A few weekends ago, a group of friends and I went out to dinner for the first time in forever. We’ve been friends since high school (some even longer) so we’ve been through it all together, and we have the awkward dance photos to prove it. Looking around, it really hit me that we’re no longer all on the same path- two friends are new moms, one is newly engaged, one is a homeowner, one is dating a new guy, one got a promotion at work, one is pregnant, one is planning a wedding… In our 20s, it felt like everyone was on the same page. We were living in the city, working our first jobs, and enjoying our first years of freedom. Now, in our 30s, the differences are a little more pronounced, and it can be hard not to think about. Recently, I’ve found myself feeling like I’m behind on where I’m “supposed” to be in life. Should we be working harder to buy a house? Should we be embarking on the baby train? (Don’t answer, mom.) Am I totally failing at adulthood already?
Rationally, I know that everyone hits life milestones at different times. However, I can’t help but play the comparison game and feel like I’m failing in some way. Denny and I both made the decision to pursue additional education after college (law school and occupational therapy school, respectively), and that had its own consequences- both good and bad. I feel confident in our career trajectories, but we also took on a lot of debt in the process. Over the past few years, we’ve moved, changed jobs, and generally gotten our shit together, but sometimes I still feel like we’re playing catch up. If I think about where we were this time last year (ugh, it was rough), then I can undoubtedly say we’re in a better, more stable place. I’ve written ad nauseam about how happy I am to be back living in Chicago, and I feel like we’re slowly moving into that next phase of our life.
I know I want kids and a house one day, but I’m just not sure I want it right now. I keep trying to remind myself that it’s okay to slow down and breathe, but it’s like there’s this unspoken pressure around at all times. If I’m being honest with myself, I know this most recent move is probably our last hurrah, so to speak. We only have ourselves to worry about, and I keep joking to my mom that I’m acting like I’m 27 and right out of grad school again. One of my new mom friends said it best recently- “Well, I can’t go back now.” She was kidding (I think), but it’s so true! I don’t want to stay in this place forever, but I’m trying to enjoy it now while I’m here.