I’ve always thought…
Since I was a child, I’ve always thought that I was supposed to do everything in a “certain” way by a “certain” age. Go to school, get a degree, find a job, etc. This translated to my relationship as well. I need to get a girlfriend, get married, and have kids. Then I thought, “Now I must get an apartment then start saving to get a house.” What a bunch of crazy thoughts when I haven’t even gotten married and I haven’t had any kids yet.
After giving it some thought, it is just silly. Why am I trying to follow the status quo? Because of society? Because it is the “normal” or “traditional” thing to do? Because my cousins and my friends are doing this or have this?
That was my problem. I was too busy caring about what others were doing that I was not paying attention to myself and my relationship. I let society dictate where I should be in life. I was creating too many expectations for myself. I thought about how others saw me and what their opinion of me was. I realized that this thinking was detrimental to my self-growth and my self-esteem. It put a lot of pressure on me and if I couldn’t deliver then I would feel like a big failure. I feel like I wasn’t good enough and then my self doubt sunk in. It was a horrible feeling that no one should go through.
A few weeks ago I really thought about my life and I came to a realization that we all have goals in life but sometimes it takes more time than expected. Some times things don’t work out the way we want them to. These setbacks are lessons we learn to avoid in the future, which we call an experience. By having this experience, we truly appreciate what we are doing. I know this to be true from my experience since I didn’t finish college in the “traditional” four years. It took me close to eight years to finish but I was able to have many different experiences, both good and even some times, bad. But in the end, I was able to receive my degree and use this knowledge to serve and assist others.
I just wanted to share my story to convey that no one, including yourself, should create so many expectations that one can’t live up to. This also means comparing yourself with someone else to determine if that’s where you should be in life. It’s perfectly natural to see what others are doing but it’s another thing when it is affecting who you are. You can’t benchmark your entire life with another individuals because it’s unrealistic. Everyone is different and different things happen for people at different times in life. But life is about enjoying your time (while you’re here), learning from good and bad experiences, and trying to make a difference.