I’ve finally hit the age where the first wave of engagements and babies is coming, and boy is it strong! Especially with the holidays where everyone is really feeling the spirit of family, there was a new social media post every week! I’m so happy for all my school friends and people from my local community that are starting new chapters in their lives! But as I talked to some mutual friends, they began to worry that they were falling behind in life now.
Growing up, as we watch TV, movies, and society around us, we start to form ideas of when we should get married, buy a house, and have a baby. A strict timeline of having it all by the time you’re 30. I remember at 14 years old, my girlfriends saying they wanted to start having babies at 26. First off, it’s crazy that girls are encouraged to think about these things at such a young age. Secondly, this year we’re all turning 26 and let me tell you, none of us have husbands, babies, or houses.
Everyone has a different life journey, some are closer to these milestones than others. Some of us may not want to reach one of these goals. But society puts this pressure on us to hit these milestones or be deemed an old maid or spinster.
Surprisingly, I’m not feeling any of this pressure. Maybe if I had a boyfriend, I would worry about how our relationship was moving along. But I don’t really think that would happen, seeing as I don’t feel any pressure to even get a boyfriend. I do feel that this is in part due to the fact that the age in my head that I set for myself to be married is still 5 years away. That’s still plenty of time so no pressure.
I also think society still has plenty of leniency at my current age. Yes, plenty of people at 26 do hit these milestones but it’s at the beginning of the expected range. I also know I’m not ready for any of those milestones. I’m still getting my footing and solidifying my career. Modern medicine has also progressed so although at age 35 you’re considered a geriatric pregnancy, it is becoming increasingly common for women to start and continue having pregnancies in their late 30s.
We’re reaching a point where society is pushing the timeline back which is good because there’s less pressure when you’re young and still deciding your life path. But I wish that we never had to feel these judgmental pressures. And for anyone who does not want to reach one of these milestones, society will continue to question and pressure you because you’re not fitting into their normal boxes. The next step is for society to let people live outside the boxes without judgement.