I have an age, but I am not my age

Little Mary

Little Mary

Story by Mary Heberling

I am of the millennial generation.  Also known as Generations Y, we are the next largest generation behind the baby boomers.

According to Wikipedia (my high school would very much disapprove of me referencing this, but it sounds legitimate), millennials share some common characteristics.  We are more likely to be “civic-minded” with a strong sense of community both locally and globally.  While we have shown to be a more tolerant generation, there are others who called us, “Generation Me” where a sense of entitlement and narcissism is a large personality trait, more so than teen and twenty year olds from previous generations.

Millennials are now entering the age of our twenties and early thirties.  A time where we are coming into our own as adults, figuring out who we are and what we’re meant to do in this crazy world.  It’s where lots of change can happen at very different times in our lives.

Until I graduated from college, my life had been planned out basically.  I went to elementary school, middle school, high school, and finally college.  It was the path that many of my friends and I were required to take.

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Then comes college graduation and you enter into the “real world” feeling like a freshman all over again.

Soon you start to hear about stories of people you graduated with getting a job, moving, getting engaged, and so forth.  These people are around your age, millennials.  You then start to feel a sense of urgency because you are not engaged, you may not have a job, you still live in the same place, etc.  You are not following the same path as everyone else, like you are used to, and it’s scary.  But just because your age may be the same as another’s, that does not mean you are not meant to be where you are in your life right now.

Our experiences, historical moments, friends, family, etc. can shape who we are as a person or even an entire generation.  In an age of social media where parading yourself to others is the norm, it is important to remember that comparing your life and experiences to others is unfair, no matter their age.  Just because you are not married, have a dream job, live in another country, jet off to Peru for vacation, or any other scenarios does not mean that your life is any worse.

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Our age does not tell us what we need to accomplish by then.  You do not need to be married with 2 kids and a dog by 30.  It’s unfair for you to assume that is the norm.  Every person’s life is different and special in their own way, no matter their age.

So I may be 24 years old, but that doesn’t define what I need to accomplish or do by the time I turn 25.

And I’m okay with that.

It’s okay to take life at your own pace and your own time, whatever you may choose that to be.  Don’t worry about taking the path of others, but choose your own path and ultimately that is where you are meant to be, no matter your age.

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2 responses to “I have an age, but I am not my age

  1. I completely agree. As cliche as it sounds, age really is just a number. It simply tells us how long we’ve been on this earth. That’s it. Our age has nothing to do with what we do with or in our lives or when. I didn’t go to college until four years after I graduated high school. I got married while in college and then had a baby one month before graduation day. My mother is 54 years old, and just started college two years ago. In all of this, none of us have ever cared about or considered our age. We just went for life as it came.

    It’s our hearts that define who we are. It’s our hearts that choose where we go and when. As long as we follow our hearts, we’ll be okay regardless of how old we are.

    Great post!

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