You're Not Running Late, You're Just In Time

Taking care of yourself includes mental health. Life is on your timeline, not anyone elses.

I love Social Media. I love Social Media to a point where people I barely know come up to me and know personal things about my daily life, only because I have made that information available to them. I love Social Media so much I graduated college and made it my full-time job. I am contributing to Social Media almost every day and hour of my life when I’m not asleep.

As much time and energy as I can say I’ve dedicated to what some may call a toxic black hole, I can admit there are downsides. Social Media has led us to believe our life needs to look a certain way. We paint this picture in our minds of what our life should look like. This sometimes has very little to do with the things we want and dream about and more often is pieces of the lives of the people around us.

We see our college roommate traveling all over the world, the girl who sat next to you in your sophomore year writing course working for a firm in the city, the guy in your lab started graduate school at an Ivy League. Everyone around you is just, doing things. It makes you feel unmotivated sometimes and like you fell behind.

You had so many things you wanted to accomplish whether it was graduating high school, graduating from college, or joining the workforce right away. You wish maybe you took a year off and traveled, or wish you didn’t take back your serving job and got a full-time job. Maybe you wish you continued your education and feel tied down to your "adulting".

We have this burden on us our parents never had and couldn’t prepare us for. We know what everyone around us is doing and it created this unrealistic expectation for what our life is supposed to look like and all the big life-changing things we thought we would be doing by now.

We give ourselves very little credit for the major milestones we’ve completed up to this point because we feel we could be doing more. That’s incredibly hard on yourself, and you need to pat yourself on the back for all the things you have already accomplished. 

Everyone is on their own timeline and it's important to remember you will do what you’re meant to do when it's your time to do it. When I graduated college, a year late I might add, I felt very lost. I went back to serving, I stumbled in and out of full-time positions like I was changing bathing suits to go to the beach. I had no sense of what I wanted and felt like everyone around me was moving forward and I was stuck.

Like I was a high schooler not able to hold down a job for more than two months. I didn’t know if I should go back to school, or just change my path altogether. I knew I was good at the things I studied, but it was important to me that I stayed in the area I grew up in and jobs without a big city for my particular area were near impossible to find. I felt judged by my peers and was constantly worried about what everyone was thinking of me. On Social Media, I looked like a party girl with no direction who didn’t care about her future.

My first mistake here was giving the caring about what anyone thought of me. You and only you have walked a day in your shoes, and anyone else’s opinion on your path, and how you walk it doesn’t matter the slightest bit. I made the decision it was important to me to move out on my own, to make a new life for myself with people who accepted me and my dreams and the timeline I wanted to complete them at.

Pretending to live a life and sit at a desk because the people around you think you should isn’t going to bring you happiness. So take your time, and be picky. Yes, the world is watching, but the world doesn’t know you as you know you. We were given this idea we had to go to school, we had to be done in four years, then we had to get a job in that field, and if you don’t? You are a failure. Somewhere along the line, you messed up the simple instructions you were given and now you have to watch everyone else live out their life the right way while you sit in your hometown and watch everyone else go out get after it. 

There are going to be people who wanted to graduate and grab the reins and jump right in. People who started a job the day after graduation because by 27 they want to be running the company. And that person honestly probably will, because they have a handle on what they want and know how to chase down a goal.

There are going to be people who get married, and have kids and you are literally dating a burrito at 3:30 am after the bar. That is okay too. People are allowed to fall in love while you are falling in drunk. It doesn't mean you are unlovable and won't find happiness one day. There is going to be people who get an apartment in the town where you went to High School because they have a stable job and a great support system and that’s perfectly fine, you are not allowed to judge them because you hate the town you spent the beginning parts of your life.

People are going to move across the country, continue their education, and some people may not even know what the hell they’re doing because they haven’t posted a picture on Instagram since 2017. All of these different ways to live your life, all these different adventures are what make life interesting. We all can’t be on the same course, literally where is the fun in that?

  The next time you see a Facebook post, a Tweet, or a post on Instagram I challenge you to practice a new outlook. Always be happy for someone. Someone you know or once cared about is doing something great. And that’s amazing for them, but it has nothing to do with your journey and in no way means there’s something you’re doing wrong. I can promise you, no matter how good someone's life looks there is probably one thing they too wish they could change, and it's not all rainbows and butterflies. We all have our demons and no one is perfect or above making mistakes here and there. 

I took my life and ran with it. I let myself have fun, and let everyone call me a party girl. I tried jobs and if they didn’t work, I tried another. I started a podcast, I played more with my writing abilities. I got an apartment with two of my best friends, I met a ton of new people, and have even toyed with the idea of furthering my education.

There were days when my bank account was negative and I was eating pasta with butter for dinner three days in a row, but it's all apart of the journey right? I learned more about myself in the year after graduation than I did all of college and I did it while experimenting and “not having my shit together.” I ignored everyone who thought my antics were “too much” and made cuts where necessary.

Yes, I wasn’t always doing the right thing by the basic standards of being an adult, but in all my mistakes I was learning and growing and creating my happiness. Which correct me if I'm wrong, but I’m pretty sure that’s what this whole life thing is about. 

Like where you grew up? Good, stay. Stay as long as you want. Does where you grew up to make you feel like you are in a literal birdcage with a lock and no key? Leave. Flock the nest. Explore. Go back to school. Get a full-time job. Don’t get a full-time job and save up until you can go somewhere that brings you happiness and growth.

The world is literally there for the taking and you are capable of grabbing it, and it doesn’t have to happen until you’re ready to do it. But don’t ever feel like you’re running late for your life. Your journey is unique to you and no one can tell you how it’s supposed to be done. That’s up to you to decide, and you are just in time.

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