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    Chavs27
    Participant

    I am at a point in my life that I didn’t expect to be experiencing.

    Yes,  I am in my early twenties and I have my whole life ahead of me – but in order for my whole life to be ahead of me, I need to pause and consider what I am doing.

    And that is really hard.

    My friends and peers are at that point where they are not only dating but getting engaged, married and having kids.  Me on the other hand, while being in that scene am realizing that I really am not emotionally ready right now for that.   And that is painful because where I planned my life – I was supposed to have kids by this point.

    My friends and peers are finishing school and starting jobs – they are finding their footing in where they stand in their careers. While I am semi-putting my education on hold in order to be able to fully focus on myself before I enter a career where I will hopefully be giving of myself.

    My parents were married and starting their careers at my age. And I am far more stationary at this point than they ever were

    But why?

    Why do we create a culture where we are rushing. Rushing to finish school. Rushing to get married and have that kid. Rushing to do this and that. Creating pressure that doesn’t need to be present. We aren’t present in what we need to improve on for ourselves.

    Hashem created us to be the unique creature that each and every one of us is.  So, please don’t get caught up in comparing your map with someone else’s.

    The destination is different, the path is different and the shoes that you are walking in are different.

    And we all have until IYH 120 to get to that destination – no reason to rush and sacrifice your menuchas hanefesh to get there.

     

     

     

     

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    anonymousme
    Participant

    Hiya! wow. i love that you were able to put this into words. i’m not sure if your asking for something or just wanted to see if anyone can identify with you but I wanted to say that I can. I think this concept of rush rush rush is insane and it destroys peoples ability to be present and focused and work on things that matter to them at their pace. It is the concept of compare and despair but all the more so with the added pressure of a community that is hyper focused on numbers of age and marriage and children and the list goes on. Every community has their thing and this is ours I suppose. However, you are making a choice to identify the pressure but not give into it and risk your health and happiness out of peer pressure. If you are mastering the skill of pausing in the chaos I envy you (in a good way) and I think you are moving on just as others are although it looks different. Being able to think for yourself and be present and pausing to think whats right for you at what time is something that people don’t master in a lifetime. This is the kind of growth money can’t buy.

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    Chavs27
    Participant
    Topic Author

    I guess just getting out thoughts that are on my mind.

    Thanks for validating me.

    not looking for mastery, just confidence in the process and countinued emunah that I am following the emet way.

     

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    Chavy
    Participant

    Hi! Wow and thank you for voicing the feelings that I think we all have on some level but have not yet openly spoken about it. Yes, comparing ourselves to others is never the best road to go on. Like you so eloquently said, we each have our own map; our own journey. Another point you mentioned is the constant rush and not being tuned in and present.  The rush to and from work and the rush to ‘make’ it through the day. I often wonder why society has created a one-size-fits-all script that everyone must follow for fear of looking weird/strange and etc.. For example, who says one must get married or start the dating process right after high school/seminary?

    We have made Life into a race where everyone wants to finish with a gold metal. And, we can, but in our ways.

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    anonymousme
    Participant

    Exactly. I like how chavy said that

    We have made Life into a race where everyone wants to finish with a gold metal. And, we can, but in our ways.

    It’s nice to see that normal people also question the norms and choose a path that is in line with the torah but meant for them. I don’t now who decided that straight from high school and yeshiva every girl and boy is ready for marriage. And its sad that not being there is fraught with so much family, community, society resistance. I used to look at older singles and pity them because that’s what social society/pressure taught me to do but now that I’m somewhere there I have a whole new perspective.  I so respect that maybe they didn’t start dating at 18 and made choices for themselves that were healthier and more in line with what they needed to blossom. Hopefully and likely they did spend their 20’s waiting for the next date but used their time wisely to self develop whether or not they wanted to/felt ready to get married at a younger or older age. Hopefully they can look back on well spent years and are still hopeful about their future as a husband or wife and father or mother. If this is the case they are likely not sad and bitter and hopeless as somehow the community expects all to feel if they are not parents at a certain age. apologies for the rant, just passionate about this topic…thanks for bringing it up.

