My eggs are dying. If I am planning on being married and having my first child by 30 I should have met my future husband by now. If I want to go travelling for three years I need to leave now otherwise I’m 27 and back at square one when I return; plus, if I don’t have a significant other by then I’m really pushing it for marriage and kids. I can’t quit my job to travel before I have more than 2 years of experience otherwise how am I going to build a career when I’m back.

These are a weekly cycle of thoughts that run through my head – sometimes in that order, sometimes all at once so fast and so loud I feel like I’m going nuts.

Well more than usual…

In light of some recent developments in my life, a lot of alone time, and significant soul searching you want to know my current response? I AM ONLY TWENTY THREE! Get off my back would ya?  I cannot stress how much I stress myself out thinking, over thinking, and over analysing shit (for lack of a better word) like what age should I be settling down, what if I don’t meet someone soon, how do I keep up/slow down with the people around me, am I at the right place in my career for my age, and you know what? I really shouldn’t be. As I’ve found out – sometimes the hard way – timelines are completely relative and gurrrrl, I need to chill-the-hell-out.

Here’s an example:

“So and so has been in a beautiful long term relationship for the last 5 years, moved in together, regularly vacation in the tropics, and are the happiest they’ve ever been whereas I am the same age and still single”

Flipside to that is “So and so is now 32, broken up from a 7 year relationship, is now very active on [whichever dating app] is childless, has no desire to commit to a relationship any time soon, and is the happiest they’ve ever been”

I know the first thing you’re thinking. How the hell are you still single? You’re right, it’s ridiculous, but moving on… Firstly, I had to think of where all these notions came from – there definitely isn’t a guidebook you get handed saying ‘hey here’s the timeline for your life, follow accordingly’ because if that was the case I can safely assume life would be simpler, but super boring. The reality is that I was in a constant battle of comparison; comparing myself, and my life to the successes and downfalls of others – essentially trying to mirror the world around me. Sudden newsflash though, that ‘world’ that I was/am comparing myself to is actually an infinitesimal speck of the world that’s actually out there. Boom. Secondly, it’s never the end of the world trusssss me. Even 2012 got it all wrong. We were literally running around saying it was the end of the world and guess what: WE’RE STILL HERE.  Relatively speaking, there are infinite universes with infinite timelines of me, getting on with life, at any pace, with any one, and happily making it work. Because that’s life, and that’s just what you do. So, as far as me resigning from my job, being single (I know, absurd), planning on running away to Melbourne, and the all round uncertainty of the future – things are going pretty damn well for me.

Just to prove it, here are a few things I am – and will forever be- grateful for:

The fact that I have a career to pursue, infinite options, and the brains to get me to wherever I choose to be. Beyond incredible friends and family, the support network I have surrounded myself with is as strong and nurturing as it has ever been; I am never alone, without an ear/shoulder/hand to cry/laugh/hold. I have incredible homes, the brick and mortar one I currently reside in, and the physical being I live within. My ability (and self proclaimed superpower) to write and create. I have taken this for granted so many times but have finally come full circle to wholeheartedly appreciate what I am capable of doing – and not waste it on laziness.

I can hear a lot of you now: “Sometimes it’s not just as easy as that Taylor” and you know what, IT ABSO-FUCKIN-LUTELY IS AS EASY AS THAT TINA. Yes, I know firsthand that some days (weeks, months) are way, way more difficult as others; you don’t want to get out of bed, you say something terrible to your friend, you run out of money – whatever it is – it really is about turning your mind to everything good you still have because it’s most definitely there. It’s just too easy to overlook it when you are bogged down and blinded by the cloud of sadness/anger/everything looming over your head. I think the quote goes something something takes less muscles to complain than compliment blah blah whatever, NO EXCUSES TINA, it’s time to find your happy place and make it a haven.

Moral of the story here is that there is no timeline. You can’t dictate how well your life is going based on those around you because what the hell do they know? We’re all in the same boat, pretending everything is dandy but behind the scenes working overtime to bail out the water coming in through the hole in the bottom (hi adulthood).

Taking the time to decide where you want to be (for yourself) at your own pace, is the most important time you can take.

Don’t rush, otherwise you’ll miss all the good stuff.