Is life a race? And if it is, am I losing?

Happy Memorial Day, everybody–particularly to our brave men and women in the military!

So I’m blogging right now b/c I have not written in quite some time. Admittedly, I’m half distracted with Mad Men playing in the background. On a happy note: I’m typing this on my beloved MacBook b/c… I set up wifi in my parents’ house! Yay! Untethered blogging freedom!

So on Saturday, I went to a birthday party for my friend’s 1 year old baby boy. My friend, whom I will call Mrs. K, is really one of the loveliest people that I know and though I knew that the party would probably be mostly couples and probably parents, I went b/c it is important to celebrate the birthday of her little man. Before my former coworkers showed up, it was a bit uncomfortable since I was the only single gal amongst all the parents. I think Mrs. K felt bad for me and apologized a bit as I started to leave– though it wasn’t her fault at all. Thankfully, two coworkers showed up within 10 minutes and it was a good time.

Looking around at all the people, most of whom were around my age and had had their first child, I was just struck at how much I was behind in the arc of life. Interestingly enough, many of the people at the party were friends with Mrs. K from a long distance running club that she is a part of– which I think creates an interesting metaphor.

First, I should say that I am not a runner. And actually, I have a somewhat interesting story about doing hurdles from my youth. I’ll try to share it in the future. It involves me eating it bad as seems to be the case with all athletic activities in which I am forced to participate.

Now that that’s cleared up, I have heard that in competitive events, like running or swimming, people tend to perform better when practicing in groups b/c they tend to pace alongside those they are practicing with. So if you are swimming in a lane next to somebody who is a good swimmer, you will tend to swim faster b/c you are trying to keep up with him/her than if you just swam at your own natural pace.

Looking around at the people my age– all established and so very grown up– I realized: wow, I didn’t keep pace. It’s like being the laggard in a race and all you see and feel is yourself slipping more and more and more behind those around you. It’s such a helpfless feeling and all you can keep telling yourself is: I have to finish this race.

And I know, I know: you’re going to say that life isn’t a race, it’s a journey or some other New Agey bullshit like that. And yeah, it’s not like you want to get ahead of somebody or live life in a keeping up with the Joneses kind of way. You want to be focused on accomplishing what you want to and can accomplish and not be so consumed with doing what others are doing. Yes, you’re right.

But if you want the same thing that others want: a mate, a family, a stable place in life and when you find yourself in a moment where you are lacking all three– it’s just tough. And when you’ve been chugging away in your own lane, thinking, yeah! I’m swimming awesomely, and then the elite swimmer in the lane next to you zooms past, you realize: hmmm, maybe I don’t rock and now that I have something to compare my performance to, hmmm, maybe I need to get my shit together.

So that’s it from me. I know that I tend to sound really depressed and I do think that struggling with so much and feeling like getting a job sorted is the critical step to getting on with my life has been really tough. I just feel stuck. But tomorrow’s a new day and I gotta just get off my ass and make it happen, I guess.

– DOA

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