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    Banana
    Participant

    +1000!!! Couldn’t agree more. This is such an important discussion. I think singles today, even those that feel they are ready to get martied and are trying to find the right match, feel that they are supposed to be sad. Parents think they are supposed to be worried/concerned/sad when they have older singles. This can cause a vicious cycle of depression in the home. HaShem gives us each our own journey in this world and He wants us to accept His will with happiness and joy. Singles (whether they’re ready to get married or not) and their parents need to enjoy the time they have with each other. It would be a shame to look back many years later when the parents are old and the children are busy taking care of their family and regret the special times they could’ve had together. Let’s remember:

    “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

    This is a super important concept and I’m so glad it found it’s way here. Thank you all for contributing! @banana-wow! I’m going to steal that quote and it just became one of my favorites.

    Single or not, I think we can all apply this concept in some way. The idea of always waiting for the next thing life will bring or the next thing we want it to bring deeply reduces the way we can experience and enjoy the moment, and it’s such a shame when we can think about it objectively. The problem is most of the time we don’t take the time to step back and think about things objectively. We’re so entrenched in life as we know it, we can’t see the forest from the trees.

    I also think you mentioned something so important here. You said It’s almost as though we are expected to be sad, worried, afraid, and depressed when we don’t have what we want specifically in the area of dating, marriage, and children at a certain age (depending on community) and i couldn’t agree more.  Further, it seems that if you don’t portray these feelings on some level people will be more concerned than if you do.

    Of course, I don’t have a solution but I hope that we (myself included) can begin to second guess the feelings we adopt out of fear and a desire to belong and begin to think more about what we can do with every moment in possession of the gift of life.

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    Chavy
    Participant

    Single or not, I think we can all apply this concept in some way. The idea of always waiting for the next thing life will bring or the next thing we want it to bring deeply reduces the way we can experience and enjoy the moment, and it’s such a shame when we can think about it objectively. The problem is most of the time we don’t take the time to step back and think about things objectively. We’re so entrenched in life as we know it, we can’t see the forest from the trees. 

    Hi Fay,

    This is so so true!! I know from myself that although I try to practice mindfulness (which is constant work), I find myself thinking about so many different things at once. Although it’s very hard, taking things one thing at a time and living in the present, is very effective. This also helps with being objective. And, as you say, “seeing the trees from the forest.”

    Banana, your thoughts are very much on target! As you mentioned, appreciating each stage of life and each moment (whether we’re where we would like to be or not) is so helpful and beneficial. And, I also love your quote! Again, very true and powerful!!

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    Banana
    Participant

    Thank you @Fay and @Chavy! Love your thoughts as well.

    Yes being mindful in this fast paced world is extremely difficult. I always try to remember that its called a practice (practicing mindfulness) for a reason-because no-one is perfect at it. It’s in the practice that we can find the joy of the moment.

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    DDD
    Participant

    Oh wow can I relate! Yes I’m 24 (almost 25– yikes) single and grew up in such a community! Pretty much every girl in my group from high school is married with at least a child… I can feel your pain as well as the pain of many of the responses. It hurts me that you are in such pain. And I really feel like it’s a shame that you feel this way!

    You sound like an incredible girl, capable of doing incredible things and making positive changes in the world! In fact, this experience may even be a great opportunity to take advantage of; the time you have now not being busy with a husband/kids can be used to make a difference– perhaps your pain now can even be lessened if you channel this energy to try and alleviate another’s pain. OK I know this might not seem practical so I’ll get a drop less intense here…

    I can say I’ve felt exactly how you’ve felt on many occasions. Interestingly, I felt this way more when I was 22-23 than now. (Who would think getting older would make one feel better?!) So what changed? First, I actually began going to school in a secular program. I can’t recommend doing that because it is obviously a personal decision hashkafically. But I actually found it a breath of fresh air to be in an environment where I was judged for more than the shaitel (or not) on my head. If this can work for you, it might be a good avenue to try. The other thing I’ve been doing is trying to strengthen my emunah. We’ve learned about emunah our whole life but this is actually the test of tests. To quote you stated: “that is painful because where I planned my life – I was supposed to have kids by this point.” You are literally hitting emunah on the nose! We don’t plan our lives! Dr. Lieberman (who I highly recommend listening to!) states that when we feel like we’re in charge we get upset and anxious when things don’t go as planned. When we realize and accept we are not in charge but everything is completely in the hands of someOne who knows alot more than we do about what’s best is running the show– that’s where get peace of mind– and that’s exactly emunah!

