Since we were kids, we all dreamt about how our life would be when we grow up. We fantasize about how life will change when we finally go to college. We envision ourselves at a job and having our own place to live! It’d be perfect right?
We are taught by our own parents, friends, teachers, TV shows, books, and many others that “You have to study, get a degree, get married and have kids”. And we are supposed to do everything at a specific time. You're supposed to have a degree at 23 but you're 24, and you think you're running late. People start asking questions that put you in an uncomfortable situation: “Do you have a boyfriend?”, “When are you getting married?”, “When are you having kids?” and the list goes on.
It doesn't matter how old you are, people will give you unwanted advice. They'll tell you you need to hurry up. That if you don't make it before you're 30, then it will be impossible. That you're wasting time. That your business ideas aren't good. Many of them will have good intentions. They don't want you to suffer if you don't reach your goals. But instead of encouraging you. Their comments are annoying and depressing. And you end up feeling a void inside of you.
Besides that, your inner critic doesn't stop comparing itself to others. “She already has a house and she’s 22”. “They are my age and they have their dream jobs and they got it without any effort, what am I doing wrong?” “They're traveling around the world with only 27 years old and I don't even know other states”.
The truth is that it is very hard not to think about those deadlines that society has told us about. And we rarely think about it as an individual matter. But like we are doing something wrong. Because we believe that everyone else is following the path that they told us was “right”, and we are the only ones who are not doing it.
Life is full of choices and intricate roads; they vary and everyone has different likes and dreams. Therefore, our journeys will never be the same. Many factors can change our path and if we are happy with ours: why should we try to follow others dreams if that doesn't make us happy?
A friend of mine didn't start college until she was 25, because she wanted to be a singer. She had started a singing career with other 3 girls. They had a few presentations on tv and a handful of videoclips. The girls were having a good time and they were working for their dream! Sadly, finding proper guidance was tough. So not many years passed when the project ended. After that, my friend decided to study Communications, there she met the love of her life and they have been together for longer than 10 years! She obtained a degree and graduated when she was 30. She's a college professor now and she feels very happy teaching students not only about academic things but giving life advice to students.
The most important thing is not the deadline, but the goal we try to reach. Sometimes we have to ask ourselves “Why do I want to do this at this time?” and that will take the extra weight of our shoulders and many times we will discover that we want something because “We are supposed to do this”, and we are more focused on the deadline that others have given us than on our happiness.
There are many times that we give up on that dream we have always had, because we say we are too old or too young. We never give it a try because it will be “wrong” to do it because we don't have the proper age or because people will think we don't care about their opinions. Others' opinions can be important if someone is meaningful to us. Maybe it is our partner, our parents, or close friends, but if we do no harm and that goal is something that can bring us joy, why should we stop? Maybe they want to prevent us from suffering. But if we decide to go for it and it doesn't work. They will be there to support us if they love us.
The best thing we can do for ourselves is knowing what makes us happy. It doesn't matter how old we are. We have to chase those dreams because we will be the only person who will suffer the consequences if we don't go for them, not the people who have given us advice. So, if you wanna do something and there's no harm in it, give it a try! There's no time to waste when you're on the happiness path.