By your 20's you should...
By your 30's you should...
Sound familiar? You get to this age and all of a sudden PANIC. Life becomes this crap shoot of feeling less of yourself because you haven't checked off all the boxes. If you're like me it's mini mid life crisis moments, and OOF.
In your 20's the norm is:
Go to college
Move out of your parent's house
Get the job career wise
Be in a committed relationship
Be headed for engagement
Start the search on buying a house
& once again if you're anything like me well your 20's definitely DID NOT go according to that plan.
In fact my 20's went something like this.
Got the "career" teaching to be exact to check off the box of salary earner
Had the relationship at 25...key word had...
But then 25 to now (Which I am 30 for reference) took a total nose dive. I left my teaching jobs, ended a relationship before engagement, lived at multiple friend's houses, moved cities, then said eff it and moved 12 hours away to a brand new state. I think it is safe to say that from a quick overview, that is not the norm of society or how it should be.
Now I am 30 where the norm is:
Kids are in the picture
Career growth track + career satisfaction
Sheer feeling of having a grasp of life
Basically by your 30's it is deemed normal to have it all figured out for lack of better words. So what happens when you totally go against society's expectations. Or rather the false ideology of expectations we pressure ourselves to hold as the status quo?
At first it will feel like the biggest dumpster fire ever. Moments of wtf is my purpose? Am I really successful? Should I be doing more? What is wrong with me? Truth be told though none of those statements are valid just because you go against the grid. What most don't tell you about society's standards is that they are total BS. Yep I said it. It doesn't matter if you're married, have kids, know the career you want, are single. What matters is are you happy?
From 25-30 currently I have done everything against the norm. Unlike most my friends, I am not married or in this relationship towards engagement. Full transparency I haven't been in a relationship in almost 5 years. & when I get asked (Because you will) on why am I single...I choose to be. I am fine being single. Unlike society's norm, I don't have nor do I want kids. Does that mean something is wrong with me? Absolutely not, but for a while it surely felt that way. Heck I can't even say that I want to get married one day. Let that one sink in on two total eff you timeline statements. Unlike the norm I just NOW found a flow in a job where I am on a track career wise. Unlike the norm there is no home buying plan on the radar, and I do not want a house. I say this because I get it, I get how confusing it can be to feel like you're not behind just because you beat to a different drum.
What I can tell you from going against the norm is that I have never been happier...(Now yes there have been a few really low moments of self doubt and worry). Outside of a few really low lows, going against the norm has created memories or moments I didn't think would happen. I have been able to travel more than ever, I was able to move states without hesitation because I didn't have a family to worry about, I am able to do what I want when I want, & I am not tied down to true commitments. However, I want to be clear that those who are married or have kids I am not saying I am better off just because I am not in that situation. What I am saying is that, this has allowed me to find ME. To create space for making sure my needs and desires are met.
My goal in sharing this is to prove that holding yourself victim to strict timelines, or check points as a sign of validation will only add anxiety or make you miserable. Life is not a timeline, and time is not relevant. My suggestion is knowing what you want, what checks off your boxes, and letting it unfold in the way that lights you up.