Every twenty-something has gone through that moment of panic when you feel like you are falling behind in your life. You may have friends who are getting married, maybe even having kids and officially “adulting.” Meanwhile, you may still be living at home, in college or just on a completely different path in life. That is completely okay! There is not one “correct” or conventional way to go about life and we should not try to put a timeline on major life milestones.
I recently had my moment of panic or “quarter-life crisis” this year. Feeling like I was not doing enough with my life or as if I should have accomplished more by now. I still call my mom to ask how long popcorn goes in the microwave for and some of my friends are raising children? No, this cannot be right. The truth is, I am perfectly happy with where I am in life right now. I just fell down the comparison rabbit hole. Well, more like sink hole because comparison really is the “thief of joy.” Once I stopped focusing on what I did not have or what I have not done, I realized that I still have time! A lot of time, in fact.
As a society, we feel this rush or urgency to achieve these major life milestones as a way to check it off the metaphorical “life achievements” list. In reality, not only should everyone’s list look different, but the achievements on that list should also be unique. Maybe you know for a fact you will never want to have kids but it is a huge goal of yours to visit every state in the U.S. That is cool! Then add that to your list and do not feel pressured to have something on there you know you do not even want. As a matter of fact, you should just rip that list up and make a completely new one based on things YOU want to achieve, not what society tells you that you should.
I saw an amazing quote on Instagram by Gary Vaynerchuk that I think everyone should read. “Don’t let anyone else’s f***ing clock dictate your game.” Read that again. And then again. One more time for good measure!
It is easy to try to compare your “clock” to someone else’s. Trying to meet these major life milestones by a certain age or year is putting unnecessary pressure on ourselves that no one needs. Life is stressful enough! Let’s not add to it by worrying if we are falling behind or not because (spoiler alert) we are not.
Everyone is at their own stage in life. It is unfair to compare your chapter one to someone else’s chapter twenty.
You may feel behind. But I promise, you are exactly where you are meant to be. What you are feeling is completely normal and valid. Do not try to alter your life path just to match someone else’s. Heck, that person might even be comparing where they are at in life to you. It is important to remain true to yourself, trust that you are where you are meant to be and then go after what you truly want out of life.