Your late teens/mid-twenties are a really confusing age for a number of reasons: you’re technically an adult, but it doesn’t always feel like it.
You graduate high school and all of a sudden you’re tossed out into the ‘real world’ and expected to learn how it works pretty quickly. It’s likely that you’re surrounded by people experiencing varying major life milestones: some people are in school or graduating, some people are getting engaged, some people are already working professional-level jobs or living on their own. Maybe you fall into a few of those categories.
Maybe you don’t fall into any of them.
When you’re constantly bombarded with life updates via social media or any other platform (I don’t know, maybe you’re really into snail mail. I don’t judge), it’s easy to start feeling like you are falling behind somehow — like life is one big race that you are already losing.
Well, since I already began with an exercise analogy, I may as well stick with it. Let’s treat this topic in the same way I treat my workout regimen (and I use that term VERY lightly):
Unless you’re some kind of athlete, you exercise for yourself, right? You go on runs to beat your own, personal goals. Maybe you’re trying to build muscle or drop a few pounds, beat your own PR or even improve your mental health. As any trainer, coach, or nutritionist will tell you, your body type and lifestyle affects what type of work-out or meal plan will allow you to meet your goals within the timeline you would like to.
You build your plan around what works best for you.
Why is it so difficult for people to understand that life goals work in the exact same way?
You are not going to accomplish every single life milestone in the same order, fashion, or time period as any other person—because what works for you won’t necessarily work for anyone else. At the end of the day, the people who seem to ‘win the race’ only really gain a nominal title—they may finish faster, but even if you cross that line eons later, you still finished.
And that’s pretty remarkable.
You may have heard the phrase “Life’s a marathon, not a sprint”; I think it warrants some adjustment. Life can be considered a marathon, sure — if that marathon doesn’t have a winner and everyone goes home with sore legs and a participation trophy. Life is more like a Zumba class: throw on some good tunes, break a sweat, and go as hard as you want to (too bad that doesn’t flow as nicely).
To put it succinctly: do things at your own pace. You’ll be okay, I promise.