The Timeline of Life: Where Are You Positioned?

I want to be married at twenty seven, have two kids by the time I am thirty, have a four bedroom house in the countryside and be extremely successful in my career, right? Err, wrong: Reality check please.

How many times have we heard versions of this story from friends, even thought something similar ourselves? When you’re an adolescent, reaching thirty seems literally a lifetime away, and we tend to form an imaginary timeline pinpointing when we should achieve certain life changing moments by. However, as you slowly edge forward to these supposed landmarks, you realise that conforming to versions of these social ideals are not exactly desired in the same way anymore.

Okay, so I am only twenty two and reaching thirty is within my peripheral vision, but considering my current position on life’s rollercoaster, I’m not too interested in settling down and creating a family quite as soon as my sixteen year old self had perhaps imagined.  What once may have been a priority is now not necessarily wanted by a particular age. It suddenly becomes apparent that eight years away from thirty isn’t so much a distant thought as it once was, and there are so many more things to experience and achieve in this time, instead of focusing on settling down with my Two Can Dine for Ten Pound M&S meal.

It is a strange feeling as you grow older and become observant to the fact, your friends are beginning to get engaged, married, have children, move in with their partner, realising that each day is another moment ticked off on the calendar of life.  Making me question, do we work towards reaching these checkpoints and once we have achieved them, settle? Is the aim in life to marry and settle down? You rarely hear people exclaim, I want to be manager of a company by the age of thirty, franchise my business at thirty five or have a holiday home by the age of forty.

Either, all life goals are to be reached by your thirties, or your ambitions are primarily based around gaining a family, and then your aspirations become about your children and providing a better life for them. We work for our children, make sacrifices for our children, pretty much strive for success for children, I believe. It’s subsequently not so much about individual wishes; there are other and more important factors to consider.

Therefore, I think that firstly, the most important thing to remember is as much as you have a mental checklist of life accomplishments, you can’t plan, and shouldn’t put a limit on the time you want to complete things by.  Secondly, I do wonder if our desire to achieve things by a certain time span is because we personally aspire to, or because society expects us to, and we are brought up in a society that does inflict ideals into our lives.

Although I would like to tick these momentous events off my checklist, I’m not quite so eager to have reached them by a certain age, or an expected age. For now, I’m more interested in having fun and seeing what tomorrow brings, as opposed to marking in my diary three months from now what I should be doing.

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