We've all heard, or even said, "I'm trying to get all my ducks in a row." It's a nice way of saying "I don't have my shit together yet, and I'm not sure how to get it together, but I know I'm supposed to."
My thirteen year old self just knew that I was going to be married to the perfect man, living in the perfect house, with the perfect yard, in the perfect neighborhood, not too far from my parents, financially comfortable, and pregnant by age twenty three (HAHA). In reality I was jilted, broke, and moving back in with my parents. I didn't fulfill that dream I had for myself, and I thought of myself as a huge failure. I fell into a huge rut of self depreciation that led to the deep and dark hole of depression, despite my outward appearance. I felt like it was all my fault my proverbial ducks weren't in their tidy little row.
Over the next five years, three boyfriends, three jobs, and six moves I finally found my center. I got to know myself better and what I really wanted for my life, rather than what society expected of me. It was only then that I was able to accept the love that I really deserved, and even then I almost slipped right back into my old habits. Philip defied all my negative expectations, proving every day that he truly cared for me even though my ducks were still wandering around all willy nilly.
I foolishly thought that once we were married I would feel more settled, like my ducks would slowly fall into line. Combining our ducks was a bit of a challenge at first, but I think we've got them corralled. I'm going to be 29 this summer. Shouldn't my ducks mind me better and line up when I tell them to? And why do they have to be ducks? What about blue birds, chickadees, or cardinals? In fact, why does it have to be a bird at all? Let's not discriminate! Can we have llamas, elephants, or bunnies instead?
I digress. When will I feel like I have my shit together? Does anyone even feel that way ever? Of course I went to Llama with these questions, and she posed a question to me: "why don't you feel like you do?" I really had to think a moment before responding. I had to be honest with myself and dig down deep before I had my answer: "I think it's so many failures and not finding my passion until later in life. I feel like I'm so behind and I'm scrambling to catch up with my biological clock." (And by biological clock I mean society's view of how our lives should progress and my teenage dreams.) And she responded "Yeah, that makes sense. I think you are doing great though. And at least you FOUND your passion. That's more than a lot of people much older can say." Wise words of truth, Llama. Wise words.
I felt even more at ease with where I am after talking to my mom. She said she didn't feel truly at peace with her life until she retired. What's funny about that is that I totally think that my mom has had her shit together for, like, my whole life. She always seemed like she did anyways, but that only proves that the face we put on for the world isn't always in line with how we really feel. For the record, she said I wasn't a weirdo for having undisciplined ducks.
And then Kendra weighed in: "I don't think anyone feels like everything is in line and even if they do, it's not for long. I think it's more of just accepting the life that is in front of you and enjoying every moment regardless." I have smart friends. Acceptance of the life I have is something I need to work harder on. Don't get me wrong! I love my life with Philip and our furkids. I have a rewarding job and a truly enjoy school. But I've had a hard time letting go of those childhood expectations of what my life would be like and forgiving myself for not meeting that timeline. I'm working on it, one day at a time.
Do you feel like your ducks are in a row? If so, at what point did this feeling occur?