Early in our careers as future people, we somehow get this idea in our heads that we are “supposed to be” a certain way. As babies, we are supposed to have certain milestones met. As toddlers we are supposed to have certain criteria met in order to be considered “in the percentile.” As children we are supposed to be a certain age to get into school, and then we are supposed to think and act a certain way in order to be considered a “normal” kid. What does that even mean? When does it end?
If you were to sit and think about how we are raised with this mindset, it is one of the many constants in life. It is no secret that when we hit the mature age of 18 we are “supposed” to have it all figured out. We are conditioned that we are supposed to pick a college so we can pick a career that will last us till we retire. In the middle of all of that, we will find the person we are supposed to marry and then have the kids we are supposed to have and then the cycle continues. If something doesn’t work out we lament, “it wasn’t supposed to be this way!” “This wasn’t supposed to happen!”
When I got married, I had this idea of what a wife was supposed to be. Even worse, I also had an idea of what a husband was supposed to be. You can imagine the problems this led to. No matter what we did, we were falling short of each other’s ideal supposed to be’ism. To follow this pattern of destruction, after we got married, we got the expensive fixer-upper and the SUV like normal adults are supposed to purchase, with the heavy mortgage that we were supposed to be able to afford, because we have grownup jobs that were supposed to keep us in a suburban neighborhood that our kids were supposed to grow up in. It wasn’t until the the last few years that we realized:
There is no such thing as supposed to be. – Me
It wasn’t until we got out of suburbia, traded in the SUV, lost our home, simplified to a rental, and I changed my career more times than I’ve changed my hair color, that we realized we were caught up in a mythical world. A world where so many people get caught up in reaching for some unattainable ideal. Nope. You know what/who we are supposed to be? Ourselves. The beauty of that is no one else has the right to determine who that is. For the longest time I had so much guilt because I was different from most people I met. I was either too much of one thing or not enough of another. I was either missing or way ahead of something. I was neither tall nor short, fat nor skinny, athletic nor brainy. I was in the middle, somewhere.
Know what? There are more people like me than supposedtobes, thank goodness. If you’re reading this and are struggling with not feeling like you fit in a mold; whether it’s as a parent or as a twenty-something, a child or a teenager, just know this: you are going to hate and love your life’s decisions at any given moment. Sometimes, you will hate and love them at the same time. We put so much emphasis on looking a certain way and acting a certain way and thinking a certain way that there is no room for realizing who we really are.
I struggled as a new mom. I struggled as a new wife. I currently have my struggles as a person. In times passed I remember thinking, “why is this not how it’s supposed to be?” Now I know the answer. There is no such thing. It becomes what you make it. Then by the time you’ve made it into something, that’s when it evolves into something different. Get ready for that. If you’re not a supposedtobe, welcome! Let’s talk. I’d really like to connect and interact with you if you’re reading this. Are you on facebook? You’re supposed to be. (kidding. maybe.) Find me. Friend me. Let’s get a group and call it “The Supposedtobes”.