When you grow up, the world around you seems to create this criteria for every stage of your life and if you're not doing it, then you must be falling behind. It's almost like the american dream which seems to be somewhat unobtainable. Battling mental illness isn't in the life that you're supposed to have according to films and media, but that's not what bothers me. Even though I should never try to obtain these goals that are somewhat impossible, my mental illness meant that I perhaps wasn't at the stage of my peers. I wasn't passing my driving test at age 17, or having partners from 13, or getting my first paid job when I was 15. Although some of my peers were living their life this way, in reality there was nothing telling me that I had to be like that and I'm not even sure it was the majority acting like I thought they were. Nevertheless, these goals seemed to plague me for a long time. However, I now feel for my age I have ticked off all the boxes that I am supposed to, but it doesn't feel perfect.
I wish I had known that even with all of the goals ticked off on your list, it doesn't mean that life is perfect and you're the happiest you can be. I accepted that wasn't like others when I was growing up and that I was developing at a different time and on my own journey. Although this was hard to accept I was reaching my goals in my own time. Now, I feel I have reached my goals that I have been aiming for all these years and I'll be honest, it doesn't feel that I've got my life together. I thought having a paid job, a car, living independently, a partner and so on, would mean I had reached all these invisible and made-up goals and it would be perfect. But, life doesn't work like that and puzzle pieces don't come together to make a whole. Life is a lot more complicated than that.
I am proud of how far I have come and I am fortunate to have in my life today, but it's ever-changing and my anxiety and depression still throws up its difficulties. But, if I am to learn anything from this, is that there is no date at which everything needs to be done. You are on your own journey and you can do it in your own time and that's okay.