I recently came across an article listing out a number of things that people should have accomplished by the age of 30.
Coming from a reader who is quickly nearing 30, I found this to be a bit un-settling as it pressures me to feel like I haven’t been doing enough or that I am behind in life.
And if you are over the age of 30 and have not accomplished all of the things on that list, then well, what does that say about you? That you are not successful?
That’s not at all how you should feel or what anyone should assume.
That article is not the first article of its kind. I’ve seen other versions highlighting a variety of age “deadlines”.
“X” Things You Should Have Done By 25
“X” Things that You Shouldn’t Be Doing Past 30
Other variations of titles that are along these lines.
But, thanks to the internet, people are proving otherwise and breaking barriers, stereotypes, and stigmas about how old you “should be” in order to do something in life.
We need to stop telling people what to do with their lives and by what age they should be doing it.
We are not in control of other peoples’ lives, nor do we fully know the events that have transpired throughout the course of their lives.
Life is full of setbacks — full of surprises, full of unexpected twists and turns. We get lost sometimes.
We cannot judge someone based on how or why they didn’t do something by a certain age.
Everyone lives their lives at their own speed. After all, it’s is a marathon, not a sprint.
We are allowed to take our time in fulfilling whatever dreams we might have or have yet to have— However long that actually takes us is at our own discretion.
But, we shouldn’t feel guilted or shamed for not being more accomplished in life.
In earlier times, when the average lifespan of humans was much shorter, there was far more urgency in certain aspects of life — getting married, having children, etc.
But, that logic no longer applies.
The times in which society set standards for when we should be reaching certain milestones is over with.
People are empowered to fulfill their dreams at any age, no matter the cost. And there are so many public figures who can attest to that — J.K Rowling, Julia Child, Vera Wang, just to name a few.
For me personally, I did all of the things that society told me I “should” have done by a certain age.
I graduated high school with honors, graduated college in exactly four years, was offered a job immediately after college, moved out of my parents’ house, started a 401K, etc.
But, none of those things have really validated anything for me.
I still feel lost oftentimes , still have other dreams, still have other goals. I still feel like there is more for me out there.
If you are not where you want to be or haven’t yet accomplished the things that you had set out to do by a certain age, know that it is okay.
Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t feel like a failure. Don’t feel like you’ve lost your only chance.
It’s not over until it’s over.
Dust yourself off and get back on that horse. Take however long it takes. You’ll get there if you really set your heart and mind to it.