We Should Redefine Life’s Timelines

A few year’s back, we wrote a blog post about redefining what it means to be successful. This has been one of our most viewed posts, and although I can’t say why exactly other than the fact that I think it resonates with people. I thought we needed to revisit the subject, but in another way. One thing I seem to be allergic to lately, is the implication that you need to have ticked off certain milestones by a specific age. Whether that is because my own has NEVER followed that particular structure or because I just find it tripe, I’m not too sure, but we all have them or we hear about them- the made up time lines we give ourselves/ people give us to meet certain life milestones, and if they aren’t met by then, then what? Have we failed? Is it too late? Do we close up shop and pack it all up? I’m proposing we scrap these self imposed restrictions and redefine life’s “chronology”. Hear me out…

Life itself is a privilege. But to live life to the fullest- well, that’s a choice.

Andy Andrews

Most people I know, spent their 20’s figuring life out, studying or making mistakes; be it living, financially or relationship wise, it’s only when we reach our 30’s that something clicks and life begins to fall into place, whether with ourselves, or goals- things just seem to settle in. Yet, what if you don’t have a house? 2.5 children? The car? The marriage? The financial plan? Have you failed? Is your life over? We have previously written a blog about Redefining Successful, reframing in our minds what we associate with success, so I suppose in some ways this is a follow up post for that. I feel personally fed up of the posts which say, 10 things to do before you’re 30, trips to make before you’re 30, it’s as if magically you hit 30 and nothing interesting will happen to you. You will suddenly wake up on your 30th birthday and you will become boring and void of adventure or ambition. I feel like you only begin to really know what you want, and I mean really know what you want when you’re in your thirties. I stepped into myself in my 30’s, I was less concerned about what people thought and began to simply do me, but only through actually LIVING in my 20’s- was I able to do that. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the standard house with a picket fence, the 2.5 kids and an established career by the time you hit 30 is a bad thing, if that’s your goal then, do you boo. What I’m saying is the idea or maybe more the pressure to have it all figured out so soon in your 20’s, the idea that college students or maybe even high school students should or need to know what they would like to do with their lives- is a completely unnecessary stress. I didn’t know what I wanted to do and let’s be honest, what I studied isn’t in the field I am in now. You could argue that I am still working within the creative field and being a blogger I am able to tap into the knowledge I acquired from my studies. I studied Communication and Media Studies in CEGEP and then took a Minor in Women’s Studies and a Major in Psychology at university, I’m currently make my living as an assistant buyer for a mid/high end Canadian furniture decor company.

The pressure to have it all figured out is an interesting concept, especially when you think that some of the most successful people we know and celebrate garnered their success later in life. Case in point, Oprah, Viola Davis, Jeff Bezos, Morgan Freeman, Stan Lee- just to name a few. I can definitely see why; you shift into yourself in your 30’s, you slowly stop caring what others think about you and if you’ve done it right, the people who have lasted this long are the good ones. Of course there are exceptions, like everything else in life, but I’ve really began to resent those benign lists of things you need to cram into your life before you hit 30 and all your options magically evaporate(s). Life is literally meant to be lived. Simple as. Yes plans are great, having a skeletal idea of what you would like to do yes, but don’t be rigid in your plan. If 2020 wasn’t a sign that life can throw anything at us. ANYTHING. We have to accept that sometimes things won’t go to plan and they will come when the timing is right for you. I was never obsessed with the idea of perfection, but what I definitely wanted was to have a healthy and happy home. I never thought I would be a single mother, I never thought I would be essentially starting my life all over again, all packed into 6 suitcases. But, it was the path for me, and as I look back on it- I genuinely am extremely happy with that choice, I only regret not doing it sooner. But if I had remained stuck with the idea that my life NEEDED to look a certain way and if I remained rigid with that idea, I wouldn’t be where I am now. I wouldn’t have a job I enjoy, I wouldn’t have opened my heart up for love, I wouldn’t have had such wonderful moments I had in 2020 (despite COVID). Sometimes, shaking your life plan and blowing it all up is the best thing to do, sometimes chaos and a mess, clears our path for the blessing to reach us.

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; & to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour and some style.

Maya Angelou

All that to say, embrace the YOLO in your life, take the chance and live for the leaps of faith, the very last thing you want to do at the end of it all is look back and wonder what if. Most of all seek out your own happiness and if for you that is the 2.5 kids by the time you are blank, then so be it, but at the end of the day no one can live your life for you, but you!!!