Milestone Expectations

We have all read articles which are backwardly hilarious but also leave you feeling utterly outraged at the same time. Whilst casually scrolling through my Facebook page I had the misfortune of stumbling across one of these articles today, The Daily Mail’s (I know enough said) “Ultimate Guide to Life – Are YOU hitting the major life milestones on time?” Now normally I would carry on scrolling past such tripe, but a dear and possibly slightly deluded friend of mine had commented on the post and for a split, deep rooted insecure second I was intrigued to see if I was on track to hit any of societies proposed milestones in the correct time scale. In short, according to the Daily Mail I’m nowhere near the track, I don’t even seem to be near the starting line, in fact I’m not even sure I can see the god damn track.

The Ultimate Guide to Life suggests you should have achieved the following between the age of 24 to 30;

  • Rented by yourself and with your partner
  • Got engaged and married
  • Had your first child
  • Bought a flat, sold the flat and bought a house.

Now I am aware that the above may genuinely be the aspirations of some people but to me just looking at that list is exhausting. I just cant imagine cramming that amount into a six year period and still being able to enjoy my life. Yes there is the possibility that I have some tendencies that could be seen to bear similarities with those of Peter Pan, but I wanted my twenties to consist of carefree fun, without any major responsibilities before having to become officially an adult. I sure as hell don’t need some poxy article to make me feel bad about the very different milestones I have reached by straying away from the cookie cutters lifestyle that we should apparently all be striving for. Whilst not living the clean cut conventional lifestyle suggested by the Daily Mail, I have gained invaluable knowledge and treasured experiences through travel, work, reading, friends and early morning intoxicated chats with random members of the public. I would never want to change the way I have decided to live my life in order to meet somebody else’s expectations.

It goes on to list a few more goals to aspire to before we reach 40;

  • Have a second child
  • Become a manager, start to think about running your own business and earn 40k
  • Move to a second bigger house and enjoy two holidays a year
  • Look at investing in property to let

I mean who wrote this piece? I just find the whole concept of this guide completely bizarre, but not just that, it’s completely backward….. Marriage, kids, mortgage….. are you shitting me it’s 2015, not only do these traditional values no longer sit within modern day society they have published something that potentially shames a huge portion of the modern day world for not fulfilling said milestones within an allocated time frame.

The second part is almost as backward as the first, apparently instructing us to settle down and start a family before focusing on a career. What if you don’t want a second child? Or even a first! Or for whatever reason you can’t have kids? What if you have no aspirations to become a manager or run your own business? What is you don’t believe in marriage or a monogamist lifestyle? What if you haven’t by the age of 26, found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, is this article suggesting that we should just settle with whoever it may be that we are dating at that particular moment in time in order to accomplish these events that will allegedly define every persons life?

At the beginning of this post I used the word hilarious to describe this article, which I stand by, not in the belly laugh at your favourite sitcom kind of funny, but in an ironic, inaccurate sense as the infographic piece that inspired the Daily Mail to write this article was compiled by Amigo Loans, (one of those pay day loan companies that charge an extortionate amount of interest on short term loans of £500 – £1000) and I find it hard to believe how someone who feels their only option is to use a business that is basically a legal version of a loan shark to get themselves out of financial difficulty, would have the funds to pay for a wedding, whilst renting and saving for a 10% deposit to become a home owner.

Their report is probably completely unfounded but for a nano second it left me questioning if I was living my own life in the correct manner, after slapping myself in the face I realised a certain part of everyone craves acceptance from society but this article really is a pile of utter drivel, there is no right or wrong time. Life’s milestones can happen at any point and that’s what’s exciting about life, if your trying to plan it to this perception of the ideal, how are you going to enjoy the present moment. I’m not saying we shouldn’t have goals, it’s healthy to aspire towards things and aim high. But one persons ideal and life aspirations could be the polar opposite to another persons and that’s okay, we as individuals and society as a whole should not make someone feel like they have not done their own life justice because they haven’t completed a specific to do list , one size does not fit all.