like, the good parts, I really enjoy? I like being able to see those who I used to be close with and what they are up to, instead of just wondering? But I DEFINITELY need to work on to stop comparing myself to others and where they are in life compared to where I’m at, because *that’s* when the depression hits the hardest.

      Thank you for the solidary, love (though I am so sorry you’ve experienced similar feelings, though I feel most of us in this age range have experienced it at least once). Offer right back to you! ❤

      1. Yeah me too, that’s why I almost quit it all. Doesn’t prevent the depression from kicking in about it all every now and then, but it’s better already ❤
        Always here for you ❤

  4. I miss our group of high school friends too. We started hanging out at our local board game shop to make new friends, and we’re starting a DND group. I don’t know anyone who has close friends they see every day, unless that close friend happens to be their partner 🙂 It’s not much help, given the distance, but if you lived here we’d totally hang out over coffee and discuss plot ideas 😀

    I’ve learned not to rush life just because everyone else is doing it. We’ve been engaged for a lot of years, but when it came down to it neither of us wanted to plan a wedding and we’d both rather spend the money on video games xD I think life is more about making the choices that feel right for you 🙂

    1. AH, I definitely seem to be having that problem a lot! I have quite a few close writing friends, but so many of them live abroad (and many in the UK), I wonder if I’m living in the wrong country to begin with! It would be lovely to hang out (perhaps next time I visit?).

      Gosh, I definitely need to learn that lesson! Because everyone’s story is different and should be lived based on their own pace. Thanks for the reminder. ❤

      1. I wish there was like a virtual writer’s cafe type thing, as I’m similar with people spread all over. And totally, that would be awesome 😀 I always thought the UK was one of the best places to be a fantasy writer, because of all the castles!

        You’re welcome ❤

      2. I would love to live in the UK for a lot of different reasons, but so many writer connections (and the castles, of course) is definitely one of the main ones!

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