Okay, all of my posts are honest … I guess I should have called this a vulnerable post, but I’m not going to go back and change the title because all my posts are published on my Facebook account, and I don’t want to draw too many extra eyes here.
I turn 31 two weeks from today. Thirty-one. I know it’s not, but it feels old. (It’s the oldest I’ll have ever been, ha!) Life is so different than what I thought it would be. Some good, some bad.
I have more joy and freedom than I have had since I was a young child. I survived a ravaging war against OCD and found victory. I have an assurance of salvation that was brought about by a paradoxical embrace of uncertainty. I have better friends than I could have ever imagined for myself. I love my job as a recruiter and would have never guessed I’d be good at sales.
On the other hand, I think about myself as a senior in high school, and I had my own little plan for life (How do you make God laugh? Tell him your plans.): I’d go off to college, meet the love of my life freshman year, marry him after graduation, get an advanced degree, write lovely little poems that everyone would clambor after, and have a family.
No graduate school. I am pussyfooting my way through fiction. My first manuscript was rejected by an embarrassing number of agents. And I am completely single– don’t even have a crush.
I look around at the friends of mine who are living my old dreams, and I don’t resent them (most of the time)– but I do feel light-years behind other people my age. They have masters degrees, 2.5 children, own their own homes, have husbands who work hard for them so that they can stay home with the kids. I live an apartment, hang out with college kids, take joy in being published in no-name literature journals just so I can update my writer’s resume in the hope that I will fool someone on a grant committee somewhere into giving me money.
My dream has changed a little. I’m not sure if it still includes children. I adore children– my friend Tracy’s three daughters (Emma, Ava, and Elsie) are so dear to my heart that I’m not sure I could love them more even if I’d birthed them myself. But I’m not sure I want to be a mom– I feel a little too selfish with my time. I want to write. My novel is (at this time) my baby, and I’m scared I would resent anything that took my attention away from it. I don’t know. We’ll see. I’ve learned to hold plans loosely.
But I do want to be married. Like, yesterday.
There have been so many boys, so many crushes, through the years– I burned through them like fuel for my poetry fire. And I don’t regret liking these men or “letting them go.” My friend Kristin says, “When God loves you, everything is mercy.” I am grateful to be where I am. I trust in his holy plan, believe in his masterful timing, even if that is that I remain single forever.
But I hope I don’t.
I have areas of brokenness in my life that I want to fix before I meet someone. Sometimes. Sometimes, I want to meet someone who will love those broken parts and pray with me for healing. I am glad I didn’t get married straight out of college– now I look back and realize that we were just babies then! Working at a university, I see these students getting engaged and I think, You don’t even know who you are yet.
Maybe that’s okay. They can learn together, grow together, change together. But I have seen plenty of failed and/or unhappy marriages amongst people who married young. I’m just making observations, not offering judgment.
I know I’m rambling, using this blog as a diary of sorts, which I try not to do. Maybe it’s okay once in a while. For this one honest, vulnerable post.
I try to never view a husband as life’s greatest gift, because I know that it’s not. Not by far. The gift of salvation by grace, the gift of daily knowing and loving my sweet savior– these are my life’s greatest gifts. I remind myself that a husband is just icing on the cake I already have. But I still want one.
Two weeks, and I will be 31. I already have Jesus Christ, who is a more permanent lover than any I could imagine; I own my faith; I have control over my mental illness; I have a job that I love and enjoy; I don’t own a home or have a graduate degree, but I write almost every day and believe in my story, believe I have messages on my blog and in my life that speak to people. Life is good, but sometimes I am still lonely.
And I am going to dare to say that that is okay. I’m not sure, but I think so.