Life is an adventure, and like any great story, in order for it to make sense, it must be broken up into chapters. Chapters which work together to build the plot and flush out the characters, while carrying them through adversity, revealing their dreams and desires, and propelling them forward from one adventure to the next.
If we begin to look at our lives as part of a running narrative divided into unique chapters, instead of counting our years, our viewpoint on life just might change. We might stop looking at life with a linear perspective and with a lens focused on meeting so-called deadlines. You know the ones I am talking about. At X age you should go to college, followed by the perfect job and a cute new apartment. Your next milestone should consist of meeting that special someone, marriage, a new house, shortly followed by 2.5 children.
However, when we reflect on some of the great classics and the adventurous tales that fill each of their pages, they are not written linearly. They don’t give their characters time frames and expectations as to when one journey will end and another begins. Instead, the storyteller slowly builds the character, allowing him/her to develop through the plot without any rush on time. A good story is filled with diverse chapters, varying lengths, unique characters, and without mention of making the characters fit into a pre-determined outline or timeline.
It is when we break away from this imaginary timeline that we are set free to fully live. Expectations of where we should be at a certain age diminish, and we learn to focus on our own personal chapter and disconnect from the comparison. We stop comparing and open ourselves up to enjoy the journey we are on, at the moment we are supposed to be in it – and maybe, just maybe, find others within the same chapter to journey with, regardless of their age.
So as we journey through life, building our own story, let us try and focus on flushing out our chapters instead of counting our years. As one of us might be journeying through a chapter slightly longer than another, but this does not mean any of us are on the wrong page. It just means we are on our own path, developing our own story, and writing our own book filled with one-of-a-kind adventures.
(This article was previously published in Nellie Mag.)
Tags: mind, whole-body living, balance, wellness, age