The Timeline of Life

Mostly everyone graduates high school at the age of eighteen, heads straight to college, graduates with a Bachelor’s degree at twenty-two, gets married by thirty and has the rest of their life figured out, right? Wrong. Do you see how unrealistic this sounds? We’re human, and that means that sometimes, things happen unexpectedly. We are constantly changing and growing, and we’re all different from one another, so why do we put this pressure on ourselves to meet these deadlines in life that perfectly align with every other person in the world when this is simply not feasible? 


One of the best characteristics of mankind is that we are all different: we have different dreams and goals, different structures and beliefs, different plans and paths, and all of those things are constantly evolving alongside us. The world would be incredibly boring if this were not the case. It is this difference that allows us to thrive and function as individuals. Someone who is perfectly in line with a four year degree program is no more likely to succeed than someone who takes a gap year— or even multiple gap years— to figure out what they want to do before starting their higher education experience. The reason for this is that what really makes a difference is the effort and work ethic those people put forward, not when they started and how quickly they finished! The same goes for love, marriage, career, and quite literally every other aspect of life. 


Okay, stay with me here: whether you’re a Marvel fiend or you’ve never seen one of the company’s films, you likely know the man behind it all: Stan Lee. He created the comic books and characters that are now wildly successful and famous, but he actually didn’t break into the business until he was almost forty years old. In the same vein, Samuel L. Jackson is one of the most versatile and renowned actors of our time, and he didn’t get his first breakout role until the age of forty three!


The moral of the story is that there is no rush or verified timeline at which we have to achieve things. Our journeys are just that: ours. The more you pressure yourself to get ahead or stay on track with other people, the harder you’ll be making your own life. It’s not a race or a competition. You’ll get wherever it is that you’re destined to end up at a pace that works for you. The thing that truly matters is that you’re enjoying the little moments while you’re getting there. Get married when you find the person you want to spend forever with, go to school when you’re in a position to make the most of your education, and if you don’t know what career you desire, try different things until you figure out what you want to do in life before taking the necessary steps to live your dream. 


Whatever you pursue, don’t do it half-heartedly just to get it done by a certain age, because that doesn’t benefit anyone. Your life is unique and the timeline is one that you create. You can stick to it, make changes to it, or even wreck it and completely start over. If you waste your time looking for a step-by-step outline of what to do and when to do it, you’ll never be happy. Take your time and enjoy the ride, because your journey is much more significant than the age at which you reached a certain destination.