Week 38: Phases of life

I’m getting a lot of toddler time this week. It’s wonderful. Yesterday, I went to the beach with my cousin’s wife and their two boys, who are so cute and so fun. On Saturday, I’m going out for ice cream to celebrate another cousin’s daughter’s fourth birthday. I got her Dr. Seuss books and a cute backpack, and I can’t wait to give them to her.

One of my favorite things about my life in California is getting to be around little kids again. I am one of the older siblings and older cousins, so growing up, there was almost always a baby or toddler around. But for about the past 10 years, that hasn’t been the case, so I’m so happy my cousins here have remedied that for me.

That being said, whenever I’m with them, it truly blows my mind that people my age are responsible for those things. I mean, HOW?!

I have never questioned that I want to have a family, and I know that when that happens, I will be ready for it, and I will love every second of it. But I am so not there yet. I’m not in that life phase yet — not even close.

I’m a big believer in life phases. I think it’s important to go through each phase, enjoy it and experience it to the fullest before moving on. For me, after childhood there was the high school phase, then the college phase and now the single/dating 20s phase. In a few years, I’ll transition into the dating/marrying my husband phase, and then in my early 30s will be the popping out babies phase. That’s the timeline I envision for myself, and I think it’s a timeline I’ll be ready for.

The thing about the phases is they are different for everyone. Some people skip the college phase. Some people skip the single 20s phase. Some people combine the marrying and babies phases into one. Some people have a pet ownership phase sometime before kids; I fully plan to forego that one.

The phase I’m in right now is all about friends, career and dating. It’s a time for freedom and adventures, for building the foundation of my adult life, for learning and growing and figuring myself out. I am doing all that to the max, and I think it’s going to lead to my being as fully formed and ready as I can be when the time comes to meet my husband and move into the next phase.

Some people meet their match at 18 or 22. Sometimes, it makes me a little sad that I’m not one of those people; I’m going to have five or eight or 10 fewer years with my husband. But then I think, that’s how it was always meant to be for me. I am the type of person who needs to do her exploring and discovering on her own, before meeting her person. I have realized so much about myself and my life over the past few years, and I don’t think I could’ve done that while attached to another.

I like to think my future husband is out there doing his own life-figuring-out right now, and that when we do meet, we’ll be able to recognize pretty quickly that we have found each other, and we’ll be ready to move into the next phase together.

Not to mention, I’ll get to tell him all about this amazing life I’ve been having while I waited for him to show up.

Endnotes:

Currently reading: Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

Currently watching: How I Met Your Mother, season 9

Song of the week: Old Dominion’s “Wake Up Loving You”

Plans for the weekend: Last-minute trip to San Diego to see a high school friend who is going to be there. Other than that, just working and church and running.

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