Something has been bothering me lately, and I wonder if this is something that crosses the mind of others as well.
Age has always been something that I love to celebrate. Although I don’t remember any celebrations from before I was 7 years old, I do remember every birthday after that. The good and the horrible. The birthday parties where I invited the whole class that had a theme of whatever phase I was into that year, to the birthdays that ex boyfriends ruined. Then there are the most recent ones that are unforgettable having the chance to celebrate with the amazing friends and family I have.
Each year was a time to celebrate that I was given another year on this Earth, but has anyone ever felt that silent pressure that hides in the back of your mind? I don’t think it’s just me… is it? With each year that passes the little voice reminding me of what I was supposed to accomplish gets a little louder, becoming harder to shut out. So much so, that I almost hear the little voice daily instead of just in November.
Now, at my age it’s mind blowing how far behind I feel from the ones I surround myself with. Whether it be my friends, family members, and especially the ones I look up to. Given, the ones I call my friends are a bit younger than me, and that scares me even more. Why aren’t I as accomplished as they are? Why am I barley able pinpoint what career I’d like to have?
Family members had already moved out at my age, yeah they started a family already as well (which I’m extremely okay with being behind in). But I find myself wanting to be independent enough to have my own place as well. The individuals that I look up to are only a few years older than me and are way ahead of the plans that I have yet to reach. I compare our ages and begin to feel as if I haven’t accomplished anything. Which then makes me feel so lost, it’s almost as if I don’t know where to begin to accomplish any goals that I’ve set.
I’m fully aware that not everyone has the same upbringing or mindset. Don’t confuse what I’m saying. I’m extremely blessed and grateful for what I have, who I have with me, and the support system that has been guiding me though this life. But, not everyone thinks like me. I know this for a fact based off daily conversations with friends and loved ones. My negativity and lack of confidence holds me back from trying. Filling me with fear and setting me up for disappointment.
I am also fully aware that others have worked harder than me, because well it’s obvious. I haven’t worked daily on my craft(s). I’ve barley started to become in tune with what I think are my talents. The individuals that I tend to compare myself to have known since a young age what they wanted to do, and have been continuing to work towards their goals.
In reality these are all excuses that I tell myself to make me feel better. It helps me take a step back to check myself from time to time.
Is it right to give myself excuses? Hell no.
Is it true though? Sort of.
Is it a good excuse? No. Hell no.
Why do we feel this pressure? I sure as hell don’t know.
Okay, I’m lying.
I know why I feel it. I compare myself to others, their paths, and where they are in life. I also have the constant burden of societies deadlines that I’ve felt (until now) to reach. Whether it be having a good job, being engaged, or starting a family. I try my best to tune out the “advice” about these deadlines that I don’t care about because it distracts me from my focus.
I end up looking at the grass of others and it looks so much greener. While I turn sideways to look at my pile of dirt. Disgusted with myself, having had this dirt pile for so long why haven’t I done anything with it? Why haven’t I accomplished this or that? Why am I here not there?
So many questions yet no answers.
The pressure I feel as a young adult (cause I’m not going to tell you how old I am), is crazy. I’m in my twenties (I’ll tell you that much) and I’m still continuing to find myself. Just myself. How in the world am I supposed to have the other pieces of my life figured out to place into this 10,000 piece puzzle?
I don’t know if anyone else feels as stuck as I do. Maybe you have felt this stuck and have moved passed it, yay! I’m happy for you! I believe the pressures to be this person that our family and friends think we should be has a lot to do with the way they were raised. I believe its a never ending cycle, they were taught to do certain things by a certain age, so they teach the next generation the same and it goes on and on… Teaching everyone to reach these imaginary finish lines.
Our world is so different compared to how other generations grew up, it’s already changed so much from when I was little. Or maybe it hasn’t.. Was I just to distracted as a kid to notice? You know what? I don’t care. It doesn’t bother me. Okay, sometimes it does but it really shouldn’t. It shouldn’t bother any of us.
Everyone’s individual journey, goals, & work ethic is different.
Age isn’t the only thing about numbers we seem to worry about. Fellow social media users, are numbers that important? I admit when I first started vlogging, my video numbers were reaching over 100 views! Slowly but surely my numbers started to drop, along with my podcast numbers as well. We live in a world where numbers validate us so much whether it be from likes, plays, or dollar signs, but are we living? At one point that was my main focus. Its still the main focus of many others, and although there is a voice in the back of my mind that tells me I should care I’ve learned to quiet it down a lot.
Of course I still care to an extent. I would like my creative projects to reach an audience. It would be amazing if it gains an audience at all and its well liked, but it’s also okay if it doesn’t. Having 7 faithful listeners, and 5 blog readers means just as much if that were to be times by a million. I put my heart and soul into every craft, as we all should. I try every single day to put my best foot forward no matter how old I get or how far behind I seem to be from everyone else. We all should be doing the same. Pushing ourselves to be better (here it comes) than the person we were yesterday.
So what that I’m barley spreading the soil from the pile of dirt I have? At least I got my pile of dirt, at least I’m doing something with my dirt at the moment, right? We should all be happy with the progress we make. No matter our age or what deadlines we have yet to reach.
Age is indeed just a number. There is no finish line to what you should have accomplished by any age. Yes, each day we are getting older but it is never too late to do anything! Never too late to celebrate finding your true calling, or to go back to school to study what your heart desires, or travel the world. I’d like to think that it’s never to late anyway, and I will continue to think so until I am no longer able to celebrate a birthday. I feel with the so many pressures we feel as young adults, must we also add these imaginary finish lines to our list?
I hope I’m not the only crazy one who argues with themselves daily about numbers and accomplishments.. And if you say you aren’t good for you! (Just rub it in my face that your grass is greener. Go ahead. Kidding. Hehe.) Seriously though, I hope nobody ever allows that little voice to make them feel stuck. You and solely you are in control of how fast or slow you travel to your destination in life. The opinions of others are what we can’t control.
I hope to soon come to complete peace with how and when I will achieve my goals, and I hope you do to. Numbers are just that, numbers. It’s one of the first things we learn in school and we all mastered it! We shouldn’t let it torment us for the rest of our lives.. Also, deadlines aren’t as real as others make them seem. If you don’t reach one by societies terms there’s no punishment. Just keep moving forward, the finish line is imaginary. It’s not real.
*Disclaimer: I am no ways a therapist. Simply sharing my story to share my experience.