I have an idea: let’s stop beating a dead horse, internet.
Some people get married before the age of 23, and that’s good and beautiful and right for them.
I say: good for you.
Some people don’t get married before the age of 23 and, you know what, in many cases that’s the right decision and I think we can all just order takeout gluten-free pizza, drink hot chocolate and pat ourselves on the back for doing what was right when push came to shove.
Some people never get married and they go on to live healthy, fulfilling, giving lives of grace and blessing for their communities and world.
If anyone wants to sing the Hallelujah Chorus at this point, I say: go for it.
It is also not outside the realm of my imagination that someone might have married at age 18 and is now regretting it. Similarly, someone may currently be in their thirties and regretting they never put on a ring when love was in front of them. And any one of us may be making decisions based in fear and selfishness instead of goodness, right?
Let’s take a few deep breaths.
People, over the course of their lives, make any number of good or painful decisions at all stages and ages.
You are, at this moment, a specific age. And you have done some things that other people have not done. And other people have done some things that you have not done.
Here’s an idea: you don’t need to compare anymore. Just listen to the whispers in your heart and do the right thing.
This isn’t about everyone else. This is about you and God.
We’ve all been to weddings of people older than us and younger than us. We’ve all met/ heard of people who have done amazing, wonderful things at ages older than us and younger than us. Today I drove to work behind a person with a “140.6” mile-sticker on their car. I’ve never run that far ever ever ever.
And, guess what, that’s OK.
We’re doing our best, right? And we’re growing and trying to improve and trying to listen to God the best we can.
More deep breaths.
Yes, other people have seen places I have not. Good for them. Other people live in fancier homes. Awesome. Other people are married and have babies and master’s degrees and fancy cars and own restaurants and sing on Broadway and know how to do handstands. The world is a great, diverse place, isn’t it? Thanks be to God.
I am not these things. I’m just a simple girl driving an old car to work.
But, you know what? I like my car. I like my work. I like my hair. It’s OK that everyone does things that I haven’t done: I’m not frustrated with that…I’m happy for them. My story is not their story–and, similarly, their story isn’t mine.
As long as we’re trying to be the “best versions of ourselves,” it doesn’t matter what everyone else looks like, right Matthew Kelly?
Now, then, some St. Teresa of Avila in italics, some Nell in not-italics:
May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
This one is hard, but try.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
So many possibilities!
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
You’ve got mad-gifts, child. Focus more on those and less on comparison. You bring gifts to this world.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
May this be your deepest identification-method.
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
Sing, dance, praise, love. Go ahead, I dare you. No matter the age, no matter the stage.
It is there for each and every one of us.
So, be free. The other people are gifts, but so are you.
I thank God for them, I thank God for you.
Live in blessing.