As I've mentioned on here before, I'm pretty young. I guess I've been a bit of an early bloomer. I met my husband just a couple of months after I turned eighteen...and we were engaged 5 months later. Despite taking the appropriate precautions, a year later, we found out I was pregnant right after I finished a very successful first year of college. Four months after our daughter was born we got married. I was twenty.
I've always felt a strong need to know who I am, and I've seemed to always pin the repsonsibility of definition on someone or something else. It might be strongly identifying with a particular political group or ethnicity, it might be based off of who I was hanging out with (more in high school) or what sort of parenting technique I tried to adopt and then throw myself into, complete with extremely rigid rules (Lizzie cannot cry ever at night time!). I would tell myself I'm a mother, so I must be a certain way. I would tell myself I am a wife, so I must be a certain way. I am a young, so I must be a certain way.
I realize that I am really young. But because most adults I know who are in the same place I am, at least in terms of settling down and having a family, I feel like I need to be where they are (even though, maturity-wise, that may be impossible). There is an air of confidence and security in who they have become that I do not have yet. (And worry that I never will.) They have had many more years than I have had to craft who they are and who they want to be before having a family. I didn't get a chance to build. There are many benefits, in my opinion, to having children early in life, but one of the biggest disadvantages is that you weren't given much to time to decide who you are without children in your life.
Some days feel like a battle where I am fighting to find out who I am or to feel secure with the person I've become. I feel a little lost on these days, which seem to come more and more frequently lately as I struggle to find a job for the fall. (A job. Another thing I feel I must use to define who I am.)
I know that after some time, more time to mature, who I am with emerge more clearly. I know, at my core, what I stand for, what I believe, who I love, what I don't love--I just don't know what sort of person this will form in the long run. Some days twenty-three seems very old, far too old to not yet really know who I've grown up to be. But I know that's unfair.
I just wish I felt that way, too.