It’s crazy that as children we seem to have our whole lives planned out in extraordinary detail:
- The exact car we’ll drive
- The college we’ll graduate from
- When, where and how we meet the man we’ll marry
- Our dream career that will be handed to us on a platter
- The gated community we’ll live in
- The dog
- The number of children we’ll have and their gender
We have this great life planned and it’s all supposed to happen by the age of 25. BUT what happens when 25 hits and you have only accomplished one or two things on that list and the rest hasn’t fallen into place and you don’t see it happening anytime soon, what do you do?
I’ll tell you what not to do… Don’t get down on yourself and feel like you’ve failed because as long as you’re alive there’s time to do everything you’ve every wanted to. Why let the dreams you had as a child die because you’ve reached a certain age? There’s no reason to. Some of the most successful people in the world have failed time after time and no matter how many times they took a loss they didn’t give up until they won and then won again.
If I based my success off my current age I wouldn’t be considered successful to most people:
I’m 27 almost 28, living at home with my mother, sister and our children. I have my own car, one of which I did not buy but instead had it handed down to me. I’m able to take care of all my bills but in the state I live with my salary I can barely afford rent. I can say I graduated college before 25 and though I’m not working my dream job, because if I’m being honest I had no clue what that was going to be in the first place, I like the field I’m in. I don’t have the home in the gated community with the cute puppy running around the backyard and I definitely don’t have the man I’m supposed to marry hanging on my arm and there’s no telling if I will anytime soon.
Just because life doesn’t turn out the way we want at the moment we want doesn’t mean it isn’t going to happen at all. We have to stop putting a time limit on the things we are able to do. Once I finished college and had my son I felt like that was it for me. I felt like he was my main priority and I needed to forget about everything I ever dreamed of. Instead of seeing him as a reason to keep pushing forward and doing better for us, I used him as an excuse as to why I can’t do the things I’m passionate about. I also started to look at what everyone my age and younger was accomplishing. I thought, that will never be me. Part of me was extremely envious and the other half was completely discouraged.
For so long I had told myself I was going to be a writer, whether it be for a magazine company or writing my own book. In college I got a taste of the writer’s life by being on the school’s paper, getting to have my own opinion column and interning for a nightlife magazine. For a second I thought, yes everything is falling into place until a new manager started working where I was interning and pretty much gave me an ultimatum, knock out all these articles or don’t work here at all. Now I was already working 2 jobs, still on the school paper and finishing up my last semester of college so of course I ended up leaving. That shit bruised my ego like fuck and once I left I didn’t even attempt to write again I was over it.
Now that I’ve officially published my first poetry book and almost done working on the second as well as other projects I’m starting to think I could have started this process years ago if I hadn’t given up on myself but it also might not have been the right time. Maybe I wasn’t ready back then. Still all the ideas I had in my head, instead of writing them all out I let them go to waste because my mindset was no one is going to like what I have to say. BUT all it takes is one person to like what you do for others to join the wave. It might not be right away but it will happen. My problem has always been wanting things to come easy and quickly and if they didn’t it was no point in doing it. Again that was just an excuse and me holding myself back.
I’m learning that for some people your late 20s is when you really start to find yourself and put everything around you into perspective. By my 30s I’ll have most of what I want to do figured out and I plan to use those years to add to my craft, get out more, have more fun and to never let the thoughts in my head or the words from others stop my grind and my shine.
Don’t be who I was. Continue to have faith in yourself and what you do. You’ll be blessed if you continue to believe in you.