it’s dawning on me more and more these days that i really am on the road less traveled. getting older, it’s really no shock. you hit that age where you’re attending three or four weddings a year. a year or two later, the weddings may have slowed down, but the couples whose weddings you attended start welcoming their first kid. and another year or two after that, many of those families are welcoming their second or more.
i hate to have to refer to sex and the city, but i always reflect on that episode wherein carrie’s shoes are stolen at a remove-your-shoes baby shower, and her friend guilts her over replacing them because of how ridiculous an expense they are. she reflects on how much time, energy and money she’s spent on her friends and the celebrations of their milestones.
but if you never get engaged, you never have an engagement party full of presents and well wishes. if you never get married, you never have that one day where you’re the center of it all at a huge party with a gift registry and everyone celebrating you. if you never have kids, you never have friends and family surrounding you, showering you with gifts and love and attention.
it’s not about the time, energy or money. i love my friends and my family and i am honored to celebrate them and their lives. it’s just that if you don’t follow the typical path, you don’t celebrate the typical milestones. you go along, kind of uncelebrated.
i’ve decided i’m not cool with that. i’m not going to go register for a single pair of manolo blahniks or anything. but i am creating mylestones –my milestones– where i will stop comparing myself and my life and my choices to everyone else’s self and life and choices. i will celebrate these things that are meaningful to me and really take the time to honor them. some of them won’t be unique, and others will share them, and that’s ok – they can still be mylestones.
some of them? they’ve already come and gone.
falling in love for the first time
getting into a great university
traveling to the galapagos islands, a dream of mine since i was 9
getting my first job and apartment
moving another time
picking up the pieces and starting over
getting my first big promotion
traveling to europe
getting a puppy – my dream girl who i love more than anything, who i waited for and who must’ve been waiting for me
future mylestones? who knows – they might include:
more world travels
starting a business
making good investments
hitting my goal weight
finishing my novel
hell, starting my novel
buying a house
maybe someday i will even add one or two of those traditional milestones. if i don’t, i’m ok with that. i’m not saying i need celebrations and gift registries and all of those traditional things. but what i do need is to spend more time reflecting on and acknowledging the achievements i have made. i would also like to be better about reflecting on the mylestones of my friends, those who are in a more similar space to me and may not be receiving those traditional acknowledgments and celebrations either.
sometimes it’s hard to feel so different – it can feel very lonely and sometimes downright wrong, even if you willingly choose your choices.
even if no one else considers my mylestones to be milestones, i aim to be better about recognizing them and making them more than just another passing moment on this road less traveled.