Life’s Not a Competition


I feel like I’ve written this post before. But I’m feeling this way again, so I thought I’d just get deep for a Friday. I’m a generally competitive person. I like to feel like I’m winning. And recently, I’ve felt like other people are “doing life” better than I am.

People are getting married, buying houses, having babies. And while I know I’m not ready for any of that, I can’t help but feel like I’m falling behind. There are no real role models for living with the person you love–and not getting married right away after high school or college or whatever–and not really wanting kids and wanting to travel around for a while before you settle down in one place.

I mean, while I am inexplicably jealous of people who settled down in the same town from which we graduated college, got married right away and bought a house and are on their merry way to making a family, there is no way in hell I could ever see myself doing that right now–or ever for some things.

Still I can’t shake this feeling that “I’m losing.” I know it’s partially because of social media and technology like Facebook and Pinterest and texting and constant communication that I feel this way. How else would I know that everyone’s busy getting married or getting it on? But it’s also people around me talking about buying condos, inviting me to their weddings (oh how dare you, ha ha), etc.

If I buy a condo or a house now, I’ll have to be here for a very long time. Is that something I want to commit to at 24? No way. I’d rather experience living other places in America (besides the South!) and have that extra money to travel and buy things I like. Do I want to spend a lot of money on a wedding? Do I need a piece of paper to tell me that I love Sean and that I want to be with him forever? Also, isn’t the concept of marriage just a little dated and controlling? The government must know who you plan to spend your life with… until you decide not to, in which case you must complete more paperwork to not be with that person. Oh, and we’ll give you a little tax break for following our rules.

And let’s not get into kids. “Babies having babies” everywhere. It’s just not for me. Maybe when I’m 30. So why can’t I shake this feeling that everyone else is victorious over me when it comes to life?  Maybe because society is telling me that’s what life is?

For anyone out there who feels like everyone else is telling you what your life should be, I hope you don’t mind if I spend your Friday morning telling you (and myself) what life is not.

Life is not a race.

Life is not a competition.

Life is not a fairy tale.

Life is not read-only.

Life is not a stage.

Life is not your work.

Your life is not what other people’s lives are.

Life is not about keeping score.

It’s not about how many friends you have or how “cool” you are.

Life’s not about money, cars, houses, toys, and backyard pools.

Do life how you want to do it. And do it on purpose. Every day.

Happy Friday.

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quote


2 thoughts on “Life’s Not a Competition

  1. If it makes you feel any better I just moved back to my parents’ house, don’t have marriage anywhere in my foreseeable future and can’t comprehend anyone my age (or younger) having children….. And frankly, I don’t feel like I’m losing at all.

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