Against the Grain

After struggling with a case of writer's block, I dropped by my friend Kevin's blog this morning and was inspired. His topic was Following the Plan and he examines being a single student at the age of 29. It's funny how when we hit our late twenties people start to worry about settling down and being done with school because that is what is expected of them by society's standards. I see it in the same vein as married people being questioned when they will procreate. Quite frankly, I have to wonder why it's anyone's business. Personally, there are times when I regret not having finished my degree earlier in life because it isn't always easy being one of the oldest students in class and juggling a nighttime school schedule with a full-time work load. Ultimately, though, I'm doing it now and there are a lot of people who don't even go to college so right away I'm at an advantage. Also? I think I'm getting more out of my education as an adult than I ever would have as a self-centered gal in her early twenties.
I am a single woman on the verge of 30 and at times I feel like I'm on the brink of Old Maid status. However, had I married the man I thought I would have at the tender age of 24 I have a feeling my life would not be as happy and fulfilling as it is now. When I look at who I was then compared to who I am now, I'm a completely different person. Why the rush to marry in your twenties when people are living to their nineties? Why stay in a mediocre relationship just because you are afraid of being single in your thirties? At times I wonder if I'll ever have kids of my own but people are having children later and later in life so that comforts me. Hell, I don't even know if I want kids...
I guess what this all boils down to is that everyone should be able to march to the beat of their own drummer and follow their own dreams at their own pace without someone else giving them shit about it. What works for you doesn't necessarily work for me and that's that. So I'll leave you with the same question Kevin left his readers:
1) Did you follow “the plan” and are you happy, or did you follow it and regret it?
2) If you didn’t follow “the plan”are you happy that you didn’t or regret that you didn’t?


Buzz said...

1. I was in the military all through my 20's and I followed my plan to make it a career, but my knee blew up and I had to get out at age 30. So that's when everything went upside down. Since then it's been a lot of assessing my goals and figuring what's next. While I was following my career goals in the Navy, though, I was ultimately pretty unhappy becuase I was doing what they wanted me to, and not what I wanted to do.

2. I have no regrets. I'm where I am and who I am becuase I lived through what I did.

I see people who followed the high school-college-career-family plan and they don't know who they are, they don't even know what kind of music they like. They harken back to their college days as the best years of their lives and that's just a bummer.

Becuase life as an adult in your 30's with some life experience is pretty kick-ass. They won't figure that out till they're in their 50's when all that's left is retirement planning and bouncing grand-kids on their knees.

Good, thought provoking post today Randi.


hotdrwife said...

I had no plan, really. I hit the beginning of my 20's right after my dad died, and everything I'd ever thought I'd known about anything went out the window. I worked on myself, and then sort of 'flung' myself out there and landed where I am today. I learned, if nothing else, that life happens as it should. There shouldn't be any rush to get married or settle down if the time isn't right.

My life started coming together when I least expected anything to happen. I'd go back and only tweak a few things about the last ten years, but it's nothing I can't stop right now and do. Like finish college. That scares the absolute SHIT out of me.

Ps Good post, mama!!

ceedee said...

I half followed the plan, half not. I went straight to college and loved almost every minute of it. Then I worked, got a bf, "settled down" so to speak, before I really got the chance to know myself. Ended up heading back to school and ditching the bf, two of the best decisions I have ever made. You can never go wrong if you follow your heart, cheesy as it sounds. I am content not having a mortgage a marriage, a kid, and being 29. Don't ever let anyone judge YOUR life - its just not worth it!

Sassy One said...

For the most part..I followed the plan. I'm mostly happy.

You to be admired for working full time and going to school and still finding the time to blog :-)

Itchy said...

Wait...there's a plan? Dammit...

On the serious side? Yes. I followed the plan. Sort of. I graduated from high school and went to quasi-college and graduated with an Associates Degree in Accounting. I promptly got a job doing....nothing at all with Accounting.

I never thought I'd want to be married. Then I met who I was supposed to. Then I went back to school in my late 20s and got a degree that matched what I was doing at that time.

I'm now in my mid-30s and I STILL have no idea what I really want to be when I grow up. But I've decided to just roll with it, ya know. Maybe for me, that is the plan.

All of our plans are different. Don't let others tell you what your plan should be.

And? I have known plenty people in their late 40s, 50s and even 60s that went back to school once they finally knew what they wanted to be when they grew up. And they never took anyone's lip about it...

Coodence said...

Yeah, I'm not sure where the plan came from, maybe cuz I didn't read Kevin's post.

If its college, married, mortgage and kids, i'm half way there.

But that seems a little simplistic to me.

Going to college for me was leaving a town that most people do not leave from. So did I follow the Oxnard plan? I don't think so.

College was amazing and I loved every minute of it. I also loved the two years I spent working in San Francisco.

I married the love of my life who I met at the tender age of 18. Was that the plan? Only for the 1940s I think. I think most people think that is too young for real love or real relationships. So am I following their plan? No.

I moved to New York City to go back to school and be married and enjoy my life and my husband. Is that part of the plan?

I rent an apartment. Someday I hope to buy a house.

I'll probably have a child or two one day.

Then, when you look back on my life, no matter what peaks and valleys I made along the way, it'll look like I followed the plan.