I wasn’t doing anything wrong with my life. I wasn’t in trouble with the law or with some boy. I graduated high school with honors, immediately went to college to receive my bachelors degree in dance, and then wanting to start my career. But somewhere down the line, I felt as if I was not ‘doing life correctly’. I didn’t have a boyfriend throughout college who I was madly in love with or expecting a new baby. I was living life as a college student and working 2 part time jobs. It suddenly became difficult to convince myself that I wasn’t a failure in life. I had several family members and mentors tell me that I was doing a great deal of things in my life and moving at a wonderful pace, but none of their advice seemed to help me.
My mentality on this issue became worse when I was 20. At the age of 20, my mother had already become married and at 21, she had her first child. While on the other hand, I just turned 21, was still single, and felt like I still wasn’t anywhere that I should be in my life. In some ways, I no longer felt shame but I felt heartbroken. I somehow felt that I had let my mother down because I wasn’t on the same track as her and the order in which she had accomplished things. Why did I feel this way? Did I really need to be engaged to feel ‘successful’? Did I absolutely need to start a family at a young age to feel more complete with my life? Would all my problems go away if I had these things in my life? Would my family be proud of me if I was married and had children?
In the greater outlook of things, having a fiancé or a child was not going to solve my problems. Just like having the expensive car or a loft overlooking the city wasn’t going to make my life more complete. I had to stop assuming that these things would define me and place me higher on the scale of life. In retrospect, I honestly did not want to be married right away and start working towards a family. I only wanted to feel some sort of pride. And looking over the last 4 years, I did feel pride for the things I have accomplished.
In a short few months, I’ll be turning 22 and I have not only accomplished a lot, but I’ve also overcome a lot of obstacles. I started college, I moved out of my house for the first time, I had lost my grandfather and overcame heartache, I became a certified Pilates instructor, I started teaching at a dance studio and choreographed several dances, I moved to a different state for 2 months to intern for a professional ballet company, and soon, I will graduate college and receive my bachelors degree. In just 4 short years, I’ve managed to complete something new in my life. My family and friends are proud of how much I have grown as a woman and what I am doing with my life. No, I don’t have a love in my life or a little baby boy/girl to wake up to everyday. I may want those things eventually and God may bless me with those things down the road. But I am not ashamed of how my life has turned out to be. I am not ashamed of how I have been living MY life because it has been a great start to my 20’s.
If you are seeking success, you won’t find it by becoming engaged to someone. If you desire for your life to feel complete, you won’t fill that emptiness by becoming pregnant and announcing it on social media. That new car, penthouse, or boyfriend/girlfriend won’t solve the burden of not feeling accomplished in life. Set goals, market yourself or your talents, put yourself outside of your comfort zone, and create opportunities for yourself. More importantly, don’t compare your accomplishments to what others have done. It will only set yourself back even further in life. Be proud of who you are and what you have done, then the rest will surely fall into place.