On Not Following The Traditional Life Plan

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Hi, I'm Emma and in my later 20s I still don't feel like I'm the together adult I should be. When I was younger I thought I'd be doing good work in a creative field and owning my little place all before I was 25 and now a few years from 30, well let's say it hasn't all gone to plan. In the past there have been a few tears and frustration over feeling stuck or not making it like other folks have done so but as I've got older I'm learning to take things more slowly and appreciate the moment for what it is. So here's a few of my thoughts in dealing with the traditional life plan and the realities of what actually happens. How do you feel looking back on what or where you thought you'd be?

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Ever since I was younger I've been someone to over think things and criticise my own actions this is exaggerated when I feel like I'm not getting anywhere. Comparison is something I've got better at dealing with but still it can raise its ugly head from time to time, for example this past year I've been plagued by unemployment / bitty part time work and as I'm nearing the ripe old of age 30 in a couple of years part of me feels I should be more ahead than I am. It's been hard, tearful and exasperating - when you're really trying to get somewhere but no one is ready to give you a shot even more so when there are so many talented folks out there who seem to have their shit together (some of whom are younger than you). We're told not to compare ourselves, that it's not a race ... but we all know it's not always as easy as that to put into practice.

Trying to adhere to society's perceived ideas that we should be doing it all and doing it well, can be truly suffocating when you're just wanting to stay afloat. Often what we plan for in life doesn't work out but not it's not always a bad thing and if certain things did happen like they should've done or I'd made a different choice I wouldn't be who I am as of right now - a disgusting cliche but a true one. For example if I didn't come home after university after a failed course application (plus not the greatest educative experience) and worked in retail for a bit longer I would not have met some of my closest friends even my partner of several years. 

A concept I've been trying to embrace is to focus on the now and appreciate the positives (even the smallest overlook daily joys) so despite my lack of job and money blues now is perhaps one of the happiest times I've experienced. I've become more confident in my self as a person not just in terms of 'beauty', whether it really is an age thing or the experiences I've had but been it's been a slow process and over time I'm learning not to worry over every little thing I say or do or the actions of others and what they mean (it just sounds exhausting). When you're unhappy with one or several areas of your life it can be easy to want to skim past it as fast as possible and get to the good stuff now but to accept the moment is an important step as it can help when you push on through, giving you that determination and appreciation for the even better things that follow. 

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Some Ways I'm trying Not To Compare Myself & Have a Positive Outlook (Even When Things Don't Work Out)

#01 || Realise no one really has all the answers

#02 || Focus on your strengths & what you can bring to the table

#03 || Understand someone's journey to get to where they are looks completely different behind the scenes

#04 || Try to stop yourself from falling into a comparison hole

#05 || Count your blessings & look at what you do have

#06 || Be OK with imperfection (at least try)

#07 || Just because your journey hasn't been the easiest it doesn't mean it's the end

#08 || Learn to love & not judge on first site

#09 || Try not to worry about things you don't have control over

#10 || Everything is temporary

Do you have a life plan? Or has yours gone out the window too?

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