Tuesday, June 1, 2010

odd one out

Have you ever felt like you don't belong? Do you ever feel guilty when you know you didn't do anything wrong? I was feeling both of those things today.

For some reason I constantly feel like I'm so "young" compared to other people my age... and not in a good way. It's more like a late-bloomer type of feeling. I'm going to be 26 this month and I really haven't reached any of the societal "norms" for people my age. I'm not married or even dating. I don't have any kids. I don't own a house. I don't even have my own place. I don't really have a career. Heck, I don't even have a pet! Where do I belong, then? I'm not a college student anymore. I'm certainly not in high school. But I'm also not a parent, or even a part of a young married couple. I'm single, but I'm not a career girl. So what am I? Who am I?

So that being said, I really have no responsibilities. Yeah, it's kinda nice, but at the same time, it makes me feel guilty. I see other people my own age struggling to care for families and children. They are investing time and energy into their marriage relationships. They are paying mortgages on houses. I do none of those things and it makes me feel like I'm irresponsible or something. I realize that it's ridiculous to feel this way, but that doesn't change how I feel. It's like feeling bad for eating food knowing that there are starving people in the world. Not eating won't make it any better for them, but it seems like you have to make up for the loss in some way.

People always ask me, "So what do you want to do with your life? What career are you interested in?" That's one of those questions that you should make up an answer to. Telling people, "Well, all I ever really wanted to be is a wife and mother," is not exactly a popular response. It may be the truth, but it sure does sound desperate.

I know my position in life shouldn't define me. I know I bear no guilt because I can watch tv at night while others have to lull babies to sleep. I know I'm not a bad person because I wake up later since I'm the only one I have to get ready in the morning. But knowing doesn't make me feel any more worthy or belonging.


Cathy said...

You are not the odd one out. There are others out there like you! I'm 30, been married for almost 6 years, but no kids and no house. I was nervous that I was the odd one out, which is why I started blogging. I found out that I'm not the only one out there who doesn't want kids or a house(or the added responsibility). I also discovered that many people who have those things are struggling and not happy. I've always been comfortable living my life my way, but now, as I read about others lives, I am truly realizing that I need to live a life that works for me. No sense in doing something(like having kids) just because it's the social norm. As you get older you'll most likely meet more people who are similar to you and won't feel like the "odd" one anymore! Either that, or people will just start accepting how you live your life, and if they don't, it's their problem.

Mae Rae said...

i feel like the odd man out on a regular basis. I however was married with a child by the time i was your age. Three children and many years later, I still don't have a job that I am using my degree in. I just bought I house that will be paid off when I am 69 or so. I don't get paid what I am worth and sometimes it is just the way it is. Chin up. I think you are awesome.

Raine said...

I know how you feel, but for different reasons. **HUGS**

Kristie said...

Thanks for feeling out loud. That, my friend, takes guts.

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