Whose Timeline Are You On?

I remember years ago, (I’m talking in my ‘twenties!) a good friend was telling me about how she and her husband were trying to get pregnant. They had just gotten married a few months before, and this was exciting news. “That’s great!” I said, pretty reflexively.  

And then I said, “You are right on schedule!

I kept smiling. Because my friend wasn't.

Not at all.

There was a bit of an uncomfortable silence. 

She soon just looked at me, with the sweetest, bewildered, little look on her face, and said, “Yeah. I just don’t know whose schedule I’m on!” 

It was a good line, and we both cracked up laughing. 

It turns out that, even though she was still in her mid-to-late twenties, she was getting lots and lots of pressure from her mother to have a child, and stat. And eventually, of course, she did get pregnant. Twice! And they turned into beautiful and wonderful children.

But I truly never, ever forgot that conversation.

Because she was being painfully honest.

It probably did not feel right for her to be with the man she was with at the time. I really think that she probably felt it was too late to back down. She got married and pregnant. Learned how to be a good, decent mom. Stayed married for awhile.

Time is such an incredible construct that we have collectively created. 

It is so important to be able to sink to where you are in your life, wherever that is and whatever that may look like, right now. And where you will be tomorrow, and the next week, without judgement.

It so important for you to give yourself permission to live your life on your own terms, every minute, every hour that you are in it. 

I know it is certainly so easy to look at someone’s timeline, their trajectory, and compare it to our very own. We all are, at times, very guilty of doing this. And we may, conversely, feel completely pressured into adopting someone else’s path through life, at times. Or maybe society’s. Or, in my friend’s case, her very own family. 

Then we can spend a great many moments, and days and years of our lives, weighing and evaluating the choices we have made throughout time, even while having a lot of life (if we're lucky) left. We really, really do cause ourselves so much inadvertent, and unnecessary, suffering doing this. 

In the end, though-It is, really, all okay. 

Your f*ck-ups. Your triumphs. Your exciting decisions or your “less courageous” choices. We all feel differently about what we want in life, and how we want to pursue things (or not). We have our own thoughts about how we desire to really live it. It’s all…okay.

My friend also stayed where she was for awhile. Then...She changed her mind!

She made a huge choice. It wasn't brutal, but boy, was it messy. After years of separation and emotional bargaining, she found it within herself to go through with a divorce. And now, after many challenges on all sides, she is ecstatically living her life with a great, new guy.

My friend’s choices were what she decided and acted upon at that particular point in her life. They suited her best, at the time. Much later, they were causing her a lot of pain, and she had the strength and fortitude to get a divorce, which was certainly not in line with the timeline her parents had in mind, who are still (unhappily) together to this day.

But, the good news is, she had some good friends (and a great therapist) and eventually made the very best decision for herself, after spending many years not listening to the unhappiness and discord inside of herself. She broke free of a great many constraints- the main one being her fear over what others would think about her choice to leave her husband. But she heard herself, she got quiet and listened, and felt that she was worth more. Without realizing she was doing so, she was inventing her brand new timeline, right as she went along. 

You can do that, too. Get still. Get quiet. Listen, stop berating yourself. If you don’t make a grand change, or go in a new direction in life, or decide to stay just where you are, for a while ( as long as you are safe, and can make space for yourself in the world.) that is okay, too. Maybe your timeline is invisible to everyone else. Really...

Who gives a crap who is "watching? "The clock only ticks for those who can’t see what time it is. Your timeline belongs to you. And to you only.

And it is always your time.  Always, always, always. xo

Try these posts get quiet and find that safe space inside of yourself: