I vividly remember being in the shower about a year and a half ago.
That’s not weird, okay? Just calm down and keep reading.
We all know the best time for thinking is in the shower. And I was thinking about math.
Again, not weird.
It was life math:
I was 24 at the time.
I was not dating anyone.
I was not trying to date anyone. I was not in the mindset to date anyone. In fact, I knew about two single men, period.
I figured, at this speed, I realistically wouldn’t meet a boy I wanted to date for a couple years.
And first of all, he’d have to like me back at the same time, which seemed kinda unlikely considering life and time and feelings and such.
Then, after we met and liked each other at the same time, we’d have to date for at least a year before getting engaged.
Then we’d have to be engaged for at least a year before getting married.
So that landed me getting married at 28.
But again, realistically, my next relationship wouldn’t magically work out and turn into marriage. So really, that whole process would have to happen at least twice.
I thought, in this shower, if I was meant to be married, it would probably happen in my mid-thirties.
And I was okay with that.
First, because I really did not want to be in a relationship in that moment. I liked the idea of being able to move away at a moment’s notice. I liked the idea of traveling or starting a business or bettering myself with no one questioning or looking over my shoulder.
And second, pressure was off! This timeline gave me some freedom to not worry about it for a couple years. No dating apps. No weird set-ups. I just got to live my life free and happy.
We all have a timeline, don’t we? Culture gives us a bit of a timeline from the time we’re babes. For the most part, our lives are supposed to go as follows:
- Childhood (do whatever you want in this portion.)
- Graduate from high school.
- Go to college, trade school, or start a flourishing business (the latter only counts if your business is wildly successful by the time you’re 21.)
- Next you can either get married immediately OR take three to five years to find yourself.
- Next is OH MY WORD GET MARRIED IMMEDIATELY IF YOU HAVEN’T YET WHAT COULD YOU POSSIBLY WAITING FOR
- Have babies OR get a dog*. If you choose the dog, you have to also have a flourishing business, blog, and/or social media presence.
*Cats also work but most people won’t think it’s as cool.
Maybe you’re a person who has renounced this timeline. Good for you! If this is the case, you probably have instead undertaken a new timeline: your own. And this timeline can be even more restrictive than society’s timeline because of the decided lack of “RESIST THE MAN” endorphins rushing in when you try to break free from it.
I did not like southern culture’s timeline.
I did, however, really like my own.
I was going to have adventures and become really good at things like guitar and writing and photography. I was going to travel and gain knowledge and be interesting at parties. I was going to become so close to God that you would actually see a glow when I walked into a room.
And then, maybe, I’d get married.
Or I’d start a travel blog.
About a month after I laid out my personal timeline, I met a boy named Tyler.
We started dating a few months later.
We were engaged less than a year after that.
And we’ll be married about seven months after the proposal.
Lol. Whoops. I learned what you already know: timelines rarely turn out the way we anticipate.
There’s no “right” timeline.
There’s no “perfect” life trajectory.
You were created uniquely and specifically.
You have a reason.
That reason may present itself very late in life. You may be knee deep in it now. It may reveal itself slowly. It may come crashing in all at once.
It may involve a spouse. It may involve a family.
It may not.
It will, however, involve community: friends, neighbors, church, whatever community ends up looking like in your life.
Your life may look absolutely whack compared to everyone’s around you.
But I bet it’s beautiful.
I bet it’s a messy and marvelous life.
I know it is, in fact. Because every life is broken and messy. And every life has a purpose. Every life has an impact. God doesn’t create crap. And He doesn’t waste His creations.