How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? ~ Satchel Paige
From the day we're born, we are stuck within standards and expectations all revolved around our age. It's acceptable to cry as a baby, but less so as you grow older. It's far more acceptable to be spontaneous, energetic and a risk-taker as a youth than it is as an adult.
In high school, you're told you have plenty of time to figure out what you want to do––who you want to be. You enter college, and suddenly you have to pick a major that will determine the rest of your career, even your life. By your early twenties, you're expected to figure out who you want to be and what you want to do before you go into "the real world."
By 25, you should probably already have your own apartment, have a stable income, and start thinking about starting a family (if you haven't already).
By 30, people are most likely asking you if you ever plan to have children. Do you plan on buying a home with a two car garage?
By 40, you should be well into your career. The media tries to convince you that you should be self-conscious of your age––their products will help you look twenty again. Here is your midlife crisis.
By 50, it's time to start counting down to retirement. You probably should have grandchildren by now.
You get the point; every age group has certain expectations attached to them. You're expected to act your age. Where did these constructs even come from, though? Why does the world get to give our life an itinerary?
From the dawn of time, people have been attempting to find logic and order within the chaos around them. We created numbers so we could organize and make sense of things. From the sundial to the modern clock, we have been tracking this human construct known as time.
What would happen if we let that go?
What would happen if, one day, everyone in the world forgot about time and numbers?
Would the deadlines go away? Would we feel freer to live our lives to the fullest? How many people would travel to that one place they always wanted to visit or do that one thing they always wanted to do?
It's amazing how much we let time limit and dictate us. I once had a teacher in high school who refused to keep a clock in his classroom. Everyone was so focused on that clock; they wanted it to hit the next hour before even stepping in the classroom. For an hour a day, we were without time. It allowed us to focus more on what was in front of us than the ticking on a wall.
We may not be able to get rid of deadlines or limitations, but we can allow ourselves to live outside of them. We can live in the moment. The expectations that weigh us down with time and age are unnecessary burdens.
Instead of running out of time, we could have all the time in the world.
For just a moment, imagine how you would live your life if there were no barriers or constructs—and do it.