    On another note, remember everyone has their challenges. Some challenges we know about and some we don’t. Each of your married friends are no doubt experiencing other difficulties. (I’ve always hated when people said this to me but coming to this conclusion on my own has given me more peace… This is my challenge and I can deal with this!)

    Remember how amazing you are, how much you can add to the world and how lucky you are for the good you have! I implore to try and stay positive, it is such a powerful tool. Try not obsessing over being single and use the time for constructive measures!

    Hatzlacha Rabbah!!!

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    DDD
    Participant

    Oh wow can I relate! Yes I’m 24 (almost 25– yikes) single and grew up in such a community! Pretty much every girl in my group of friends from high school is married with at least a child… I can feel your pain as well as the pain of many of the responses. It hurts me that you are in such pain. And I really feel like it’s a shame that you feel this way!

    You sound like an incredible girl, capable of doing incredible things and making positive changes in the world! In fact, this experience may even be a great opportunity to take advantage of; the time you have now not being busy with a husband/kids can be used to make a difference– perhaps your pain now can even be lessened if you channel this energy to try and alleviate another’s pain. OK I know this might not seem practical so I’ll get a drop less intense here…

    I can say I’ve felt exactly how you’ve felt on many occasions. Interestingly, I felt this way more when I was 22-23 than now. (Who would think getting older would make one feel better?!) So what changed? First, I actually began going to school in a secular program. I can’t recommend doing that because it is obviously a personal decision hashkafically. But I actually found it a breath of fresh air to be in an environment where I was judged for more than the shaitel (or not) on my head. If this can work for you, it might be a good avenue to try. The other thing I’ve been doing is trying to strengthen my emunah. We’ve learned about emunah our whole life but this is actually the test of tests. To quote you stated: “that is painful because where I planned my life – I was supposed to have kids by this point.” You are literally hitting emunah on the nose! We don’t plan our lives! Dr. Lieberman (who I highly recommend listening to!) states that when we feel like we’re in charge we get upset and anxious when things don’t go as planned. When we realize and accept we are not in charge but everything is completely in the hands of someOne who knows alot more than we do about what’s best is running the show– that’s where get peace of mind– and that’s exactly emunah!

    On another note, remember everyone has their challenges. Some challenges we know about and some we don’t. Each of your married friends are no doubt experiencing other difficulties. (I’ve always hated when people said this to me but coming to this conclusion on my own has given me more peace… This is my challenge and I can deal with this!)

    Remember how amazing you are, how much you can add to the world and how lucky you are for the good you have! I implore to try and stay positive, it is such a powerful tool. Try not obsessing over being single and use the time for constructive measures!

    Hatzlacha Rabbah!!!

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    Chavy
    Participant

    I felt this intensity when i was 22/23 and just wanted to start dating. It didn’t feel fair that everyone (my friends and just about everyone else) was dating and moving head. This caused me a lot of frustration. Ironically so, now that I’m 24, almost 25, I don’t feel as pressured. I guess I’m realizing that i need to work on my emotional health so that I can be optimally healthy in a relationship. Dating is sort of off my radar bc i realize how much I have to work on, but there are times (like this past Sunday) when I feel like I wish It didn’t have to be this way. I tried comforting myself by saying that this is in Hashem’s hands and though I don’t like it, it’s what’s best for me.

    Like DDD said, as hard as it is, it’s important that we utilize this time for growth and gaining more self awareness.

    We should all find the right one with clarity and ease!! Wishing you all Hatzlacha!!

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    anonymousme
    Participant

    Ditto to all this again.  I would venture to say that the reason its less painful as we get older and more mature is because we are learning to accept and use our time wisely and meaningfully. We try to let go of the things that are not in our control and focus on things that are in our control which is ultimately trying to find meaning and joy in each moment in the best way we know how despite challenges and pain that are part and parcel of each stage of life.

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    OnAndonAnon
    Participant

    Great thread!


    @DDD
    , I can appreciate how going to a secular school would be helpful. It is more common in the frum world for 24 to be old, for marriage to be the barometer and that uniformity is key.

    Most people couldn’t care less what you wear, how you behave, when you get married and what career you choose. So in that there is a freedom.

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