I found out recently that a friend of mine, who is 3 years my junior, got engaged. This will most likely mean she'll have been married twice before I even go out ring shopping.
I've always been the last one to do things. The late bloomer. Last to wear a bra, last to start her period, last to get her driver's license, last to get a boyfriend. Just yesterday I had lunch with a girl I used to babysit, who is not only married but expecting her first child.
It seems I'm quite far behind a lot of people around me.
But as the New Year approaches, and I look back on what transpired in '07, I can see that I'm far ahead in other respects. A lot of people I know have never been to Europe or even New York City. Most have not climbed Half Dome. Or navigated their way through 10 months of counseling. While they've all been busy getting married, buying houses and having babies, I've been leapfrogging ahead in other areas.
It's not a competition. The early bloomer is not better than the one who develops late. Just different. One may have a C-cup, the other may have a highly evolved sense of humor. And neither should want to trade places. Because there are always benefits to each side of the fence.
I may not be sporting a big rock or picking out nursery decor—but this means I can flit off on vacation whenever I want and sleep in without interruption from a little one's cries.
All the things we want will come in time. And in the meantime, we need to enjoy where we are...because there will most certainly be trade-offs when we catch up to the people around us.