In just days I will be turning 25. 25!! A quarter CENTURY! When I put it that way, it makes me sound so.. old.
It's a strange age for sure. I'm an adult that can finally have normal adult car insurance rates but I also have delivery/sales people ask if my parents are home when I answer the door. And then I'll come across old journals and notebooks that I had as a child and read through my plans for my ~future life~ and according to young Jessica, I should already be a pop-star/teacher and married with a child. Yikes.
When people turn 25, they really start to evaluate their life. For some reason, by age 25, people seem to think that they should have everything figured out and that their life should be on some sort of straight track. They think that their future should be crystal clear and their career, and love, and future goals should be within arms reach. And I'm here to tell you that that's pure crap. It is a huge, flaming pile of CRAP.
THERE IS NO TIMELINE TO LIFE. Did the person at the back hear me? THERE IS NO TIMELINE THAT YOU NEED TO FOLLOW FOR YOUR LIFE.
We are the Facebook generation. There has been no generation before us with a huge online bulletin board of people posting and sharing their life. Which also means that we are the first generation to have this massive, public, over-sharing visual entity in which to compare our lives to our peers. And it probably causes you mini life crises from time to time.
Just looking at my graduating class (class of '09 woo woo), there are people with kids, people with kids on purpose, people with multiple kids on purpose, people that are married, people that are engaged, people working their dream career, people who have purchased a house, and people that are actual real-life doctors, and nurses, and other jobs that actually hold peoples lives in their HANDS (bless you all, because I never could).
We see those people and we compare our own lives to it. And we need to STOP DOING THAT.
Your life is yours. No one else is living your life. Comparing your life to that other person is useless because you are not that person and that other person is not you.
What you do need to do is do is keep moving forward.
If you find yourself to be 25 and working a job you hate, you CAN quit. If you feel like you want to keep learning or you wish you had gotten a degree, you CAN go back to school ("Wah, but then I will be 29 when I graduate" but the time will pass anyway so you might as well have a degree to show for it!). If you aren't ready to be married, then don't get married! What's the rush! If you regret never traveling, make it a priority! There is no age limit to backpacking through Europe or spending some time exploring South America - go.
At 25, I am still in school getting my undergrad, I am not ready to be married, I am not ready to have kids, and I have absolutely no idea what I want to do with my life. I don't know what job I want, I don't know where I want to eventually "settle down", I don't know if I ever want to get a dog, I don't even know what job I'll be working this summer!
But I am happy. And I will continue to do what makes me happy, even if my life doesn't align with my peers or with what society says is "right". Because they're not living my life. I am.
Plus, at 25, I may not have graduated university in 4 years, or have my own place (thanks mom and dad), or even have a career in mind, but I have done some pretty cool things and have had some amazing experiences. And that makes me happy, which is all that matters!