I am 24 years old and I am single. I have lived on my own for quite some time, but recently moved in with a coworker. I work and go to school for special and Woman Sitting with a Cat in Her Lapelementary education to become a teacher. I have a cat. Yes, I am 24 and already I have become the crazy cat lady.

Social media displays all of the people I went to high school with, and everyone seems so happy. It seems as though everyone is getting married and having babies. Here I am, at my so called “prime” and I feel I have nothing to show for. Sure, I am close to my degree, I’ve had the same job for almost four years and my cat likes to have me around, but is that enough?

I do not want to come off as a woman who needs a man to feel validated, because I don’t. I have worked hard to be called an independent woman, but maybe it’s from my generation of Disney movies that make me feel I should have found the love of my life by now. Every relationship I have been in starts with a man who seems so sweet and caring. Then…flip the switch and he is a psycho. How do these girls find their soul mate so young? When is my guy going to jump out of a bush? He is definitely making me wait.Woman with Arms in the Air

I think about this all of the time because these girls that I am talking about who are already married and with a couple of kids keep telling me the “clock is ticking”. Then I realize… Not all, but a good amount of these people have not challenged themselves like I have. Some of these girls have never lived on their own, some have never had to work more than one job at a time or even work at all, and others have never gone to college. I am certainly not saying that I am better than them for working so much and going to school at night; however, I am proud of myself for choosing ME. I am happy that I chose school. I am happy that I have not settled for a guy that was not meant for me. I am happy that I am independent. I am happy. So, for all of you single ladies out there, just remember you are strong and you deserve everything!

Who cares if it takes us a little longer than others? We will only be more prepared for our soul mate because we took time for ourselves and learned to love ourselves first. Keep challenging yourself ladies and something good will always come your way.