According to my 10-year plan that I made in college, I should be married with two children, living in Maryland (I love Maryland), have my own practice, teaching social work on the side, and driving an SUV (don’t remember which one – lol). 1 out of 6 ain’t bad, right?! 🙂 It’s so funny how life doesn’t really turn out how you envision when you are younger. There are times when I question why I have yet to accomplish some of those plans, what has gotten in the way and if I ever will. I think one of the greatest lessons I have learned in life is that timing is everything, but that doesn’t always mean my timing. I’m learning more and more with each life challenge or self-defeating thought I have that my plans and goals for myself may be great but they also may not be God’s plan for my life.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
I don’t know at what point in life women are made to feel like they have to have it all together or have life completely figured out. Like when does that start? When do we fall into this pressure trap of having to experience certain “milestones” in life at certain times? And why don’t men experience this pressure trap? Sometimes I feel like society plays a role in this because of the many hats women wear and are expected to wear perfectly; other times I feel like we put this pressure on ourselves in comparison to what we see in the media and in other women. While I do think it’s great for a woman to know what she wants, have plans and desires for her life and write out descriptive goals and objectives, I also feel like we should also have our hearts and minds prepared for the unknown, the what if those things don’t happen and give ourselves some grace when life happens. We’re taught how to plan and set goals through vision boards, journaling and so on, but we don’t know how to deal with setbacks, detours and u-turns. When life doesn’t go how we plan, we often result to beating ourselves up, questioning our worth and abilities, doubting ourselves and feeling inadequate.
To the girl who feels like she should have it all figured out, give yourself permission to not have the answer for everything. Give yourself permission to step away when you feel tired and overwhelmed. Give yourself permission to set your 10-year plan aside and ask God what He has planned for your life. Give yourself some grace when you mess up, when you forget, when you’re late or when you need a lazy day. Give yourself permission to grab some fast food instead of cooking a gourmet meal to post on IG – post that fast food meal and show others that you’re human and didn’t feel like cooking! Give yourself some grace for not losing the weight you wanted to lose – it’s okay! You can start again tomorrow! And while we’re on tomorrow, what’s wrong with starting tomorrow?! I know the inspirational quotes say to start today and not put it off, but if you need a day to get your mind right, then give yourself permission to take a mental health day.
To the girl who feels like she should have it all figured out, you shouldn’t. You don’t even have to have next week figured out. You don’t have to have your degree by 22, be married by 25, have kids or own your own home by 30. God doesn’t expect you to live up to this unrealistic timeline, so you shouldn’t either. Who cares what you haven’t done by now or where in life you have yet to reach. You’re not writing anyone’s story but your own and no two stories are the same. So stop rushing and stop comparing. Let your beautiful story be told the way God intended. Wherever you are in life, whether it’s the season you want to be in or not, is where you are meant to be and there is a lesson in this season. Don’t rush it, don’t question it, just enjoy it. Be kind to yourself. Don’t worry about where you should be, just focus on where you are right now and be sure to include God every step of the way. To the girl who feels like she should have it all figured out, you don’t have to, that’s not your job – that God’s 🙂