You think you’re doing it all wrong, but one day you’ll realize it was all right.
As you grow up, you have this perfect timeline for how everything will play out. Graduate college, get a big kid job, get married and have kids by 25, and be living in your dream house, driving your dream car before 30.
Newsflash! That’s the exception, not the rule.
Who started that rumor, anyway? Why do we convince ourselves that when this doesn’t happen, we’ve failed?
This is the reality no one tells you: Life is not linear.
You’ll probably apply for a job that checks all the boxes and you won’t get it. You’ll probably date someone you think is THE one and it will end with a broken heart. You may still be driving that beat up car you bought in college into your late 20s, and you might be living with roommates (that may be your parents) when you approach your 30th birthday. Don’t beat yourself up. I promise you haven’t failed.
You hold yourself to these ridiculous societal standards and get discouraged when you don’t hit each or every milestone. It’s okay, and nothing is wrong with you.
You’ll find it difficult to navigate when you put everything into it and it doesn’t work out. You’ll be flooded with questions, like:
“Where do I go from here?”
“How will I come back from this?”
“Why is so-and-so so successful and I’m not>”
“What am I doing wrong and why is the universe punishing me?”
You’re doing it right. You’re supposed to make mistakes. You’re not supposed to get that job. When it feels like the world is crushing you and you can’t catch a break? It is all right. This is the beautiful paradox that is life.
That broken heart will give you the clarity to see what you really want and what you really deserve from a partner. That failed job will push you to re-evaluate what you find important from an employer. Or maybe it’s the wakeup call you need to push you to take a chance on yourself and start your own business or go back to school for that thing you discovered you’re really passionate about. When your car breaks down and you don’t know how you’re going to afford to fix it? Maybe that’s the sign you need to really look at your finances and start a savings account.
What you choose to see as a sign will determine how long it takes you to stop living in someone else’s timeline and start living as your true self, but your destiny never changes. Whether you are one of the lucky few to take the direct route or find yourself on the scenic route, you will inevitably find your way home.
Be easy on yourself—no good story has a flawless middle. It is only after the dramatic climax that we enjoy a beautiful ending.