Do you ever feel like you are rushing through life? Like you are totally running out of time to hit all of those big milestones?
At 24 I feel like I am so behind on where I should be in life.
Growing up, like pretty much everyone else, I dreamt about my future. I dreamt about going to university, meeting the love of my life, getting the perfect job then getting married, buying a house and having babies all by the time I was in my late twenties.
Well, at least I have accomplished one of those things!?
Now I am in full on adulthood and I feel like I am just playing make believe.
I am single, not in a job that I had imagined for myself and I am nowhere near buying my own house.
All through our lives we are always working towards the next milestone. From learning to walk & talk, going to school, passing exams, getting into university, meeting someone, getting a job, getting married, having kids… you get the idea.
Life is always about what is next, and society seems to have life planned out for everyone. You are expected to hit these milestones by certain ages that someone somewhere decided was the right time.
I got as far as getting to, and finishing, university, but that seems to be it. Or at least, that’s what it feels like.
On top of getting through the four years of hard work university throws at you, you are also expected to meet the love of your life and be ready to settle down after graduation.
Oh, and speaking of graduation… You better find that kickass job that you can just waltz right into as soon as you take your gown off.
Now, I must confess, my whole life I have never really wanted to get married or have kids. I never really imagined that would be my life, but the pressure to do just that is so overwhelming. Once you hit your twenties you start watching your peers, one by one, getting married and starting families.
Social media does have a lot to answer for on this one. Social media is the highlights reel of everyone’s life, so of course you are going to see all these happy moments from your friend’s lives. As you get older, your facebook feed becomes full of photo albums of wedding days and babies. It is so hard to avoid, unless you just delete all your accounts and retreat into a hole.
But it is not only social media, it is the people around you in real life.
A couple of months ago I bumped into an old family friend and one of the first things she asked me was if I was married!! I actually had to laugh, and ask if texting a boy counted?! (FYI, it doesn’t!)
Family can put a huge pressure on you without them even realising it. The slightest mention of my dating life gives me the actual fear!! Of course, my family are always going to be supportive, but as we all get older, there is the pressure to keep up with my siblings. My younger sister lives with her boyfriend and my little brother has been in a long term relationship for a few years now. Then there is me. The oldest one and the single one, seemingly doomed to be the crazy drunk auntie that only shows up at Christmas!
Ultimately though, I think a lot of the pressure comes from myself. Although the world around me seems to be telling me I have to do things by a certain age, I don’t have to do any of it.
I let myself think my worth in the world comes from hitting all these milestones, and I won’t be happy until I reach them. But that is a whole load of bullsh*t.
Yes, it would be amazing to have walked into an amazing graduate job, be settled down and thinking about marriage and kids but that is not me. Well, its not me yet.
The struggle is in seeing the positives in what my life looks like just now.
I live on my own in an amazing wee flat in Glasgow. I get to work in an amazing social enterprise, supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our society. I am physically healthy. I have money in my bank account, and most importantly, I have some amazing people in my life.
So, my life doesn’t look like society says it should. It does get me down sometimes, but then I have to think about what I really want in life, shake it off, and just log off facebook!!