It’s easy to feel like you’re being left behind as you navigate adulthood. Friends and acquaintances you’ve grown up with are buying houses, getting married, starting careers, having children. It’s easy to feel jealous of their triumphs, to feel like you are failing at life somehow. We make it worse for ourselves too, by getting stuck inside our own heads and dwelling on the things we don’t have, the things we haven’t achieved, the thing we’ve done wrong, and the things we wonder if we will ever get right.
It’s both a blessing and a curse on our generation. Many of us no longer feel the need to settle with a home, career, and a family immediately. Instead, we choose adventure and freedom and the wild, globetrotting our way around the world, trying out numerous jobs until we find what’s right, and dating until we understand who we need in our lives. Yet that pressure to become a ‘real adult’ never fully goes away when we see others who are ‘further along’ in life than ourselves. But they are only ‘further along’ if their end goal is the same as yours, which is probably not the case. Each life is unique, and someone’s complete picture of life may look completely different to another’s. And life is a journey, not a race. Who cares if that girl from high school has a successful career by the age of 24, or that guy bought a house already? Maybe you haven’t found the right career yet, or maybe you’re saving your money for other things. It doesn’t mean you’ll never get there; it just means you’re taking a little longer, or doing other things first. And that’s perfectly fine.
Do whatever makes you happy. Stop comparing your life to someone else’s. Your life in ten years will be completely different to theirs and that’s ok, as long as you are happy with where you’re at. And if you aren’t where you want to be yet, don’t be deterred by others who are. Just keep going. Even if you don’t have clear goals in mind, even if you feel like you’re floundering and lost, and have no clue what you’re doing, keep going. Keep trying to figure it out, keep doing what makes you happy, keep working towards smaller goals, whatever they may be. Celebrate what you have, what makes your life unique, what makes it special and enjoyable, instead of dwelling on the things that are missing.