What’s age got to do with it?
From the time we are born, we are given certain benchmarks we are to reach at a certain age – when we should walk, when we should talk, when we can get a cell phone, when we can drive a car… the list goes on.
Age seems to be such a lingering factor in life, but what does it really even matter? It’s a number, and that’s really all.
We have gotten so caught up in having another item checked off the list at a certain age. Have a college degree by 23, be married by 25, have kids before 30, start a career right out of college, retire at 65.
Shouldn’t we just stop and smell the roses instead of counting down our days?
We are racing to beat the clock when we have no idea when our clock will run out. No one knows how much time he/she has on earth, so treating it like a sprint is no good. It’s a race alright, but it’s a slow steady jog, not a full speed, mad dash to the finish line.
You do not have to know what you want to do with your life when you are 18, or even 25. Some people don’t discover their passion until they are 50-years-old. Nowhere has it been written that your life has to be “together” before you turn 30.
Yet, we treat life as if it will end when we turn 30, that it will end when we have children, that it will end as soon as we reach the age the world calls “old.”
There are plenty of 50-somethings that have much younger, more vibrant souls than so many 20-somethings.
Living a long time doesn’t make you boring and tired, and living a short time doesn’t make you dumb and naive. You get to choose what you want to do and when you want to do it, no matter how old you become.
Rushing to get married before you “run out of time” does just that – it rushes it. Beautiful things take time to create, nourish, and build. Worrying about finding that special someone and sealing the deal before you get too old might ruin it all together – and then you’ll be looking for another someone.
You can be single and “find yourself” for as long as you’d like. You can also work where you want and live wherever you want for as long as you want. There is nothing holding you back except that little voice in your head telling you you have to work and live in certain places in order to achieve a certain goal by a certain time.
Things won’t always work out the way you envisioned when you made that five-year plan, and that’s ok.
Plans are for the birds anyway – oh wait, no they aren’t because birds just fly. That’s what we were created to do – just fly. Instead, we stay on the ground worried about whether or not we are meeting the deadlines we have pulled out of thin air for our lives.
It’s fine to have goals, dreams, plans, and schedules – but when we let them define us, when we put a time limit on our happiness, that’s asking for disappointment.
Your journey does not have a deadline. You do not have a deadline. You will grow into who you are supposed to become, and however long that takes, well that’s just fine.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. That’s the saying, right? Well, you can’t be built in a day either. Becoming the person you want to be with the life you want to live might happen when you’re 24, but chances are it won’t. Chances are, you will continue to evolve and change every day until your very last day.
The key to happiness is to soak up every moment, and we can’t do that if we are worried that we haven’t accomplished enough for our age.
Every person on earth has a different genetic makeup that allows for different accomplishments, hopes, wishes, ideas, thoughts, actions, etc. Therefore, there is no guideline on ages and what stage of life a person should be in at a certain age.
While yes, maturity in different areas comes with time, that does not mean everyone matures at the same rate.
So stop holding yourself to this fictional standard. You do not have to figure your life out before you turn 30. If you’re still single and haven’t decided what type of career you want to pursue and haven’t lost that extra 10 pounds and haven’t checked those top three things off your bucket list when your 30th birthday rolls around, your life won’t end. And if you learned and grew and built relationships and made happy memories while you weren’t achieving all those things you thought you were supposed to, then you lived. You lived fully if you can look back and smile.
Don’t let those age expectations allow you to self-destruct. Just do your best and love yourself and everyone around you – your life will eventually make sense.
Quit focusing on age and numbers and deadlines – start focusing on life and feelings and moments.