- Birth - 3 years: Normal baby stuff while wearing pink so people don't mistake me for a boy.
- 3 - 8: Playing house, tending to my baby dolls, and practicing how to be a good mommy.
- 8-12: Graduating from dolls to younger siblings
- 12-18: Going to a young women's group and earning a necklace that says I qualify to be a good mommy. Babysitting as much as possible. Being a graceful ladylike young woman who does well in school and seeks after good things. Never going on a date until age 16 and most certainly not having a steady boyfriend .
- 18-20: Graduating from high school and attending college, not necessarily to earn a useful degree which will lead to an esteemed career, but to find a suitable husband.
- 19-25: Marry a suitable man. Definition of a suitable man: Any young man who is worthy to take you to the temple, who holds the priesthood, and who, MOST IMPORTANTLY, has served a full time church mission because even though he may be stellar in every area of life, those accomplishments mean nothing without missionary service.
- Within 1 year of marriage: Have your first child.
- Have many more children, most of which you won't be able to control at the grocery store but you're trying your best and multiplying and replenishing the Earth and that's all that matters.
- Buy a house with your husband, with his money since he's the sole provider of your family's income.
- Continue raising your children.
- Marry your children off when the time comes.
- Serve a senior mission.
- Enjoy your grandchildren.
It feels like everyone my age has gotten pretty far on the timeline. I, however, have not. I have completely ignored some of the items. I have done things out of order, or I haven't met the age deadlines. Looking at this preplanned life that everyone seems to be adhering to, I feel like I'm late. Or getting left behind. Or the odd woman out. Or an outcast. Or the black sheep. The list goes on...
Only when I take a step back do I realize that while I'm not fitting the mold, I have things I love and that I am in a good place.
I have this:
|My darling cat Biscuit|
|My amazing husband Doug|
And so much more! I keep trying to remind myself that I don't have to be on the same timeline as everyone else. I only have to be in the right place for me. And I'm happy where I am. I have a college degree and even though it's not in my ideal subject, I'm proud that I earned it. Economics was hard but I pushed through. Even though I want to go back to school to be an English teacher, I'm proud that I can use my degree to earn a living for our household if I need to. While I haven't started a career yet I have a great job. It's hard to deal with picky brides some days but overall it's very rewarding. I get to help people choose their wardrobe for the happiest day of their life. I don't need kids yet. I want them someday, but not until I'm ready. I need to complete myself as a person before I create a new one. Yeah, I'm married, but not because the timeline told me it was the right time, because I fell in love with a wonderful man and we wanted to start our lives together.
After taking a step back and only comparing me to myself I realized I just have to be grateful for what I have and where I am. And for who I am. And for knowing who I am. If this were a piece of paper, I'd wrinkle up the timeline and chuck it in the garbage.