To all appearances, I have spent the last few years doing nothing. This is manifestly untrue! I have spent a great deal of time in tears, and even more time sitting with my head in my hands, wondering what the heck happened and what the HELL is going to happen next. (What already happened cannot be changed, but what will happen is important to try and at least understand.)
I have done a lot of things, but none of them for any real length of time, other than be a wife. Seven years into it and I still cannot figure out how to keep things in proper order. By the measure of - almost - every woman in the US, I am a failure. For those who hold that having children is the best thing you can do with your life, I am wasting my time, not to mention being horribly selfish by having no children. For those who think that children are a waste of time and that only a career can satisfy the needs of a woman to change the world, I am being held back by my husband! "Poor woman! She can't even stay at a job a year, her husband is so demanding!" That or I have betrayed my "sisters" by being married at 18 *gasp* ON PURPOSE! No children, no career. I actually want both, but I only want to follow a career path where the people I work with call me "Mom".
(I must clarify something here: I am all for equality of men and women. I think it is good for women to be able to have careers if they want them, but I also think that if a woman wants to stay home and be a wife and mother, she has a right to do that also, without being criticized for "throwing her life away." Make your choice, but allow others the same courtesy of choosing.)
While this is a lovely idea, so far there is no progress made to achieve those ends. So I sit, to all appearances planning to spend the next few years doing nothing. There is only so much one can do to mark time, and I will admit that I have tried many things in the last 6 years to make that time count for something, but so far it just means that I am 6 years older and about 20 pounds heavier. Neither of these are considered achievements.
I am, perhaps, a little wiser than I was. The only indication of this I have is that I feel like I know less than I did at 18, which may simply mean that I am old enough to know how much I don't know and be able to admit it. When I have energy, this makes me feel like maybe I am changing more than I think. When I am tired, it just makes me feel stupid.
The point of all this is explain what I am trying to achieve. Success is defined by different people in different ways, so I am going to find my own definition, seeing as I don't like the sticks everyone else seems to be using to measure their success by.