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When you’re ready for what’s next

This stage of life (my late 20’s) is such a weird one. I feel so caught between being young and carefree and a being settled down and stable. In this weird in-between stage, I find myself feeling so impatient for the next chapter to arrive. 

Objectively, I’m living the “dream” millennial life. I live the city, I have no obligations outside of work, and I have tons of free time. I can watch all the Netflix I want, stay out as late as I want (which for me is 10pm), and walk to the Japanese restaurant downstairs if I’m feeling too lazy to cook. I have so much freedom in my life right now. What could be better, right?

Here’s the thing, though – My heart is so ready for what’s next. It’s ready for a house in the suburbs. It’s ready to be married. It’s ready to have kids. It’s ready to spend weekends at soccer games. It’s ready to own a minivan. It’s definitely ready to never go to a bar again. It’s ready for my its one extracurricular activity to be meetings with the PTA.

My entire life I have daydreamed about living that classic American dream in a house with a picket fence, a spouse, 2.5 kids, and a golden retriever (swap for goldendoodle). Now that I’m getting older, this dream is so close I can taste it, and it’s hard not to be able to binge on it yet.

This feeling is particularly tough because sometimes I feel so alone in it. I often find myself surrounded by people who aren’t in the same place. Who are still thriving in a college, friends-first sort of mindset. There was a time back in school where I used to move my flights home for break at the last minute so that I could stay at school and spend more time with my friends. But the older I get, the more important family becomes to me, and the more I just want to spend time with them. I can’t imagine putting anything before my family now! I feel like I’m waiting for other people in my age group to catch up to that feeling, too.

It is so tough to feel ready for what’s next, but to not be there yet. Patience is so, so hard. Sometimes I feel like I’m coasting through this part of my life because I just want to get to what’s next, already! It’s not that I’m not happy – it’s just that I have such a deep soul longing for more. Where other people look at Instagram’s of people at brunches and Coachella and feel FOMO, I can’t look at momstagrams without feeling a twinge of wanting.

It’s a constant challenge for me to remember that there is joy in the present. There is nothing I can do to make the future arrive any faster, so I might as well relax and enjoy my life now.

My life now is good. I have a boyfriend who makes me feel loved and supported every day. I have a great job where I feel valued and impactful. My family is close by and I have an awesome relationship with them. I live in a nice apartment with an awesome view that’s within walking distance of everything I could need (except for Moes. Philly needs a Moes). Honestly, I have everything that I need right now.

I have to remind myself that I’ll never get this time back. One day, when I’m surrounded by diapers and my second child just puked all over the outfit I’ve been wearing for 3 days, I’ll look back on this phase and wish I had appreciated it more. When I’m spending my Saturdays at soccer games, I’ll long for a day off to spend drinking at brunch.

But for now, I need to constantly remind myself to be patient and remember that good things take time. I need to take a step back and realize that I need to take advantage of what I have now, not just wish it away.

Can you relate at all? If so, do you have any tips for appreciating the present?

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