If you’re anything like me, deadlines can give you headaches. Although I do work well under pressure, there’s one “race to the finish” that I just can’t get past. I’m referring to the constant demand to be at a certain “check point” if you will, in our own lives. How many times is it put into our heads that by the time we reach a particular age we should have this done, that done, etc?  During school years it is the “norm” to follow up high school with college, after those four years go on to either a job or more schooling. All this before the ripe old age of thirty. It’s not just career wise but I also find that in my personal life I’m supposed to be in a totally different scenario then I want for myself. This goes from my marital status, to my”lack of children”. Please don’t misunderstand me, being a parent is something I without a doubt want to be- but on my terms at the time I want. Marriage, I absolutely believe in it- right now I am engaged to be married, but not by a certain age. According to the “life plans” given out, I should be finished with college and in a career, married with children. However, you simply cannot plan out life, it just happens. Setting goals is a great thing, but when society starts making life goals for you that is where I draw the line. Career wise I haven’t been able to achieve what I want YET, but I have a lifetime to try. We need to stop assuming that we won’t be anywhere if we do not immediately do A, B, and C. I’m apt to think of Grandma Moses, here’s a woman who started her claim to fame at the ripe old age of 70! This clearly is a good example that one is never too old to learn. On top of these expectations being completely ridiculous I find that they are detrimental to our well being. We, as a nation are always on the go- must be faster, better, etc. What many don’t understand is they are inevitably going to be unsatisfied for there’s always another checkpoint they should be at.

I didn’t always think this way though. I too fell into the mindset of being disappointed in myself for not “being there”. As I’ve grown older (and hopefully wiser), I’ve discovered that my path is just that-MINE. I need not please others with my rush to the finish line, but rather take things one step at a time and enjoy the journey. I know what I want out of life, and more then anything I’ve discovered that life is not a competition contrary to popular belief. My best advice is to not yearn for the life of another, but embrace the fact that this is your story and the ending lies within your hands. If you really think about that it gives you a feeling of empowerment and eases the stresses society has put on us. I hope that you are able to say no to the burden of success determined for you and be determined to make your own path and success.

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