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‘Right Age’ For Doing What Society Wants You To Do Is A Myth, AND A Trap

Posted: November 3, 2019

Let’s not fall into the ‘right age’ trap because it forces us to make decisions which we might not be physically, emotionally, mentally ready to make.

In less than a week, I will turn 27.

My mother has been told several times, in the past 3 years, to get me married, because I have reached the ‘right age’, and that I will ‘get older’ before I even know it, and I will miss ‘my opportnity’ to experience all good things life has to offer.

To be honest, it doesn’t affect my parents and I, and I am blessed in that sense.

“This is the right age for…”

But the ‘right age’ factor affects all of us, irrespective of the context, and social or financial or relationship status, because it is our society’s construct around which our lives revolve.

Until a few days ago, I was actually concerned that I started preparing for a competitive exam pretty late in life.

I began preparing at 24 and all other aspirants are much younger than I am, some as young as 17/18.

And that’s a big disadvantage for me.

But was I ready?

Adding to that was my concern about my 2-year old relationship that I could see going nowhere.

Not because the guy and I were not serious about each other. We were.

But we both were so busy at this point in our lives, chasing our goal, struggling in this ruthless, unforgiving, and extremely competitive world that we never really had time to talk about the future.

We thought supporting each other in the present was probably the best we could do.

And because we didn’t have an end goal or a common future plan together, we started getting detached and our shared, cozy world started crumbling.

So where does the ‘right age’ factor come into play, really?

Everywhere!

It’s constantly ringing a bell in the back of our head.

We are scared to accept that life will not go as planned.

Some get stardom at the age of 19, some attain it at the age of 39.

Some start a business at the age of 23, some lose everything at the age 50 and begin everything from scratch again.

Some fall madly in love at the age of 17. Some don’t find love even at the age of 32.

Things will happen as they should…

I gave myself some time and I realized, I need to respect and love myself more than I do.

Things will happen to me at their own ‘right time’.

I needed to stop worrying and being too harsh on myself.

I can not solve all the problems of my life at this one instant.

And this is something I would like to tell everyone.

Let’s not fall into the ‘right age’ trap because it forces us to make decisions which we might not be physically, emotionally, mentally ready to make.

‘Have a child because you’re more fertile now.’

‘Have another child because it will solve your couple-differences.’

‘Earn as much as you can, because you’re young now.’

‘Get married because your parents are getting old.’

‘Don’t you dare think about divorce.’

‘Don’t quit that toxic job.’

Taking any right decision at a wrong time will not make the decision right in itself.

‘Only chance’?!

Long story short, we broke up and it was not at all amicable.

I had everything that one would seek in a relationship – love, care, respect, emotional support, appreciation, space, stability, security, trust, understanding.

But constant fights over lack of time didn’t give us peace of mind.

But my biggest fear, apart from losing someone I dearly loved, was that I would not meet someone like him again, that this was my ‘only chance’, that this was the only ‘right time, right age’ and my ‘right guy’.

My only hope was – may be someday things will change, we will taste success, we will be happy and we’ll have a great life together.

What I gradually accepted that meeting a right person at a wrong time, doesn’t make him the right guy.

I am in my time zone and the day I accepted that, I got over most of my fears and anxieties.

That stands true for most things in life.

Loving myself, putting myself first…

And this is why we need to stop getting convinced by social and cultural norms that we have an age limit, like most manufactured products have an expiry date, we do too.

And that we must continue doing something that makes us unhappy or take decisions that we are not too sure of, because time is running out.

No, we don’t.

Of course, I don’t mean to say here that we have to necessarily procrastinate about important things.

We need to set our priorities right.

But we surely don’t have to rush into things just because we are scared of losing that chance or that spot to someone else. Survival is tough, it’s important. But we need to measure pros and cons before every decision we take. The long term effects and out mental and emotional state, too.

For now, I will work hard towards achieving my goal.

If that doesn’t work out for me, I will do something else. Life won’t stop, will it?

And so won’t the criticisms.

Right age is a myth, a societal construct, and it’s time we fearlessly take our decisions according to what suits us, not the society.

Good things (and bad things) will happen to us, regardless of age and time.

Any age is right age, when you are ready in the truest sense.

We just need to trust ourselves and our decisions more than we do.

Image source: a still from the movie Bride and Prejudice

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