Life Isn't a Competition
These are the thoughts that unfortunately flow through my head at any moment:
I'm too young to be going through a divorce. My marriage was painfully short. No one in my extended family is divorced. I feel like a failure. I have no children. I want children. Everyone else my age who wants children has them. I am behind in life. Everyone else is winning.
What is interesting is that a lot of these thoughts are all about my life in relation to others. I know that's human-nature. We compare ourselves to others all the time.
I think when you go through a divorce, at any age, it's almost impossible not to compare yourself to others. I have this belief that I should be at a certain point in my life. I see all these people around me forming families, getting married, making babies, and I'm over here, waving my hands about, blowing up my life.
I saw a play this past summer, titled "Victory for the Recycled Virgin," at the Fringe festival in my hometown. It really helped to adjust my perspective. The basic story-line is about a woman who experienced a divorce at the age of 40 (after 20 years of marriage) during the 1960's. The majority of the story that follows is about the trials, tribulations, successes and joys that happened in her life following her divorce.
The woman on stage telling the story was 81 years old.
She divorced in her 40's, but that was only one part of her life. She went on to have an unbelievably fulfilling life after her divorce. She is inspiring and is still thriving. Her divorce was only one part of her journey. Another signifigant part of her life proved to be writing, directing and staring in a production that tours all across North America; at the age of 81. She is truly a sensational human. The day I saw this play was the day that I added a new hero to my list of people I admire and hope to emulate. This woman could have allowed the experience of divorce to destroy her, but she didn't. She thrived.
It's so hard not to just look at the small picture, but it's way more important to think of the big picture. Life really isn't a race, even if we feel that it is. Yes, people around me are getting married. Yes, people around me are having children. I'm so happy for them. But I do not need to measure the success of my life in relation to what they are doing with theirs.
I'm not in competition with anyone.
Life is NOT about the finish line.
Life is all about the adventure.