Your Life Path Is Unique

September 18, 2023

I seem to have had a lot of conversations recently with people who are comparing themselves to others and getting stressed as a result.

While our childhood follows a fairly standard pattern built around our education system, we should use this as a framework which has endeavoured to get us to a point where we become contributors to society. How we continue to add to the canvas thereafter should not be determined by preconceived ideas, especially if they do not resonate with us.

It’s a huge mistake to think that we have to follow a set pattern, sometimes imposed on us by our parents and their generation.
“So, no girlfriend then?”
“How long before you both are going to have children?”
“Why aren’t you applying for that promotion?”
“Still living at home?”

Even if said in jest, questions such as these can make us feel we are not achieving, that we are not making our family and friends proud of what we have done so far.

Anyone who already feel inadequate may even find this makes them feel worse: that they are not measuring up. Those who always felt at the fringe of society can feel that this isolates them even further from those around them.

How many children grow up feeling they are not the “golden child”, the one that never had to try, sometimes because they are the one who has done things by the norm. I can remember my sister saying that to me; she felt that I had benefitted from a more carefree life because she had followed some pattern she felt obligated to conform to (whether there was any pressure on her to do so or not).

We may not meet “Mr Right” because right now, he’s off volunteering in South America, so we settle for “He’ll Do”, just because we feel that society will judge us as on the shelf because we’re not married by 25 with a baby on the way. Imagine meeting “Mr Right” in a book shop a couple of years later when we’re already married to someone else, the one we picked because we felt we had to.

We may accept a job in accounting because our academic study has taken us along the financial path, and yet a little part of you just wants to turn around and apply to join the RAF because you want to see if you can become a flight engineer. You don’t want to let others down, so you just carry on crunching the numbers.

We may decide not to move overseas because we feel our parents and friends will miss us; but kudos to the person who, even after the age of 30 decides that they are best to strike a new path for themselves by leaving their country of birth and working abroad. As I said to someone recently, even if it doesn’t work out, at least you will know that you have tried.

As a new business owner, people may question why you are going solo, because they have always worked for an employer. And yet deep down, it’s something you just want to do.

Your path will never be the same as someone else’s, and that is OK !

 

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