Fear 8. Being Behind

What does that mean? Being behind. To me, it means a lot of things. Being behind in education, love, life, milestones, general things that happen in daily life.. And for as long as I can remember, I have felt like I am falling behind.

It’s very hard to be a twin. I wouldn’t trade my sister for anything in the world, and I love her with my whole heart. We have a connection that can’t ever be broken, but it’s hard to be the twin that can’t do anything right. That’s the twin I am.

I get a lot of things done, and I have accomplished a lot of things, but that doesn’t mean I feel like I have done them all in the right time.

In high school, my sister was involved with the man who is now her husband. They’ve been together since our sophomore year in high school. Which is wonderful for her and for him. I did not have that experience. I had several boyfriends while in high school, including one who was not the best first boyfriend you could ask for. He was abusive and controlling, but thankfully, he left me and I moved on. I dated a few other boys in high school and was informed multiple times by family members that I needed to stop running boys off and be more like my sister. And that’s when I started to really question myself.

Continuing through high school, there were other things that happened to influence that I was falling behind in life. Even though we took a lot of the same classes, she was in the top 10% of our graduating class, I wasn’t. She was section leader for our band section, and captain of our soccer team. I had always been the one who took sports more seriously, so that was one of the most devastating things to ever happen in my life up to that point. I remember my senior year, I stepped onto the field for a total of 2 minutes and 17 seconds. I didn’t play in my senior night, I didn’t play in my last game, I didn’t play in our playoff games, I didn’t even play on JV. I know, looking back now, that it was my own fault, but it didn’t make me feel like I was making any progress in life. Falling behind.

At our graduation party, people asked me what I did wrong to not get the same scholarship she got to our university, and why I didn’t have a boyfriend at our graduation, etc. It was never ending. That didn’t stop when we got to our college graduations. She graduated a year before me, with a double bachelor’s degree. I was incredibly proud of her, but at her party, a lot of the family friends couldn’t seem to figure out what was wrong with me and it started all over again. I graduated a year later with my bachelor’s degree. At the same time, she got married. I was behind again.

At my graduation party, no one cared that I was graduating college after a long and hard fought five years, they just wanted to talk about my sister getting married to her long time boyfriend and high school sweetheart. Which was fine. But.. didn’t make me feel too great. They all asked me repeatedly when I was getting married. I told them that since I didn’t have a boyfriend I had no idea. So they told me to be more like my sister. And I fell a little further behind.

I started working out a lot more. Applying to a lot of jobs and trying to use my chemistry degree. I got official notice that I got my job the same week she got a giant promotion at her company. Although my parents seemed to be proud of me for a few days, they were soon distracted and when we went out to dinner to celebrate, it was a celebration of her new promotion more than my new job. I love my sister very much, but it was difficult to be happy for her at that time. Behind a little bit more.

When she graduated, she also bought a house, and a car. I got those same things, it just took me a few more years. A little more behind. Don’t get me wrong. I am so proud of her. Beyond proud. I think a lot of my “being behind” comes from internal problems. I have always been compared to her and found wanting. Now I see all the things I lack without them being pointed out.

My sister and her husband are currently trying for a baby but have run into problems due to her PCOS. I want them to have a baby and I want her to be happy but at the same time I see her crossing another milestone without me. I am still not married. Although I am a few steps closer than I have been in the past. I have a steady, long-time boyfriend, and we have a home together, cars together, and a kitten. We’re discussing marriage but we have a few more things we need to get figured out before we take that plunge. And to be honest, for the first time, I am okay with it. It’s okay to be taking things slow. I want things to be right. So I am trying to relax and be okay with where I am and where things are going.

So, that is my eighth fear. Falling behind. Being behind. Staying behind. I want to be where people my age should be. Everyone from my graduating class is married/engaged/or a mother/father. I am trying not to focus on it, but it’s an ever present thought.

Thanks for reading.

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