There can be so much pressure in life. It can come from every direction. We hear the people around us asking the same tired, loaded questions, like, “When are you getting married?” “When are you having kids?” and “Are you still at that job?” We hear the judgmental, loaded statements, like, “When I was your age, I was married with kids and a mortgage,” and “Some people actually graduate with a degree in four years.” And then, to top it all off, there is the internal pressure we put on ourselves by comparing our lives to others around us—the feelings that we aren’t far enough along in life or are somehow failing because our lives look different from theirs.
Every day can be a battle, a struggle to simply keep your head above water. Life can be hard enough without all of the added pressure and judgement. Life is like those Choose Your Own Adventure books from childhood. There are a million and one different paths and options available for you to choose from, and we all we make different choices at each junction. Life takes us all in different directions, and the results will naturally look just as vastly different as well. There is no wrong directions or results; there are simply ones that teach and show us different lessons.
Life is not a race. There is no speed by which we should live our lives; what matters is that we get where we want to be at some point. We each can choose to live life at the pace we desire, at the speed that works for us personally. Life is not a series of milestones, laid linearly out for us like hurdles in a marathon. For the most part, there is no real set order for which we must accomplish the things in this life. It isn’t a math formula with strict, dictated rules.
Never feel guilty about where you are in life. Never feel like what you have accomplished isn’t good or grand enough. Never let someone make you feel like you are somehow less because you are in a different place in the journey. Life is hard enough without the added pressure, guilt, feelings of inadequacy, and failure. Ignore those thoughts. Avoid people who make you feel that way. Life is too short to be around anyone who is less than 100% supportive.
Life is an adventure, a mystery. We make it what we want; we choose where we want to go. Life is meant to be lived on our own terms, at our own pace, in our own way. We determine the rules, the direction, and ultimately, the goal and destination. What truly matters is that we are doing what we want, that we are getting to where we want to be. And the true beauty of life is that it is never too late to start over or to change direction if you ever find yourself to be anything less than happy with where you are.
Enjoy life. Make the most of it. Fill it with the moments and people that will add to it, not take away from it. We are the masters of our fate and the ones who decide our destiny. Live your life in your own way—a way that makes you happy, because it is the only life you’ll get.