Pre-Birthday Panic and the Quarter Life Crisis

Tomorrow I turn 25 and this morning I had a little pre-birthday panic. I'm not worried about turning a year older; in fact I'm excited for what the next year has to bring. My aim is to write and read as much as possible, hopefully get something published and spend 3 or 4 weeks in Vietnam.

However when I woke up this morning, my first thought was this is my last day as a 24 year old! And I led in bed thinking about what was going to be expected of me at 25. When my mum was 25 she had a 2 year old, owned a house and was married. I can't even begin to fathom that being my life right now, but that was what made her happy and it was the right decision for her. But it's not for me. And that's just fine. 

We're all entitled to do what makes us happy and we shouldn't be worried whether or not that meets the expectation of us. Whether that expectation is from our parents, our friends or society in general.

People are too quick to judge each other and women in particular.

  • We judge young mothers - She's got 3 kids at age 23! I wonder if any of them have the same Dad...
  • We judge women who are going out partying - wow she goes out clubbing every weekend. And she usually pulls...
  • We judge women who dedicate their lives to their career; why doesn't she want a family? That's so weird, its unnatural...
  • We judge women who leave their home life behind to travel the world; how irresponsible. Isn't she worried about her career or meeting someone and settling down?

After a few minutes of toiling with these ideas in my head, I realised that I'll never be what is expected of me because there cannot be an expectation.

We are all different.

Some of us want to have high-flying careers, some want to get married, some want children, some don't want any, some want to nest, some what to explore. And all of that is ok, more than ok in fact because it should be encouraged. Everyone, men and women, should be encouraged to do what they want to do without being put down by our peers or feeling pressurised to conform.

I keep reading about people having a Quarter Life Crisis and I guess that's what I briefly experienced this morning. I hope idea will disappear and become irrelevant, as the feeling of a quarter life crisis is mostly generated by expectation. I should have a boyfriend by now, I should've taken a gap year, I should've been promoted, I should've moved out of my parent's house... The thing is, there is no correct age to do something. There is no correct way to live your life. Expectation is meaningless and outdated. And judging others won't make your life any better. 

So in conclusion to my slightly epic rant this morning!

Live your life the way you want to. Encourage and support other people to do the same. And if someone tries to shoot you down, to tell you that want you want isn't right, then you probably don't need that person in your life. Just smile and wave on your way to do what's right for you.


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