Millennial part 1

I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m a wife, mother, and a mental health counselor with a Master’s degree (a very funny joke at the pizza restaurant where I currently work). In polite conversation, it must seem that I am highly functioning, a success story, “Oh yes, I’m working for a private practice gaining hours towards licensure”, “Our daughter just started understanding German words, teaching her a second language is important to us”, “Well, James was recently promoted in his company, and we just celebrated our two year wedding anniversary”. These things slip right out of my mouth when I’m asked about them, as if my quick tongue is trying to cover for me. I wonder if they notice my face flush, my wringing hands, my dodging eyes; even though I’m speaking truth, there’s a lie underneath. I’m working for a private practice, but have no clients. My anxiety crawls all over me like spiders, reminding me that I’m unsure of what I’m doing right or wrong with my daughter. My relationship with my husband is still flexing it’s muscles, our love is coming in to itself. These are things I can’t say to anyone. I can’t because, if I did, what would people think of me? 27 is too old to still be figuring it out. 27 is too old to not have a solid career. 27 is too old to be unsure of myself as a mother. At 27, I should be thriving in my role as a woman who has it all, and all together: Master’s, husband, daughter, bills, home. I can’t think at this moment of who exactly handed me this criteria for a successful and happy life, I can only imagine that I’ve pieced together the expectations of everyone I’ve known and created this inescapable standard for myself. I put myself in this box. My anxiety, my self doubt, my depressive states, all a product of the woman I’ve decided I should become. The woman I haven’t become.

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