I came to a pretty important realisation in my life recently.
I don’t want to settle down yet.
This was a pretty huge moment for me. You see, my whole life I always thought I would be the kind of person who would settle down at a young age, get married and have children fairly young. (By young, I mean 25, which is the age I am now. I personally think this is really young, but I’m young at heart so I think it’s all relative!) I also thought I would leave school, go to university, find a job and stay in it, working my way up, and just live a happy, settled life with my family.
Interestingly, the universe had other plans for me.
It’s only now that I’m fully and genuinely happy that my life took a very different turn. I have been single for a few years now and it took a good six months to a year to become happy with this circumstance. After another year I decided I wanted a relationship. However, the moment I began getting into a new relationship, I realised very suddenly that I really didn’t want that at all.
Now I am single by choice, not circumstance. It doesn’t sound like much of a distinction, but the difference is huge. It has completely changed my perspective – I am now the most excited I have ever been about my life, the choices I have in front of me, the possibilities that the future holds.
I realised that I’d unintentionally been getting caught up with the idea of a ‘life clock’, which society has taught us to live our lives by.
As soon as you finish university, or school, people ask what your career is going to be. As soon as you find a partner, people ask when you’re going to get married. As soon as you are married, people ask when you’re going to have a family. It seems that as soon as you complete one ‘life milestone’, everyone is on at you to complete the next one, like it’s a race to the finish line, or some sort of checklist you need to tick off.
Why is everyone in such a hurry?
One of the biggest things I have learned over recent years is to not get caught up in what everyone else is doing in their lives. I know a lot of people judge themselves based on what they see others doing – especially on social media, as this is a place where people inevitably post the ‘highlights reel’ of their lives – and can get quite down about where they are in life.
I definitely used to be that person. I felt like I should be married or have children by a certain age or I would have failed at life.
Strangely, now that several of my friends are beginning to get married, buy houses with their partners and have children, I’m happier than ever with my stage in life. I love seeing my friends reach their goals and start new and exciting chapters in their lives. I feel so honoured to be a part of it all and I love sharing in their plans and their happiness.
At some point I definitely want all of those things, but right now, I’m so content to be just where I am, with no ties.
Learning not to compare yourself to others is one of the best things you can do for yourself. I’ve literally never felt so relaxed and happy in my whole life. I even worried more about where my life was going when I was a child! Granted, I have suffered with anxiety my whole life, so I was a huge worrier as a little sprog…but still!
I felt compelled to write this post, as I am very aware that there are probably so many people out there worrying about where they are going in life, when they should be having kids, whether they should be earning a certain amount at a certain age. I am firm believer that everything happens for a reason and if you’re not where you thought you would be at your age, that’s absolutely fine! You just have to recognise that things happen for different people at different times and let go of the timeline that society has made us feel like we should follow.
Stop worrying guys. What is meant to be will be. Where you are right now is exactly where you’re supposed to be. Who knows where you’ll be in another year?
How exciting is that?!