Life doesn’t care about your plan. There is no such thing as an expected schedule in nature, and all things happen within the scope of one’s life, not a specific timeframe. One of the sadder things I’ve seen in my life is friends or family who are rushing and stressing to reach certain milestones in their lives because they believe it’s expected of them or they HAVE to do it, in order to be considered socially normal. Well, screw that noise…
The reality is that everyone’s journey is different and everyone’s life is unique. What works well for one may not work well for another, and vice versa. Just because the folks you graduated high school with, have Bachelor’s Degrees, spouses and children by the time they’re 30 years old doesn’t mean that’s a standard one should aspire to. There are no hard and fast rules that say you HAVE to get a certain job or you NEED to get married and have kids by a certain age. Things will happen for you in their own time and trying to manifest destiny won’t get you there faster; it will simply cause you more stress and suffering.
One good example I can think of, are an aunt and uncle of mine in New Brunswick. They’ve been together for over 30 years. They’ve never gotten married, but they’ve always been together, own a house together (which they built themselves) and have always lived as man and wife, despite not being married. Sure, they’ve been poked and teased by family throughout the years with the usual question of, “Why aren’t you married yet?” But life worked for them the way they were doing it, even if it fell outside the typical social paradigm.
Now, they went ahead and got married, a couple of years ago when they found out that it would make things easier for end-of-life requirements and for legal issues arising from either one of them passing away. A pretty morbid reason to get married! But realistically, they were happy with the life they had and they suffered no greater because of it.
The flip side to this concept is that BECAUSE life doesn’t care about your plan, you may not always end up doing what you want to do or being what you want to be. I’d love to live in a two-storey log cabin on the side of a fresh-water lake, spending my days meditating, reading and doing karate. But instead, I’m writing this post sitting in a house I can’t seem to sell while sledgehammers are diligently tearing apart my basement for foundation repairs.
The important thing to remember is to continue to work towards the goals you WANT, not the goals you think you NEED or that others may have implanted in your head. Certain key people in my life were of the opinion I should never have gotten into my chosen profession but this was my journey, not theirs. I shudder to think where I’d be today, had I listened to some of the nay-sayers. It may not all work out perfect, but the good news is it will work out. Life is a “one day at a time” kind of puzzle. ☯