I’ve asked myself in the past few months, “Are my best days already behind me?” Sure, this is a pessimistic question and I’ll be totally transparent as I always try to be… sometimes I wonder about the future as my life hasn’t really gone the way an American’s life is supposed to. The formula is this:
- You’re born
- You go to school
- Graduate college
- Get married
- Find a real job
- Have kids
- Become grandparents
From that list I’ve done about half. I’m not married, I don’t have a 9 to 5 job, no kids, and therefore becoming a grandparent is out of the question. By this standard, I’ve failed. I’m failing the expectations set forth in the unwritten American dream. When I feel the weight of these expectations, that’s when I wonder if somewhere along the line I got off the right path and now I’m wandering around the wilderness with no map.
I’m just being real. Some days are hard because of these thoughts. But then I think:
I might be single, but I’m not alone.
I may not have a real job (whatever that is?), but I love my life.
I don’t have kids, but I have dogs.
I believe in God. Like, the Spirit in the Sky, Big Man Upstairs, Cloud by day and fire by night Old Testament God, the God who is FOR me, and for ME… He has blessed me with, well, to keep it very simple, He has blessed me with life each morning when I wake up. Then there are the details and circumstances and He blesses me in those, too. But even knowing this, I still get dragged down by what I’m “supposed to be doing” or believing my best days are behind me. It’s not true. With God in my life, the best days are ALWAYS in front of me. On this planet, I’ll get to see the next generation in my family grow up. They may or may not have families of their own. I’m so happy I can show them that they, too, can take a different route in life and be happy and fulfilled. They don’t have to live by the American formula. No college? That’s OK. No career? Fine. Want be single till your 50 or 100? Go for it.
If they DO find those things, great. If they go another route, great.
And when I’m 99 years old and one of my great grand-nieces are taking care of me, my best days are STILL ahead of me. Because one day, I’ll be in Heaven with God. That’s sure something to look forward to. Mysterious, sure, but it gives me comfort knowing I have a future that will outshine my past. And in the present, I’ll keep shining as best I can… even on the cloudy days.
-Out of the Wilderness