Why I'm Not the Golden Child

Originally published Monday, 24 March 2014.

No, I didn't get a publishing deal. I didn't land the dream job. No one in my life has popped the question. There have been no housing contracts. No new cars. No baby or bridal showers thrown in my name.

A tongue-in-cheek article I wrote about comparing cussing in front of your Christian friends to farting in front of a new boyfriend/girlfriend wasn't picked up by the blogger who has written all of the bestsellers. Understandably so.

Actually, I'm pretty sure that everyone must have some sort of anti-biotic in their system that prevents my posts from going viral.

Nothing remotely exciting or different has happened in my life. But, this week, I got my first real break:

I've realized that I am no longer the golden child.

I know to wrestle with this realization is a first world problem on par with committing a felony. And that maybe I should even keep this struggle to myself. But, I so liked being the busy graduate student. The girl who swarmed, who lived on coffee and carbs and left people wondering "how does she do it all?" in my wake.

That season is over now. And I should be thankful. I know I should. I don't envy the hectic life. Not one bit.

But, as a result of not living hectically, I also don't feel like much is happening.

The violent dogs that nip at my heels and growl about why I'm not more successful monetarily or maritally by now are becoming harder to ignore.

And what's worse is that I'm becoming a growling dog myself, rumbling loudly to others and complaining about all of the things that are not happening in my life. All of the news I do not have to report.

It's what I wrestle with in my head. It's what I battle in my heart. It's like holding an umbrella against the wind. And I want so badly to come inside from the elements. Even if it means my hair will be tangled and tasseled.

But, man. This wind is strong. And sometimes feeling as though I'm stuck in this life stage of going-nowhere makes me too weak to fight it.

Then I have to wonder if any of our favorite stories about the lives of those who have been a little too easy or accommodating? We don't root for the big dogs, we want the underdogs to win, don't we? So then, why am I striving for a life full of non-obstacles and non-heartbreak?

If my message is about being the Prodigal Sister, and this very blog, these very words are meant to create a space for women just like me to hash these uncertainties out, why am I trying to skim over them in my real life?

There is joy in being the misfit.

And it makes a much more interesting story. It doesn't make it any easier to let go of the desires I have to see the hustle in my day-to-day be recognized. But, you know? Even after all of my griping, I'd still rather be on this side of my dreams. I still want to be working toward them rather than cleaning up after them.

After all, I like to save the best for last. The fun things come after the hard work. The reward comes Like how I eat cupcakes: bottom first, then icing. That's really the only way, right?

At the end of it all, at the end of being happy on behalf of others and feeling stagnant, I have to be grateful that I'm still learning.

I'm learning, therefore I am alive. And I need to believe that is worth a celebration all by itself.

photo credit: Silvia Sala via photopin cc