When I was 8 years old, I told myself that if I wasn’t famous by the time I was 18, then I should give up acting completely and just give up life. When I was in a previous serious relationship, I told myself that if I wasn’t married in 5 years, it was all pointless. When I was 25, I told myself that I needed to settle down in a serious job and find the place I wanted to live for the rest of my life by the time I was 30. When I was 30, I said, well those were kinda silly age goals.
There are so many things wrong with these types of thoughts, I can’t even begin. First of all, how can an 8 year old possibly know what it’s like to be 18, let alone what will happen over the next ten years? Also, what does 5 years of a relationship even mean? It means something different to each relationship and each experience range (notice how I didn’t say age?). For someone who is 21, 5 years could mean a lifetime, whilst someone who is 35 doesn’t have 5 years to test someone out if they want children. Finally, 30 is an age that society puts on us to mean something so much more than it actually does.
At the end of the day, our paths are our paths and putting an erroneous time limit on significant milestones is ridiculous. Goal setting is necessary, and a definite part of success and knowing what to aim for – but time limits are so ridiculous. Time should be more of a feeling than an absolute. Asking ourselves to understand the feeling of when something is over is much more productive than setting an end date before something has even begun. I’m notorious for this fault, and am slowly realizing that I can no longer live my life like this. If I need more time to complete something, I will allow myself more time. Why should I feel completely and utterly useless for not making a completely arbitrary goal that only I know about?
Again, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t aim for deadlines or goals, but as far as I’m concerned, I need to be a bit less stringent about it all.
The truth of the matter is that I’m finally at an age when I realize that I’m just figuring things out and it’s actually really cool. I don’t need to deny myself those thoughts any longer, or think I’m too young or don’t know enough, or even too old, for that matter. At the end of the day, I’ve led an amazing life with amazing experiences that I can only be so lucky to have experienced.
So, here’s to setting goals, setting deadlines with a clause that gives myself a bit of compassion. Because isn’t that the key to life? We work so hard being compassionate for others, surely we should be just as compassionate to our own selves.