(Eventually) I stopped caring about timelines, expectations,
deadlines, judgement and failures
Submitted by Melissa Murphy
Thirty! For such a seemingly small number, it is, in actuality, a milestone we must all dauntingly endure. For many, we become so obsessed with the notion of what 30 represents, that we lose sight of the things that make us quintessentially unique.
We live under the guise that by this remarkable age our lives should fit into the format society has created for us. At 30, tertiary education should be a thing of the past, a booming career within our grasp, a spouse just ahead, with children just over the horizon. And although this does reflect the reality of some, it certainly does not for most.
From personal experience: 30 for exactly 30 days, part-time menial job, halfway through a Bachelor’s in English, the aforementioned is a far cry from my reality. To fix this, when I turned 29 my goal was to somehow complete a degree, find the job of my dreams, and while I was at it maybe throw in a husband, all within 365 days. There was no way this could end badly.
In my eyes, my future seemed bleak, my dreams unattainable, until I began to change my inner dialogue. By questioning the idea of “happiness” and “self-fulfillment” in relation to my life, I began to realize that I had much to be grateful for.
Although I was a few years away from the life I envisioned for myself, I was living. My days were spent focused on what I love (English), while my leisure time was mostly spent surrounded by my loved ones. But most importantly, I was beginning to love myself in a way that I had never done before. I was so focused on fitting into what I believed life at this age should mimic that I began to feel like a square peg being forced into a round hole. And every time I changed aspects of myself to fit this mould I slowly began to lose facets of myself that I loved: personal characteristics that I hid because I never saw the beauty in them.
So I stopped caring about timelines, expectations, deadlines, judgement and failures and began to compile questions I wished I’d known more about by the time I turned 30 (topics and answers I hope to share in later posts) rather than the things I failed to accomplish. I understood that a life worth living came with questions, indecisiveness, risks, and most importantly, failure. And with every hurdle and every obstacle I endured, I learnt a bit more about myself, and in turn began to love my journey, my story, a little more. I began to understand that life wasn’t about living for anyone but me.
Embrace The Journey—Alex Elle.
“Enjoy the Journey: There are moments when it’s best to quiet our worries and fears and just be. Enjoy the moments, live for today. Embrace, cherish and absorb the time we are given. Take it all in as it comes, rain + shine. We must have faith in our journey. We may not always think we’re travelling in the right direction, but trust in the fact that you are where you are supposed to be.”
Melissa Murphy is 30 and well on her way to a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature, with a Minor in Professional Writing at Concordia University. She hopes it will lead to her career of choice: Book Publisher/Editor (ideally Caribbean based).