Monday, 16 April 2018

Am I Too Young To Be Too Late?


I’m writing this post today because I feel like society is obsessed with doing things ‘right’…  Even in 2018 we are pressured to sticking to a timeline in your life – leave school, get a job or go into further education, get married, buy a house, have kids etc etc.  What if you don’t want to go down that path?

I don’t tend to feel overly pressured by the ways of the world, I grew up very independent and pretty much always done what I wanted to do.  Fair enough, I went to uni but I went because I wanted to rather than because it was expected of me.  I’m not married and I don’t have kids and I’m not a homeowner yet because I haven’t felt like the time is right….  But I will admit, in my darkest moments I do wonder if the time has passed for me to do a lot of these things. 

Ok, so as far as homeowning goes I am almost there.  I am saving up for a deposit at the moment but I don’t think people who rent are failures in life.  I want a house now because I am in a position to do so but the time would not have been right years ago

Anyone in their late 20s / early 30s is classed as an ‘older mother’ so if and when I decide to have kids, I am already there.  An old mum.  I’m too late to be a young mum.  Is that necessarily a bad thing?  Or does the language used make it sound worse than it really is?  We love putting people into a bracket  ‘old mum’ and ‘young mum’, but I’ve never heard anyone being described as ‘the-perfect-age mum’…  Does such a thing exist or are all mothers either lacking in life experience or past it?

Career wise I feel that there is a massive amount of pressure to know your path in life.  We pick subjects at 13ish, study them and when we leave school we are expected to decide whether to get a job or whether to study further.  Isn’t that extremely young?  I always wanted to be a vet so when I didn’t get an A for chemistry, I was stumped and I felt like there was no support out there to help me pick something else.  I went to a state school with pretty low expectations – teachers constantly told me (and almost everyone else) to become a teacher or a nurse….  The help ended there.  So I went to college for a year and studied another few subjects until I decided what I wanted to do.  One of the year heads in my high school told me I’d never amount to anything if I went to college, and that I should just pick a subject and go to uni straight from school.  Well, fuck her because I am now a scientist.  It wasn’t an easy path – I found uni very stressful which was made worse by the fast that I still wasn’t 100% about what to do with my life.  My career goal was just ‘finish uni and get a job I like’.  I do like the job I am in just now but I feel as though I’m not completely happy with my career choice.  If I could go back in time I would never study science.  But, I feel like it’s too late for me to study something else.  I’ve did a few other qualifications since I’ve graduated (no rest for the wicked) and I see myself ending up in Health and Safety.  I very much doubt I’ll stay in science forever.  In an ideal world I’d be a world famous author…. Maybe there is still time for that!

I see people stressing in life thinking they are too late to fulfill their own personal goals and I think its a sad sign of the times.  We live in a world that is obsessed with age and the media are constantly telling us we are past it at 26.  What if you meet the love of your life at 40?  Or want to travel the world at 60?  The average life expectancy in the UK at the moment is apparently 81... so why should we spend the majority of our lives feeling that it is too late to do the things that make us happy?  Ultimately a career change at 50 or moving abroad at 34 might be terrifying but it certainly isn't too late if that is what you want to do.

So, this ramble of a post is really to say this – if you have your shit figured out by 18 or 24 then I applaud you but don’t feel like you’ve done life wrong if you are still wondering where to go and what to do, no matter what age you are.  A lot of us still feel that way!  And despite feeling like I’m a bit late in life for some things, I don’t regret many decisions in life because I’ve learnt some valuable lessons along the way.  Life isn’t a schedule – I still need to remind myself of that sometimes – and its ok to be 30 or 60 and still trying to make some life decisions!

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