At this stage in my life holiday gatherings are a bit of a chore.
I feel like I’m at a place where I’m not up to par with my family’s expectations of where I should be in life.
I’m 24 with no husband, no kids, in an entry level career, and am still renting.
While this sounds like your typical millennial, I come from a line of overachievers who had their shit together early in life, and therefore, I am behind.
Normal families sit and talk/argue about politics, religion, and current events over turkey and mashed potatoes. My family does too, but we also like to play the classic game of “21 Questions”, aka “21 Ways in Which You’re Failing at Life”:
Are you seeing anyone?
Are you looking for someone?
Do you plan on getting married?
Maybe … Eventually … IDK honestly.
Are you gay?
How are your grades?
You still trying to make it with that liberal arts degree?
Yes, I write for some sites here and there.
Do you plan to find a real job?
I’m working on it.
You can’t possibly plan to stay in that one-bedroom forever …
It’s just fine for me for now.
Which segways into “Unsolicited Life Advice From Grandma,” as she tells me that maybe if I spent more time trying to find a husband that maybe I wouldn’t have to bust my ass working, because then he could work and provide for the family and I could stay at home with the kids.
(I reply that kids aren’t in the ten year plan, which is met with a judgmental “hmmmph”).
Then we have “Successful Lawyer Uncle Who Is a Walking LinkedIn Profile” wanting to tell me how I should consider getting my Ph.D so I can be a real contender in today’s job market, all the while neglecting to offer any financial assistance with such an endeavor.
We follow up with the “Four Time Divorcee” cousin with four kids who feels that it is my duty as a woman to consider giving birth before the age of 40. She leaves out the part about her heading to court for every child she had after every failed marriage. But that's none of my business.
Each family member offers their two cents on how I can improve my life, even though I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot throughout the year, and have many goals and plans ahead, sometimes it feels as though I’ll never check off all of the feats on the list of life goals my family has set for me.
This year, I'm taking a new approach to the dinner table interrogation. I will no longer allow my family to make me feel like a failure.
Recently, I sat down and wrote out a long list of every positive thing I have going on in my life that I should be proud of. That list will be top of mind on Thanksgiving as I sit down at the dinner table in prepare for the interrogation. I will answer every question that seems to be pessimistic with optimism and excitement, and stand firm by the decisions I've made in life thus far. I plan to show my family that I have plans and goals in line, but that I’m moving at a pace that I’m comfortable with.
Most of all, I plan to show them that I am happy and making it!
I’ve gotten my finances together, paid off some loans, written for some dream magazines of mine, and have found my true passion AND my purpose (educating others through storytelling). I’ve made great connections in my industry, and the opportunities I’ve gotten within the past year have far exceeded my expectations. While I may not have reached every goal that was set by me, I’m proud of the fact that I can feel my growth spiritually, personally, and professionally.
[Tweet "I can feel my growth spiritually, personally, and professionally."]
A husband, child, career, and family of my own are all possibilities in the future, but right now I'm in no rush to acquire those things just to appease other people. I’m taking everything one step at of time without putting pressure on myself to live life on someone else's timeline.
Do you get those annoying life questions during the holidays? Share yours below!