Speaking of age, I just turned 21 this morning. Just kidding. I am actually 29 today. I remember when I was in high school, my goal was to have a degree, a house, married with 2 kids by age 25. Did you just laugh? Yes, I did too. You probably know that none of this, except for the degree part,happened yet. When you're young, you just underestimate how long everything takes. I honestly thought it was all about the stages every single woman in my part of the world should go through to get to what I thought to be called "stability".
Don't tell me you want to know the stages! Fine, here are the magical steps for happiness. I hate to generalize. I also understand that there are exceptions for every rule, but it is unfortunately the custom in vastparts of Middle East.
Stage one-Schooling. This stage variesfrom one area to another. It can be as short as obtaining a secondary education, which is up until age 15, or can be as long as college age, or about 23 years old. What this really means, your priority is your education. Your social network is your school friends, and your fun time is at your school yard.
Stage two-Die-No I am just joking. So, often times most girls’ second life stage is find Mr. Right, who is mostly never right, but that's how he is ought to be considered. Some women don’t have to find him. Someone else does it for them. You know, like a family member or a marriage counselor. Oh yeah, we have some of those. You would love them I gotta tell you. They just work like Match.com. If you dont know what that is, you most likely will get married through a counselor. No, I am joking again. So I call them Marriage counselor because they work like a dating site. They just match couples based on their experience and make their parents meet up to work things out. They actually do that for free. Just to have the pin of a counselor hanging on their chest. I am just laughing in tears right now...I should have recorded a video instead of writing an article at work.If you ever lived in Middle East, you will so much relate.
Long story short, you get married after you get a degree. Whether a high school or college degree. That's what you should do. Assuming your School life matter of course. A lot of times, girls don’t get a degree and they just get married, but that's not my topic for this article.
Stage-Three-have kids. Depending on who you're marrying and what are his expectations, you have to have some sort of production going on. So, some smart couples will have as little as two (I rarely see one kid these days), and some will have as many as half a dozen. The point is, you have to have kids who you will work your whole life making a fortune for. You build a house, you put money in the bank, etc. Once you're out of this earth, your kid/kids will take over.
So, I honestly thought this is process I have to go through and my life was all about the three stages. Keep in mind, I am not saying that's what every single woman in Middle East did. It just what is widely practiced and done. It is something men go through too.
During my20s I watched my women counterpart going through the "right stages" of a woman's life and I thought I was so behind. I received criticism from people, including family, but I just thought something was wrong with the system I had to live by. Not like I did not try. I honestly did. I met men who I thought to be the ones, but they turned out to be...how can I say this so I don't sound like a terrible person? Well, they turned out to be a bad fit. If you smiled reading this, you probably went through it too.
I disqualified for every single marriage expectation. Perhaps, they did not qualify my expectations. Either way, it did not happen and I always felt I am on this earth for a different scenario.
Where do I stand today? I stand in my 29 spring zone. I create a zone every year where I find something more beautiful to enjoy. Something I did not do the year before and I have to tell you, it helped me thrive. Never stopped working on myself, and never will. You dont need to earn more money or hold a better title in your job to be happy, all you really need to do is to feed your soul with something magical.
I thought getting close to 30 is scary. It really isn't. I am crazier than I ever been and I can't wait to find time to throw a saddle on a horse and just ride! I can't wait to figure out the chords to my next favorite country music song and just strum my guitar (You dont want to listen to me playing guitar). I can't wait to get to my desk every morning and face a new work challenge.I can't wait to meet my second family for an Italian dinner and great laugh tosome jokes I barely understand...
When you're older, you're better. You're knowledgeable, more accepting, and more communicative. You make more friends, you listen more and argue less. Do not live by anyone's expectations. Just because your friend took a certain path, or your cousin lived a certain way, you do NOThave to live the same way or follow the same path. Create your own path meet your own standards.
We need to learn to stop chaining ourselves to what community wants or what traditions want. They are called traditions because they were done in the past, created in the past and practiced by people from the past. Guess what? The past is unknown, uncertain, and has been passed to us over the years. It is really hard to validate!
It is not wrong if you get married and have children. It is not wrong when it is what YOU want. I just learned through the years that life on earth is not just about reproduction, which by so many theories believed to be it is. I know I will eventually start a family on my own, but I know there is so much more in this universe to accomplish, change and improve before we leave earth. What did you learn?