I’ve heard time and time again that life is not a race and we should enjoy the journey. The feel-good sentiment is lost when people begin to question your life choices. Are you sure you want that degree? Are you going to get your master’s? When are you settling down?
These questions are not only annoying but intrusive. I‘d thought my life was mine to live and that I had the time to decide when and how to pursue it. A lot of times these well-meaning questions come from family and friends. The first instinct may be to brush them off or even tell them you have your own process and to nicely “mind your damn business.” The tricky part, however, is when you’re lying in bed, the night surrounding you, and your thoughts start to overtake. Doubt creeps into your mind and you question, “Is this where I‘m supposed to be in my life right now?”
That doubt is a shot to the heart. Doubt is a necessary aspect of life, but overwhelming doubt can be crippling. What am I doing? Where am I going? These thoughts can cause you to question everything about your life. However, sometimes it´s not the words of others that cause us to look where we´re standing.
Social media puts everyone´s personal triumphs on display. Scrolling through friends, friends of friends, acquaintances and people you don’t even know; you´re bombarded with their accomplishments. Of course, as a well-rounded person your first thought is, “Well done, congrats.” As you continue to scroll though, this little prickling thought appears. You begin to compare yourself to these people asking why you aren’t in the same situation. “Why has my path not taken me to the same spot? Should I be doing this or that?”
What we sometimes forget is that we all move at our own pace and we all have certain things we want to accomplish that differ from others. Where you are heading personally shouldn’t be determined by what others say or by what you see. At some points I will admit it´s hard not to doubt and compare your life, but you shouldn’t let it overpower you.
There is no formula for life. There aren’t particular milestones like the ones you have as a child—like how you should be able to walk by such an age and you should be able to talk by a certain age. As we grow, we set our own milestones at our own points in time.
You’ve made your decisions, and it’ll take you where you need to be when you need to be there. You’re heading in the right direction.
If you enjoyed this piece, be sure to check out An Open Letter To My 20s