If there is a national day for everything, does it even matter? The only national day I really celebrate is national margarita day but other than that none really stop me in my tracks. Though when I heard it was national boyfriend day today it made me pause. And then it made me laugh. And then I thought how many romantic posts am I going to have to see all over social media today? But then I thought this is something I can talk about. Or at least something I can share some stories about.
First let's talk about the whole boyfriend part. It's now been a full year of being single. My very own eat, pray, love year (minus the traveling all over Europe part). A year of learning and growing and healing. But that doesn't mean that some moments it doesn't sting. Some days I wonder how I got through the last year in one piece. Anyone who has gone through a breakup knows how weird that period after it is. After the dust settles. The whole "now what" part. There is this period of unknown that you can't quite shake off. This period of everything you once imagined for your future evaporating so rapidly. It's confusing.
The dating scene is equally as confusing. Sometimes I say to my married friends, "you are so lucky you've locked someone down before having to date in 2018." And trust me I know I know marriage is work but dating in this year is like a war zone. The apps (oh the apps!!!) are literally the biggest way all of my friends are meeting people. Sharing stories about dating in this app age with all my girlfriends could literally be a comedy show. I mean the pick up lines alone will make you cringe. And don't get me wrong, it's exciting that you can be talking to someone at the drop of a hat, plan to meet up and then continuing that cycle until something finally sticks but it's also a totally different ball game. Everyone seems to get bored so quick. Millennials right?
I have always been wildly independent. For the longest time I was convinced I would never get married. Maybe I would live a real carrie bradshaw life and just date, date, date. I would see friends around me getting married at a young age and couldn't wrap my head around it. I would hear other friends talk about timelines and how by this age they want to be engaged, married by this age, and then by this age have kids. And I couldn't understand that either. I had never put that kind of pressure on myself. Or even considered the steps I wanted to check off my list by a certain age.
And then I had my annual doctor's appointment. My doctor walked in the room and your typical small talk started and then so nonchalantly said, "so what's new? I see no ring on your left finger so is there anyone in the picture?" I honestly didn't know how to answer. The first thing out of my mouth was, "nope I'm single" which as the words came out it felt so negative. I also felt like this wasn't a satisfying answer which truthfully I have never felt that way before.
Okay maybe that isn't entirely true. I am very aware of the pressures out there for people my age, especially women, to get married by a certain age & start a family soon after. The age old saying of your clock is ticking. I feel young and I feel like I have all the time in the world but I would be lying if society's pressures haven't crept into my mind from time to time. Why do our minds do that? Why do we put more pressure on ourselves when logic tells us otherwise?
I'm now realizing this post sounds more like national no boyfriend day but it has my wheels turning. If someone would've told me a year ago I would be where I am at now I would've thought you were crazy. I thought I had my life plan figured out. Not that the rug would be completely pulled out from under me and this is where I would be at a year later. This relationship ending taught me so many lessons but maybe the most important is that life is unpredictable. Trust me this is a hard pill for me to swallow. I am a planner to a fault. But this has allowed me to see that I may feel like I have it all figured out but sometimes God has a different plan.
Society's pressures may always be there (I am hoping one day they won't be) but until then learn something from my experiences. Learn something from the planner who is slowly learning herself that so much of life is out of my control. And that is not something people with anxiety can easily accept. Having control is literally step one to decreasing your anxiety. But we have to stop putting these unrealistic expectations on ourselves. Moments are going to happen when they are meant to happen. And it's okay to give yourself time to grow & learn without adding more pressure on yourself. There is already enough pressure out there so make sure you give yourself a break.