Mrs., Motherhood, and A Not So Sure Me. / by Jewell Bell

As a prepubescent, much thanks to gendered constructions, I like many young girls thought of marriage and motherhood as if it were a birthright. From carefully crafted baby names scribbled in my notebooks to the age I would be married, my future was decided and determined. I barely knew how to construct a proper thesis statement or memorized the Bill of Rights, but with ardent certainty I could tell you the ages in which I would marry and have children. I'd go to college, meet the love of my life, marry by 23 so I could enjoy married life for a few years, and by 26, I'd be bringing the first of 4 lives into this chaotic world. 

And now at the tender age of 24, the only thing I'm married to is student loans while birthing a shit ton of anxiety and panic attacks. Granted, 24 is still very young, but clouded in my naivety as a young girl, 24 seemed so old, and not at the very least in a committed relationship, seemed unfathomable. Currently, I feel as though I'm at this precarious stage in my life where almost everyone I know and have grown up with is either engaged, married, or parents themselves. Just yesterday, it seemed as though we all were still kids arguing over whether we'd have recess on the blacktop vs. the play structure. And now 'wedding selfies', engagement announcements, and newborns helplessly sporting dog/flower crown filters (much thanks to their millennial parents) bombard my social media feed. Nowadays, it feels as though everyone's becoming a mother or a Mrs. and meanwhile I'm just waiting for the next season of Game of Thrones. Much thanks to my anxiety that leads to a series of erratic introspection, it brings forth the question:

Are they moving too fast or am I not moving fast enough, if at all? 

In no way is this post intended to lament over my lack of domestication (the feminist in me is currently rolling her eyes) nor is it to elucidate with bitterness over those close to me that have reached that next stage of their lives (I genuinely am and have always been happy for them). But it's more so analyzing my life in whether I'm at the point where I should be having these internal conversations or at least seriously thinking about marriage and motherhood. Is adulthood finally becoming unavoidable? 

The answer is no. 

There's no universal rule or reality that everyone experiences stages of life at the same time and age. The reality is I'm not even ready for marriage or motherhood. My single status grows with much perpetuity, my dm's are dry as fuck, I can barely get a text back let alone a 2nd date, my boyfriend is invisible and TBD, and I'm too busy calling on my own mother to be someone else's. Furthermore, those roles come with significant responsibility that I'm not prepared for just yet. Pursuing my passions, establishing a career (and credit) for myself, on top of other goals should be my primary focus. The beauty (and at times frustration) of life is in the unknown and its malleability, as well as how unique we are as individuals (if not, we'd all be robots). My journey looks a lot different than my peers, and it doesn't make me any less accomplished.

So I look forward to dancing my ass off at my girls' weddings, taking advantage of the open bar, and liking all the dog filtered newborn pics on Instagram, while celebrating the next stages of their lives with them. In the meantime, I welcome the next unknown adventures in my life that have nothing to do with practicing new last name signatures in cursive or picking out baby names, while anxiously awaiting the new season of Game of Thrones.

Seriously, when the hell is it?!