There is this notion people have that you need to have done something by a certain age and at a certain time in your life. If you do not do that thing by then, it automatically translates to failure. Falling on your face down type of failure. Pack up your bags and go start life in a small village in Zaire where no one will know who you are failure. Although I have thought a few times about moving countries to start afresh more than a few times.
That thing is really messing people up.
People here includes me. It has been staggeringly difficult to celebrate some of my small wins because I felt like I achieved them yeeaaarrrrssss later after everyone my age has done it. I kept downplaying so many of my little achievements. Over time, this made me believe that I have actually not achieved anything.
Then you know what? Over years you start to feel like you are stalling. Mark timing in the same place. Remember this is different from moving around in the same cycle. Then you start to feel exhausted. When you are fatigued, even the thing you love doing starts to feel like an arduous chore. A chore you loathe so much.
One time after being so exhausted, I went home and had to prepare a meal. The simple process of cutting ingredients, turning the cooker on putting the pan on the top and preparing something, for myself felt like free climbing (climbing a rock without the climbing ropes). I hated it so much I could have eaten gravel if it couldn’t hurt my teeth.
A friend called me after a while and they asked me how I was doing and after pleasantries, I whined then wept and whined as I wept because I am highly disappointed at myself for not being where I wanted to be. He listened, offered kind words but mostly listened.
Just so you know, when calling to “actually check on people” be prepared to listen. Even if you do not know how to do it, learn on the job. Make sure you listen to the end. Some have no end though.
However, through letting it out, I realized how much of society’s expectations I had taken on. How much I had let the world tell me who to be and what to do and how to do what I want to do. When all that wasn’t even coming from the people who actually love me.
Guys, tell me I am not tripping. Have you ever felt like you are behind on life or am I the only one?
Then it really got me questioning, who the fuck came up with this invisible life manual of doing things by a certain age? And why did I allow it to ruin my progress. Why do we millennials feel the need to run after timelines even? If we are going to trust the process then truly, I do not see how this life-manual can even tell me “time’s up!”
Then again, that’s me. The moment I started letting go of all life-related timing expectations, I have become happier and suddenly, for once in a long time, the cloud above my head is clearing up.
The illusion of time is deceiving. As you are drawn to life’s deception, you will find situations in life that will humble you. As you are humbled, you may choose to stay beaten on the ground. However, the best gift you can give yourself is while you are knocked down to your knees, remember to unlearn all of societal standards and allow yourself to live an authentic life.
While this might not be your ultimate freedom destination, it will be the start of a journey only you can create.