Are you where you wanted to be at this stage in your life?

Are you where you wanted to be at this stage in your life?

Such a heavy and loaded question. As I am nearing another birthday milestone, it is the perfect opportunity to reflect and ask the big questions ~ although (note: spoiler) I am not convinced I have any answers…

We as a society seem to have an obsession with success and accomplishment ~ or perhaps more accurately a fear of perceived failure. We are afraid to be seen as not succeeding in the way we want to or how we are expected to succeed. Or perhaps we are more inclined the other way – where there are no expectations of our life. So then the question becomes…

Are you where you wanted to be at this stage of your life?

 

Life’s journey is generally a funny thing – we don’t always have any control over life or have the ability to steer the path we believe we are heading towards.  Sometimes life is simply about reactions. This is a relatively new revelation that I have come to accept – the lack of actual control. I was once a person who would consistently make lists of goals and life expectations that would involve an annual review. The goal for my list of goals was whether I was able to tick the item off the list. I have been setting myself goals for as long as I can recall.

 

The review of my list was two fold – there were some moments of pride that I had achieved what I had set out to do. On the other hand, there were times where I hadn’t quite gotten there and it resulted in disappointment or even more strongly, feelings of stress of perceived failure. Failure hurt.  As a kid, I was driven by goals – some of which were unrealistic expectations that created unnecessary pressure. This is funny because in hindsight, my parents had never pushed goals or created unrealistic expectations. There was never any pressure in comparison – the only pressure was that I had placed upon myself. Where that came from, I am still unsure…

 

In my mid teens I had written up a very detailed life plan – I was oddly obsessed with life direction. The plan was extensive and outlined the next 10 years of all the life goals I would accomplish by the time I was 25 years old. The list consisted of travel plans, university plans and career goals. It extended to marriage and plans of starting my own family. It was a very ambitious list for only 10 years, of which the whole time was filled with still being at uni.  I suppose at 15 years old I never expected to have spent a huge chunk of my 20’s still there.

I found the written goals quite confronting when I began to check off the list in my 20’s. That was the last goals list I drafted myself…It was at that moment that I decided that life could not be lived by forcing success based goals because life changes.  It was also eye opening to see how my goals had changed and how some had remained as tasks still to be ticked off the list I no longer kept.

 

Life moves in all sorts of directions. It moves forwards, backwards and sideways. As we continue to move through life, our own ambitions as well as our desires change. This is okay. Actually, it is more than okay and is best described as ‘normal’ and shows development. Realistically, I am not the same person I was when I was 15 years old, nor am I the person as when I was 25… the further we progress through life and collect many eclectic experiences, the greater the chances are that life direction may also change…

 

This is why I no longer make lists – the content and structure now feels too restrictive and artificial. The process of list making no longer reflects the kind of life I choose to live and that life at the moment looks a lot less structured. It is guided by intuition of my judgment. It is a lot more flexible. The level of stress is considerably moderated.  Life is lived a lot more mindfully. So again, the question…

 

Am I where I want to be at this stage of my life?

 

The very honest answer to that is – right now I am happy. Is that the same thing as to where I want to be in life? Who knows! Is this what life is going to look like in 10 years? 5 years? Next year even? Who knows! Right now, I understand and respect that my life is where it needs to be based on the decisions I have made so far.  Sometimes that decision alone is scary – it was never the way I lived in the past.

Life may not seem perfect but that’s not realistic… Life can be described as many things ~ messy, unpredictable, exciting, content and not always amazing but with everyday comes the opportunity to make moments within everyday memorable.  Live mindfully and authentically so when you ask yourself if you are where you want to be at this stage in your life, the answer may just be an easy ‘yes’…

I am still working on it…

 

 

~ FP

 

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