Read This If You're Falling Behind in Life
I know the feeling. The feeling that everyone else is ahead of you. The feeling that everyone else is doing big, fantastic things with their lives but you aren't.
This feeling comes and goes for me--sometimes it is subtle, and other times it's almost unbearable.
I started college at 17, and even when I graduated in only 3 1/2 years I felt like everyone else was still ahead of me. I felt like I wasn't doing enough. I felt like I wouldn't ever be enough, and my constant trying was of no use.
Now as I see friends and old classmates my age and even younger getting married, starting families, traveling the world...the feeling of not being as far along in my life as I should be intensifies.
I should be married! (Thinks the girl with no boyfriend.) I want babies! (Thinks the girl who can't keep a plant alive.) I want to travel the world and see amazing places while I'm young! (Thinks the girl who has been ill for 6 months, barely able to leave bed some days.)
I'm about to tell you something only because I need to remind myself.
We all have different stories. We all are shaped by different events in our life--those we choose, and also those that choose us. It would be impossible for every single person to be on the same life path.
Aside from the fact that social media makes others' lives appear perfectly seamless, put-together, and successful, there is also the reality that they're just different.
Can you imagine how boring it would be if you walked into a library full of books, only to find that every single book was exactly the same? The books looked different, sure, but upon opening each and every book you found that the words were identical--the stories the same.
Those people who get married at 19 aren't any 'farther along in life' than the person who is still in college working toward a degree. They're also not farther along than the person who is still saving to go to college, or even the person that decided college wasn't for them.
The person who gets a 9-5 job straight out of college isn't farther along in life than the person who decides to take a year off to travel the world. They're also not farther along than the person who spends a year doing countless interviews but can't seem to catch a break.
Those that struggle with addiction, illness, injuries, and traumatic life changes are not miles behind those who are coasting along. They're just in the middle of their story's conflict. Like any good story, the resolution will come.
There is no such thing as being 'far ahead' or 'farther along' in life because we cannot read the whole story yet. I always was the kid reading ahead to the end of the book, so this really bums me out.
There is no sense in feeling like we should be doing more, accomplishing more, or be at a different place in our lives because that's simply not how it works. (Sorry.)
I'm not saying we shouldn't set goals, work hard, and strive to better ourselves. I am saying that we are where we are in this very moment because that's just how our story goes.
You're not falling behind in life. You just have a different story.