Life Will Never Feel Like It’s Supposed To

Life Will Never Feel Like It's "Supposed To"

Below is an excerpt of Secret #6 from my book 101 Secrets for your Twenties 

When is my life going to feel like it’s supposed to?

Dan landed an amazing job right out of college.

Stacy knew she was going to marry Frank, her soul-mate, two minutes into their first date.

Heather is on the cover of Mom’s Inc. taking care of her three kids, whilst knitting sweaters for kids in Uganda — all with perfect hair.

Why can’t my life be more like theirs? When am I going to experience the success I am supposed to? I’ve asked that question exactly 4,399 times and now at 29 I think I’m catching a whiff of the answer.

Never.

Life will never feel like it’s supposed to.

Because what the heck is “supposed to”? Does Jersey Shore, The Office, or Modern Family tell me? Is it our Facebook friends? Our parents? Brother? Sister? Job? Who holds the blueprint for my life — down to the amount of kids, salary and size of my house? Who decides “supposed to”?

Life Will Never Feel Like It's "Supposed To"

Not living up to “supposed to” stokes my Quarter-Life Crisis and prompts me to eat a tube of raw cookie dough while watching House Hunters – cursing all the happy couples who have an extra $650,000 lying around.

Why am I searching for “supposed to” like a mad scientist who’s given his life to finding the Loch Ness Monster? I’m ready to turn that channel.

The single greatest truth about being successful in your 20’s and 30’s — There is no “supposed to”.

“Supposed to” is a lie. A fairy tale. It is the stealer of peace and productivity. It is the leading cause of Obsessive Comparison Disorder with everyone who “has it better.”

Because no one has it all figured out. No one holds their first child with all the answers. Not many walk right into their passion from the graduation stage. Not everyone gets married like they’re “supposed to” or climbs the corporate ladder full of broken rungs.

If we keep trying to live other people’s lives, who’s going to live ours?

As I first wrote in 21 Secrets for Your 20s, being twentysomething can feel like death by unmet expectations. However, you are right now, at this moment, exactly where you need to be. You’ll just only be able to see that five years from today.

Let go of “supposed to”. Tie an anvil around it’s neck and throw it out to sea.

 If we’re always trying to live like we’re “supposed to”, we’re never going to freaking live. 

 

22 Comments

  1. Annie

    This is brilliant. I had so many great ideas about how life would be after university, and, stupidly, how I definitely wouldn’t waste a second of my unemployment while looking for a job and that I’d always be out on some exciting adventure, going on day trips on my bike with picnics and reading in idyllic settings for hours, or uprooting my parent’s garden creating a vegetable patch. It turns out that biking long distances is really hard, it rains a lot in the UK, totally ruining all my picnic plans, and I can’t just start a vegetable patch in a garden which I might not be calling my own for very long. But, as it says above, this is where I’m supposed to be right now; and that’s okay. This is exactly what it’s “supposed to” be like.

    Reply
    • admin

      “This is exactly what it’s “supposed to” be like.” Well said Annie!

      Reply
  2. Loni Swensen

    First of all, I must say that I felt more than a little encouraged to see that the author of this post is 29, like me! I found this website a couple of weeks ago while searching for blogs about people who are trying to figure out what it means to be an “adult,” because I’m considering starting one as well. When I first clamped eyes on “All Groan Up,” I was so delighted and excited to see that, not only was it exactly the type of site I was looking for, but that it was written from a Christian perspective! Hallelujah! I couldn’t believe my luck (if you can call it that!). But then…don, don DONNNNN…(Rumble, rumble)…as I started to look around, I noticed that the site seemed to be geared mostly towards 20-somethings, and though I am freshly 29, I don’t feel like part of the 20-Club anymore. Discouraged but unwilling to count myself out just yet, I signed up for e-mails and continued to explore the site.

    I am getting a little long-winded here, but I just wanted to make it known that the fact that you are 29 made me smile (insecurity loves company), and it was also great to be reminded that I’m right where I need to be, especially when the comparison game has been so tempting as of late. I feel like God has been whispering a lot to me lately about the content of this post (your post being one of the ways). Thank you for the encouraging words!

    Reply
    • admin

      Thanks Loni. Glad you’re giving All Groan Up a shot.

      Reply
    • Christine

      Agreed! I literally typed in “27 year old single Christian still living with parents”, looking for an encouraging word, anything, from a site like this, from others who feel “stuck”, with friends who are all either married, having kids, moved out, working dream jobs and “living”.

      I’m so glad God directed me here first, and not down some other path to make me fall further into depression about my situation.

      Reply
      • admin

        Thanks Christine. Very encouraging for me to hear. I know the feeling of letting “supposed to” fill you with anxiety.

  3. Gloria

    Even those of us who got great jobs straight of college (like I did) are wondering if this is what it’s supposed to be…and that can only lead to death by stress. Its time to let go.

    Reply
    • admin

      Yep. Thanks Gloria. Death by stress is just as bad.

      Reply
  4. Jason Ziebart

    I was playing golf the other day with an older gentleman. I misread a putt and said, “That didn’t break like it was supposed to.” His reply was instantaneous. “If it was supposed to break, it would have.”
    I’ll let the anecdote speak for itself.

    Reply
  5. Nicole

    I had to comment on this post just because when you said
    “Not living up to “supposed to” stokes my Quarter-Life Crisis and prompts me to eat a tube of raw cookie dough while watching House Hunters – cursing all the happy couples who have an extra $650,000 lying around.” is exactly what my boyfriend and I did last week. Every last detail. I think this is the right site for me.

    Reply
    • admin

      HA. Thanks Nicole. Too good. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever watched House Hunters and felt better about my life.

      Reply
  6. Katie Cross

    I just watched this video for the first time. Hilarious, Paul!

    Reply
    • admin

      Thanks Katie!

      Reply
  7. Jaymie Shook

    This was the first of many secrets that had me dog-earing the page to come back and re-read. Let me know when you get those posters we talked about, Paul. I want this one and complainism!

    Reply
    • admin

      Thanks Jaymie! And for the reminder. It’s definitely on my list of to-do’s.

      Reply
  8. tim gallen

    this is my favorite secret from the book, paul! i lived for too long in a world of “supposed to.” the only thing i’m supposed to do is live life the way i want to. great stuff as always, my friend!

    Reply
    • admin

      Yes sir! Thanks as always my friend

      Reply
  9. Beth Anne

    I think out of the whole book this was my favorite “secret.” It’s so true. The way we think our”life” should be is soooo different than reality. I think this is the best secret for anyone struggling.

    Reply
    • admin

      Thanks Beth Anne!

      Reply
  10. MJ

    Great stuff, as always, Paul! Favorite quote: “Supposed to” is a lie. A fairy tale. It is the stealer of peace and productivity. It is the leading cause of Obsessive Comparison Disorder with everyone who “has it better.”

    Sharing with the wise individuals over at https://www.facebook.com/FMUniversity.

    Reply
    • admin

      Thank you as always MJ

      Reply
  11. Nojuan Especial

    I’m thirty one now and this man is a LIAR.

    Reply

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