Do you ever feel like you’re not accomplishing life’s big milestones as quickly as others are? Like you’re falling behind all of a sudden because you’re 25 and you don’t have your dream job yet, you’re 30 and haven’t bought a house, you’re 35 and haven’t started a family? If any of these ring true to you, I’m here to give you a small reminder that you’re not falling behind in life, and that we all harvest different stories at different times. Our own stories, at our own pace.
There Is No Set Timeline
It’s okay to not be living up to this so-called “standard timeline” that sometimes we have embedded into our head. Truth be told, there is no set timeline in which everything has to be accomplished by.
You don’t have to go to college or university right after you graduate highschool. You don’t have to land a perfect job and buy a house by the time you’re 30 and you don’t have to be married by 35.
Time is a precious measure of life. But if we’re living life thinking there’s a timeline in which we need to achieve all these big milestones in our lives in order to feel “successful”, it may leave us feeling stressed, frustrated and maybe even disappointed if we don’t achieve them when we think we should have.
Goals & Unpredictability Of Life
Goal setting is a very good strategy in life. I’m all for setting life goals and then celebrating their accomplishments. What I’m not all for is feeling rushed to get a certain life event achieved, at a certain age, just because that’s what people tell us to do. At that point, can you admit to yourself that it’s your life you’re living, or are you trying to live up to the standards of someone else?
Another factor to consider is that life is full of unexpected twists and turns. Full of ups and downs, highs and lows. It’s an unpredictable, beautiful mess. Sometimes the plans that you have for tomorrow, or even an hour from now can be altered by the slightest new detail. So how could you possibly plan every dynamic of your life all the way down to the ages in which you think you should have your milestones accomplished?
Just because you haven’t achieved certain milestones at certain ages doesn’t make you a failure, and it doesn’t mean you’ll never get there either.
Life Is Not A Race
For some people, maybe this “timeline” has worked exactly in their favor, and for others maybe it hasn’t. And that’s okay. But life is not a race or a competition. It’s not about seeing how quickly we can get through school, land a great job, buy a house, marry and grow a family. It’s not about setting a “cut off” age in which you feel you should have it all together. And it’s definitely not about feeling like a failure because you didn’t achieve your goals at a set age.
The fun in life is that sometimes it can be unpredictable, and sometimes from that unpredictability, the most beautiful things happen.
So set your own goals, do things at your own pace and don’t look down on yourself if you aren’t exactly where you thought you should be. This is your life, every minute in the day is yours. Completing things based on a timeline shouldn’t be the important part; it should be about the adventure you took to get there and the bliss that came with it. You are not falling behind.