Lately, my facebook newsfeed has been blowing up with posts from friends and acquaintances who are experiencing the sorts of big changes in their lives that can only be expected of adults in their mid-twenties to early thirties. Proposals, engagements, and marriages. Pregnancies and births. It’s easy to think that everyone is entering a new stage of their lives and that I’m being left behind.
But, the other day, as I logged on to a flurry of these posts, I thought of it a different way.
What if all of this extra time was a gift?
When you’re in a romantic relationship, your focus shifts from yourself to your partner. When you have children, it shifts to them. As you start a family, it seems as if it is very easy to lose connection with yourself.
I have a friend who got married soon after college and who has two beautiful children. She posts images of her happy family, but then writes about how she’s felt like she’s lost touch with herself. When she was in school, her hobbies were to sing and dance- that’s what brought her joy. Since she had gotten married, and definitely since she had children, she has not been able to do these things. She feels like she’s lost touch with herself.
I can say the opposite is true for me. Over the past 5-10 years, not only have I gotten better at my favorite hobbies, but I’ve found new ones as well. I’ve put a lot of work into myself, and I have become braver, stronger, and more assertive. With every year that passes, I’ve pushed and challenged myself more. I’ve become more and more connected with myself, and as that connection strengthens, it will become harder and harder to break, no matter what life delivers me.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have been able to keep the focus on myself this entire time. I have had so much time to grow and evolve . . . and I can say with confidence that I’ve been making the best of it.