I was talking to a friend the other day, and she was in sheer panic mode. Her best friend was getting married and she doesn’t even have a boyfriend, her colleagues all seemed to have their whole lives planned out and she doesn’t even know what she is going to be doing a year from now, her sister who is only a few years older than her is already a tenured professor and she’s just started as a junior at a new company. At one point in our conversation, it sounded like she was going to break down, and she said something which really struck me. “I just feel like everyone is on a fast track to somewhere and I’m on the slow road to nowhere.”
This is where I had to stop her. In a time of social media where everyone seems to be doing better than you, in a time where comparison and aspiration is all that life seems to be about, in a time where mental health issues are at an all time high, it is important to sit back and realise, you are on the right path. if you are doing everything you can with what you have been given, how can you not be?
In my friend, I saw myself. I saw a lot of people I love and care for. We all feel inadequate and inadequacy is the biggest killer of human mental health that I have ever known of. Your greatest efforts in life are regarded with scrutinity on your own part and put in comparison to your peers until you believe that you are on the backtrack, that you won’t get there as fast as anyone else.
But life is not a race. Your friends and siblings and everyone around you are not your competitors. You see, we all move through this life at a different rate. We all pass through the world at a different speed. And where you believe you are lagging behind others, you are going at the exact pace you are meant to be.
Let me tell you a secret: As long as you are trying, you are doing just fine.
So take some time to admire what you have been doing right. Admire your skills, your happiness and joy. Admire your courage in situations that could have broken you. And remember that you are doing well, just for you.
Your journey does not have to be defined by checkpoints, but by the amount of times you stopped to admire the view of the mountains along the way. Your journey and your pace is meant to be determined by you and you alone. This is the secret to having a happy life. You are moving forward, one pace at a time in your own time and space. So relax. You are going at exactly the right speed. You will get there. Remember it is the journey and not the destination that counts more along the way.