Editorial: 23 years down and a lifetime to go
Updated: Mar 31
Today is my twenty third birthday. Yes, I am still in my undergrad and yes, I do have goals for myself. I have spent four and a half years at Laurier and honestly still do not want to leave. We often have a timeline in our minds, or at least I do, and it often relates to how old we are.
Did you ever think to yourself that you wanted to be married by a certain age, have a house and kids or hold a dream position at work? I thought I would be married by age 25 as I am sure many have previously. Do I think that goal was realistic? Maybe for someone else, but not for me and I think it was highly impersonal. By now I planned on having a miraculous number of milestones checked off my list and yet I am proud of who I am even though I have different accomplishments under my belt.Each person has the unique experience of living their own life with billions of factors contributing to one’s individuality. It is okay to also move through your lifetime at a different speed than other people.
This is a fact that I often have trouble accepting. I sometimes feel like I have fallen behind.
I took a year off between high school and university to hold multiple jobs, take some fun courses and work on myself. It was definitely not what I originally planned to do, but it ended up being beneficial for me in the long run. Then taking a fifth year in university, I am now “two years behind” those who I graduated with in high school. This is silly, as there are a variety of directions that my friends and acquaintances went. Everyone has their own path and I have mine; it is unfair to oneself to compare ones so-called progress to that of other people.
I have realized it is so much more important to me to have self-growth and personal understanding, which makes me who I am and who I share with the world. I may not ever have a house of my own, or at least for a few more years, and I’ll get married only if the time is right for me. These are both traditional goals and might not be suitable for my personality and preferences at all. Maybe I will focus on work and value the relationships with people I interact with on a daily basis and decide to give back to my community in a multitude of ways. I am slowly becoming more and more comfortable with taking the next step as this year progresses. The next step however does not need to be one specific mapped-out route; it will be alright if I change my mind or need to deal with uncertainty. Do I go to grad school right away? Do I get a job? Do I travel? Do I pursue a creative passion? I cannot control every aspect of my future and I know from the past 23 years that an immense amount of my “foolproof plan” will change for the better.
It’s time to realize I can flow with the current and put my full heart into whatever I am doing at the present time, because that has proven to be what I do best. Age may just be a number, but it’s how you allow yourself to embody the essence of yourself at that age which truly counts.
*Originally published by The Cord on November 28, 2018