Monday Musings: Time is a Social Construct

Welcome to ‘Monday Musings’!

A new segment from Teenplicity, ‘Monday Musings’ will explore personal interests and thoughts in a multitude of ways. Whether it be through lists, fan interaction, or discussion posts, each week will offer a different topic and new perspective from Teenplicity about what is on our mind. The range of topics, just like our interests, will be vast. Some might be familiar, as it could highlight previous feature stars, while others will discuss uncharted subjects for Teenplicity. They might be fun posts with a silly twist or a more serious discussion about something that could concern you.

The goal is for Teenplicity to become more engaged and involved with our readers. The Teenplicity Team is made up of fans, just like you. Let us know what you care about – a show, a film, music, an event or aspect of your life. There are no limits for what can be explored in ‘Monday Musings’ or how we present it to you.

Let’s be honest – life can get in the way sometimes. (You can say that even applies to the absence of a couple Monday Musings posts to which I have to say, “Sorry” and “Life happens”. *insert shrug emoji here*)

Real talk, I find as I get older that there is serious pressure to follow a certain timeline. Now, I’m not talking about deadlines for assignments or countdowns to events or anything like that. I’m referring to that mental timeline we all have going in our head of where we think our lives would be at any given moment in time.

Honestly, if you asked me ten years ago to assume where I’d be now? I’m scared of what the answer might be.

Ten years ago, I thought I had a lot of things figured out. Go to school and get my Bachelor’s degree by 22, be in my dream job – or working my way up the ladder and being pretty close to it – by the time I was 23. I figured I’d have an apartment in the city or I’d be traveling the world and experiencing so much more. I even figured I’d probably be getting married by the time I turn 25 or 26.

But, you know, life happens.

Also, the world isn’t anything like what you imagined it is when you’re only 13. Seriously, I thought I could even calculate when I’d say “I love you” in a relationship. Obviously we all know that’s pretty impossible.

The mental timeline in my head that I had for my future since I was little is completely different from the kind of timeline that real life determined. Not to get extremely repetitive but life happens. Events or changes will insert themselves into your life that you have no way of ignoring or getting rid of and you simply have to learn to deal with it. Circumstances are a huge part on that set timeframe we create for ourselves and how it affects the way things play out.

It turns out that there’s a societal timeline that follows this as well. Society expects you to go straight from high school and into college at 18, to know what you want to do for the rest of your life, graduate within four years with a Bachelors, then settle down and get a job in your field. Heck, society expected more people to be getting married in their early 20s than the actuality. In fact, according to U.S. Census findings, people are now waiting longer to get married – 27 being the average age of women and 29 for men – than ever before.

So how’s that timeline coming along for you?

Are you in line with what you thought you’d be doing by this age?

If you’re not, it’s okay.

Life happens. Sometimes you can’t go to college or you end up going years later. Sometimes it takes you years and years to complete a degree instead of the usual projected timeline for it. You can change your mind once, twice, five times about what you want to do in life. Priorities shift and focus changes.

It might not be as easy to get into your field as you thought, you might not be anywhere close to discovering what it is you want to do, or maybe you’ve got other important things to think about and care for. Circumstances at that point in your life may be completely different than what they once were. You can’t expect to control everything or have life follow your prepared plan at every step. You’re unable to prevent outside factors from intruding.

Don’t feel bad or feel pressured if your life curves off the timeline – whether it’s one that you created or one you feel society has in mind.

Try not to compare yourself to friends on social media and wonder why your accomplishments or life choices don’t match up or level out to theirs. Your paths may parallel but that doesn’t mean they have to be mirror images too.

Taking a longer time with something or not being able to figure something out regarding your life and future in a predetermined amount of time doesn’t mean you’re wrong or bad or failing.

It’s okay if it takes you a little longer to accomplish something. It’s okay if you change your mind, change your direction, and change your life. It’s okay that your future is shaping out at a different pace than what you expected.

Did you like ‘Monday Musings’? If so, you’re in luck! Each week, Teenplicity will feature a new ‘Monday Musings’ post about things we are looking forward to, topics close to our hearts, or suggestions from readers!

Do you have a suggestion for ‘Monday Musings’? You can let Teenplicity know what you’d like to see on Twitter or anonymously on Tumblr! Or you can directly contact Mary Ayers on Twitter and anonymously on Tumblr or Brie Garrett on Twitter and Tumblr

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