We are all on a different path

Angelique Herrera, Opinions Writer

Over this past winter break, my Facebook news feed and Instagram have consistently been bombarded with pictures of proposals, save the dates, engagement photos and baby bumps. With wedding season creeping around the corner, I’ve suddenly come to the realization that I am reaching that point in my life where my friends and colleagues are transitioning into a new chapter in their lives, that being marriage and family. Meanwhile, I’m sitting on my couch, contemplating is this what people my age should be doing now? In my head, I’m still practically a teenager who still needs her mom to make her doctor’s appointments, while girls I went to high school with are growing a life inside of them. I began feeling inadequate, that I wasn’t fully doing life right, as if I needed to mature in a sense.

Comparing where I’m at in life to those who are celebrating their next chapter, at first, I thought was necessary, because I wondered if it was bad that I’m not in their position. I began going down a rabbit hole for a while. Constantly thinking about rings, imagining my future proposal, looking through Pinterest to see what type of wedding dress I’d like. It became an unhealthy obsession for a few weeks. It wasn’t until my cousin got engaged that I took a step back and thought about how happy I was for her, instead of comparing my situation to hers. I was elated, and it was then that I realized that I was happy where I am. At 22 verging on 23 years old, I still consider myself extremely young in the sense that I’m not ready to begin that next chapter yet. As a second-semester graduate student, I’m in no position to pay for a wedding, nor am I ready to start a family. I work a part-time job to get through college, I’m in a very loving relationship and I have the sweetest fur baby alive. Plus, it still baffles me that caring for my puppy is as expensive and time-consuming as it is. I love her to death, but wow ‘adulting’ is expensive. Having this epiphany, though, has benefited me tremendously. I find myself cherishing my college experience more, being excited for those experiencing these life-changing moments and spending less time scrolling on my phone, evaluating everyone’s lives.

For everyone reading, it is completely okay to be content on the path that you’re currently on, or whatever path that you choose. For me, it’s not my time yet. I, along with so many other individuals who are younger, older or the same age as me, are comfortable with their lives as they are. Now, I think it’s okay to want those things for the future, but it’s verging on a fine line when you begin negatively comparing your life to others. Especially now, during the pandemic we find ourselves looking on social media more often, obsessing over things that we see and allowing ourselves to compare ourselves and our lives to people we know and people we don’t know. It’s best to take a step back and appreciate yourself for getting you to wherever you are.