When I was at home over Easter, I went for coffee (read: tea) with my two closest friends from school. We swapped stories about what we're up to at the moment, what our other friends are doing, how we're spending our summers now we don't get several months off to do whatever we choose.
When I got home, I filled Mama CupandSaucer in on all the gossip from my morning with the girls, and I spent a while over lunch chatting to her about the fact that we are all doing completely different things at the moment. And I'm not going to lie, panicking about it.
Not because I think we'll drift apart- perhaps we will, but I have a stronger suspicion that we won't- but because it makes me panic that maybe I'm falling behind. And I have a strong suspicion that I'm not the only one who feels like this.
I have these sorts of panics on a pretty regular basis, and Mama CupandSaucer has become very good at them. She kind of points out that life doesn't run the same way for everyone- some steam ahead then completely stall, some take a bit longer to get started but then shoot straight ahead, and for others it's a bit of a gradual steady incline.
For the first time in our lives, at twenty-something, we are all completely free to do whatever the hell we choose. Some are living completely grown up lives. Some aren't. Some feel lost. Some find themselves. Some look like they know what they're doing, but really feel just as lost as the person who is quite obviously falling apart at the seams.
At the moment, I am surrounded by people of my age (or close to it) who are all at completely different stages in their lives. My younger brother, for example, is fully engaged in a career he studied for at university, owns a home and is engaged. My older brother, for example, lives in a house with a few friends, works two jobs that are entirely unrelated to what he studied at university, and is (to the best of my knowledge) single.
A very small number of my best friends are home owners- which makes me feel as though I should be, until I remember that none of the rest of my friends are anywhere close to owning a home. Some are living with friends, some are living with boyfriends, some are living at home with their parents. Some still live like students, while others dream of homes with an Aga and a KitchenAid (that would be me).
We're all at such different places with our careers too- I have friends who are doing exactly what they always dreamed of doing and loving it- and others who are finding that their dream careers aren't exactly what they expected. I have friends who are still at university, and friends who graduated three years ago but are thinking of going back to retrain.
To sum up- we are all completely all over the place at the moment. And it's very, very unsettling.
But I think what I'm trying to say is that it's okay not to be doing the same thing as everything else. What is it they say- comparison is the thief of joy? Life isn't so much a box of chocolates, as a snowstorm- every flake (life) is completely unique and develops differently. And that's fine. We'll all settle eventually. We'll all find our own way to where we need to be- and it's completely fine if that isn't the same place as everyone else.