I’m sure most of us have heard the quote, “Don’t look back you’re not going that way”. This quote rings true for a lot of us I’m sure, but it’s also one of those quotes that is easier said than done. I could write a whole blog post about this quote, but I’ll save that for another post because its not what I came to write about today. Today I want to write about putting your blinders on and looking forward in the direction you’re going.
If I’m not talking about looking backwards, you may ask why I even brought it up. Looking back impedes your journey because you always have one foot in the past. By letting your future be influenced by decisions of your past, it is like trying to move through quicksand. Similarly, looking forward, while simultaneously looking at what others are doing in your peripheral, causes the same effect.
This is why we need to wear blinders. These blinders force you to focus 100% on where YOU are going, without letting others journeys influence you. I’m not saying to be naive to the world or become self-obsessed, but I am saying to stop comparing your journey to anyone else’s other than your own, and to stop trying to go down what you think is the “right path” versus the one you actually want to go down.
Now, you’re probably asking yourself how this topic ended up in Adventures in Dating, a series about relationships, or even why I’m writing about this topic at all.
I overheard the conversation of two women the other day. The one woman was discussing how she just found out another one of her friends was engaged and another was pregnant. She was worried because she will still single, but admitted she had been focusing on her corporate career and not really thinking about marriage or children (and also that she was only twenty-four years old).
As I looked at this girl who, to me, had it all – beauty, intelligence and a thriving career, I couldn’t help but wonder how our society has brought us to a point that says this is not enough. That without a partner or a child you, as a woman, are not fully a woman.
I read an article recently about things you shouldn’t say to couples without children. The article touched upon peoples’ nosiness to ask why you aren’t pregnant, when you will be or (God forbid!) why you aren’t having children. Again, I wonder when this became the standard for a “complete” life and why a woman should be made to feel less than because she does not have these boxes checked off.
In speaking to some single friends, and looking back at my own experiences, I can relate to that twenty-four year old single girl I overheard that day. I often felt insecure about my singleness and like there was something wrong with me.The funny thing is, I didn’t have a hard time being single because I was always lonely, in fact, I was the most social I ever was when I was single. I had a hard time because I was constantly looking at life with my peripheral vision. I unfairly compared myself to others who had lives that I thought I was supposed to have and frankly, lives that I did not even want but felt pressure to create.
This is why I’m asking you today to focus on where YOU are going. If you are single and are happy being single, don’t let anyone steal your joy. If you are in a happy relationship and you are getting nagged to get married when you don’t want to, then don’t. The moral of today’s post is be happy with what you have and where you are going and don’t feel the pressure to have a life anything other than the one you envision for yourself. Go on the path you are narrating for yourself, not one that has been already written by someone else.
I’ll end this post with another quote, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Don’t compare your journey, especially when it comes to relationships. You know yourself best. Take your time and make the choices that will make you the most happy, not what others think will make you happy, or worse, what makes them happy.
Have you ever felt the pressure to measure up to other people’s standards or relationship ideals?