“Relax and trust the timing of your life. You will figure out your career. You will find the right relationship. You will become the person you always wanted to be. Just don’t forget to appreciate who you are now.” – Ruban Chavez
“It’s OK. You’re in a phase of your life where you feel unsure and lost. It’s a part of your path. Don’t avoid it:” – Luna & Sol
I sit patiently in my car waiting for the traffic light to turn from red to green in the front of my college campus. Peering out of my window as I wait, I witness a group of individuals dressed in long, black gowns with square hats either resting on their head, or in their hands walking to the front of campus. Each individual has a joyful, accomplished aura to them. The group of students are laughing and smiling as each one takes turns snapping pictures in front of the metal ESU sign. Multiple girls are assembled together handing their phones to their family members as each of them take those “never forget this moment” pictures. Posing proudly, a person from the outside (me) can tell how special this moment is for them. I smile at the scene of all the happy college graduates, and look up to find that the bright, red light is now dim, and a glowing green signal illuminates, demanding it is time to move on from this scenery. Pressing the gas pedal, turning the steering wheel to the left, and driving away from scene of graduates, I sit quietly as the thoughts of insecurity roar to the front and center stage of my existence.
Why am I not where they are? How come I haven’t graduated yet? Why am I so far behind? This must make me a failure.
I sit in my own pitiful thoughts as I compare myself to all those standing, dressed in the neatly pressed caps, and gowns holding tightly to their new found diplomas. I wonder, ponder even why I am not at this stage in my life where all those individuals are, why it is taking me much longer to achieve this one goal, and aspect of my life?
Feeling the pain of insecurity, and this “left behind” mentality I allow the tears to roll down my face as I am confronted with the fact that the way I have been living is not the way that I have pictured my life growing up what so ever.
As a young child we all picture how our life is “supposed to go,” you know that ideal image that we will all accomplish our goals at a particular age and live that “happy”, “free,” lifestyle we have always wanted. I don’t know about you, but the younger version of me pictured I would be graduated, doing some cool job, married to some unique individual, living in a house with a white picket fence and owning a black lab by the age of twenty-three. A little far-fetched if you ask me. (younger Lindsay had no sense of time)
Looking at this “ideal” image of Lindsay that the younger, childish version created I can come to the realization that absolutely none of these standards have been met. The person that I pictured myself to be at the age of twenty-two years old, and the activities I thought I would accomplish by this age have yet to be reached.
But what I am realizing is that THIS IS OKAY. It is OKAY that I am not where I thought I would be.
It is OKAY that I haven’t reached the standards I set for myself because life is not about reaching the standards, its about becoming a person I can say I am proud of being.
You see readers, so many times we get caught up in comparing ourselves to others. We see what others accomplish, wishing we could be where they are. We see how they act, or the “better” qualities they have, and we only wish we could be in their shoes. We wonder why situations don’t work out for us when they work out for others, and we dig ourselves into this grand ole’ insecurity hole that is hard to climb out of.
What I, as well as many of you reading this need to realize is it’s not about the accomplishments of others, or even the standards we hold ourselves up to. It is about the journey, the drive it takes for us to get FROM point A TO point B.
Who were you when you first stepped into this vehicle?
How have you changed?
How have you bettered yourself?
You see, our journeys are unique and different from one another, and sometimes we each get so caught up in comparing our journeys to other’s that we fail to realize how far we have really driven.
There is this great song called If You Want Me To by Ginny Owens and below I listed a few lyrics from this song. I love listening to this song when I am down about life and all it has to offer. This song reminds me that despite everything God has a plan for me, and He has a plan for you. Sometimes the place where we are standing or driving may be broken. Maybe there is a crack in the road, maybe there is a detour sign. Maybe, just maybe the GPS we were following pooped out and we have no clue where we are, so we are aimlessly driving to an unknown destination.
Sometimes we do not realize why we are on the pathway we are on. But despite it all, looking back, we can say that we have become different people than who we originally were when we first got in that car.
“The pathway is broken and the signs are unclear and I don’t know the reason why you brought me here.
But just because you love me the way that you do I’m gonna walk through the valley if you want me to…
Cause I’m not who I was when I took my first step, And I’m clinging to the promise you’re not through with me yet.
So if all of these trials bring me closer to you, then I will go through the fire if you want me to.” – Ginny Owen’s If You Want Me To
I may not understand why I face certain situations that I do, but I can hold onto the promise that despite it all, I am becoming the person that I am supposed to be. I am learning, I am growing, and I am maturing. So to anyone who is struggling with this idea of insecurity and comparing yourself to others’ journeys, I want to stress that your drive is different than all those you are comparing it to. I promise you that your journey is helping you to become the person you are meant to be, even if that means you are a little lost right now. So instead of waiting at that red light filled with doubts, and insecurities, drive on through the green light, see the places you are heading, and the person you are becoming through it all. Keep driving because this is YOUR journey and no one else’s. So do not compare yourself to others.
Keep driving, and keep becoming.