Whenever I stay at my parents' house, I'm flooded with memories from when I lived here after college. The first year after I graduated, we moved from the house I grew up to their current one.
The period of time when I lived here was beautiful for so many reasons - my life was very transitional and even though I was, for all intents and purposes, an adult, it was a phase where I really needed guidance and friendship from my parents.
I loved it. But, now that I'm home with them this week, I'm realizing that I didn't fully appreciate it. I rushed through it because I wanted to get a new job, to have my own apartment and to live near my then-boyfriend. Essentially, I was worried so much about getting to the next phase of growing-up-ness that I couldn't enjoy the beauty in the phase I was in.
I wish I hadn't done that. Sometimes I think we worry so much about where we're going that we forget about the present. We're so worried about getting to the future we're planning that we ignore the beauty in building it.
It think it's especially important in ours 20s because we're all in different phases and that unevenness can lead to us feeling a lot of pressure. My single friends are in a hurry to get a boyfriend. My friends with boyfriends are in a hurry to get engaged. My married friends are in a hurry to have babies. We're all racing against these societal pressures and our biological clocks and I can't help but wonder when it will stop. When will we stop worrying about getting left behind and just enjoy the beauty in where we are? When will we believe that we are enough right now, in the phase we're in, doing exactly what we're doing?
My mom and I were talking about wrinkles this week. She's in her 50s and looks like she's in her 40s (my words - and the truth - not hers). But she said she realized recently that she was worried about wrinkles 10 years ago. And now she looks at pictures from 10 years ago and thinks - I was a spring chick! Why on earth was I worried about wrinkles!? And she wants to remember that so she can quit worrying about wrinkles now and forevermore. Because someday she will be 90 and think - I thought I had wrinkles in my 50s!? I didn't even know what a wrinkle was.
I want to take her wrinkle wisdom and apply it everywhere. I don't want to worry about the next phase when I'm so content with life right now. I don't want to worry about measuring up to this invisible yard stick when I know, believe and feel that today is beautiful.
To those of you who feel stuck in a phase you want to get through - or who are itching for that house, that job, that ring, that baby...
Believe me when I say: I get it. I've felt it, too. I wish I could give you a big hug and assure you that tomorrow and next year and the next ten years will fall into place naturally. And in the meantime, the best thing you can do is enjoy the present. Because today, you are beautiful and enough, exactly where you are.