It seems as if the moment we are born, we are put on a timeline, a program of sorts. School, work, love, marriage, kids, retirement. In that order, with other scrapbook moments sprinkled in between. And the moment we see a friend or a peer achieve something that we haven’t yet, we are meant to feel like we’re behind.
It’s harmful. Unhealthy.
If a friend buys a home, gets married, sells their company, we can’t — I can’t — compare ourselves, because our life has its own timeline and we have got to celebrate that.
It’s my observation that some people may want that template of a life. Predetermined milestones to strive for. But for those who want to really break free a bit, unhinge,
At birth, we are swept into the belly of the river of life, and as we age the pace of our float differs from our peers. Some of us will ride the current, others will stroke against it, some desperately will swim for the banks.
I am swimming. Somedays against the current, others reaching for a dock to climb onto the bank through. I feel this pressure: I am meant to be in a steady career. I should probably be living on my own, maybe sharing an apartment with a close friend. In a relationship, going to bachelor parties, celebrating marriages, be a manager in a successful company, taking a few vacations several times a year to ski, or surf, or travel to Paris. This isn’t my reality, and the resistance I have to conform is a burden, but each day, each action I take to continue on my unique program I become stronger, filled with conviction. It’s this rejection of a predetermined timeline that is both the most exciting piece of my day, and the one that sits me in a shower, cross-legged, surrounded by steam as I remind myself that I am a storm.
I’m a witness to peers making decisions not because hearts are thirsty for it but because when they pull out their timeline, on this day at this age, that is where they think they’re supposed to be. To have reached these milestones. The timeline that was set before me — and possibly you — was this:
We enter school. We graduate at 18. We go to college for 4 years(+), then we enter the…