Goodbye 5 Year Plan
As the bartender made his way over with four birthday shots in hand my girlfriend looked at me and said, “Chels, I don’t want to turn 26.” At first I thought it was a bad attempt at making a joke but the look in her eyes told me she was actually being serious. I gave her the biggest hug as I tried to wash away the confused feeling in my chest. Despite having a passionate budding career under her belt, a loving man by her side and the greatest friends behind her she still felt that she wasn’t exactly where she “needed” to be. As we raised our glasses in honor of the birthday girl I found myself distracted by the elephant in the room that apparently now comes with turning a year older. Instead of celebrating it with arms wide open, society has cast a spell over us saying if we don’t have x, y, and z by the time we blow out a certain amount of candles than we must be doing something wrong. We than proceed to beat ourselves up and never take a moment to stop and realize that possibly, we are doing everything right.
Let me ask you this, have you ever thought that you could actually plan out your entire life? Half of you are currently laughing at me while the other half know exactly what I’m talking about. If you fall into the latter category, you aren’t alone. I am completely guilty of being the college senior who sat at her desk and wrote out a 5 year plan. I put my heart and soul into that color coded timeline so it may come as a surprise when I say that I am forever thankful that the plan on that piece of paper never became my reality. The person I loved, the city I wanted to call home and the job I strived to land were all meant for the girl who I was than not the woman I am now.
Life is going to take a different path for every single one of us so constantly comparing your journey to someone else’s will only hinder you from making the moves that are meant for your life. Just because your best friend is engaged, your roommate landed her dream job or your younger sister purchased a house with the white picket fence all before you did does not mean that you are screwing up. With each new day and each year that you are lucky enough to blow out an added candle know that this is your life to live and your journey is uniquely beautiful.
Keep dreaming, keep loving and as always, just keep swimming.
Living on my own terms,
cover photo via Pinterest