Remember when you were 16 and you couldn’t wait to get older? no restrictions freedom at last. No more having to answer to Mum what a joy that would be when that day eventually arrives.
But what happens when you come of an age when you are free to do pretty much as you please? responsibility happens, pressure, expectations. You aspire for more for yourself and those around you expect more from you.
Although we all were told countless times enjoy our youth, our prime years. But did we really ever take heed to what we were being told? I can honestly say I don’t think I did, and I couldn’t have imagined the immense pressure that comes with getting older .
Even things like doing the monthly shopping, struggling with those countless 5 pence bags, wishing that I could go back to the days where I used to write a long list for my Mum, who would go out and do the shopping.
This may seem trivial when you think about all the trials and tribulations life throws at us. But there is something about getting older, which feels like you are expected to take the weight of the world on your shoulders do every little thing yourself.
People expect you to know what you want to do with the rest of your life, expect you to be in a relationship, to have a career, children.
We put endless pressure on ourselves, especially as women. Most of us wanting to have achieved everything in life by the time we hit 30. But recently I have had to change my mindset, who says that we need to be married and have children by 30? us or society or both?
I will be 26 in a few weeks time and in all honesty I haven’t achieved what I would have hoped to. I have none of the above and I realise that achieving all these things in the next four years is unlikely (not impossible but unlikely).
Now I’m not saying we should go through life aimlessly with no sense of direction or ambition. But is it right for us to assess how much we have accomplished in life on an age basis? If for whatever reason I’m not a mother by 30 does that mean that I have failed myself?
How often do you hear someone say ‘I want to be a millionaire by the time I’m ….? making their life’s work about achieving this one thing, but imagine the disappointment if you don’t achieve that. We overlook all the efforts we have put in, to even come close to our goals just because, we didn’t quite get there at the age we wanted to.
Getting older is a blessing and many get taken, before they get to fulfil their ability, to fulfil their dreams and enjoy the beauty that life has to offer.
There is no doubt that there are many great things that come with getting older, another day to laugh, to see your children grow, another day to feel inspired and to inspire others.
But ageing is also a time to be more strategic about what we want to achieve in this new milestone of our life.
So as I hang on (tightly) to my last few weeks of being 25. I feel it fitting to kick off my Nablopomo, reflecting on what what it means to get older. As my 26th birthday draws nearer I want to achieve even more, push myself to new heights. Bag that career, start saving for a flat, travel more, live more!
Is ‘ageing’ the dreaded word or do you love to celebrate another birthday?