By: Jessica Lee
I met a new friend a few weeks ago. He was in a Starbucks, leaving that night for a spontaneous two-week trip to Japan. His path in life gave him a break from college to work, save money, and travel.
Although we are the same age, my path is entirely different. I graduated college, started a job, and am working on my master’s. No breaks, no spontaneous trips to Japan.
Is he better than I am because he gets to travel? Am I better than him because I’m pursuing higher education? No, and no. I have friends my age who are married and other friends with kids and other friends who still live with their parents and other friends who picked up their lives and moved to Asia. We are all so different. But no one is ever better than another because of the path their lives takes them.
If we realize that, there would be no more pressure to live in a certain place (get a tiny studio apartment or put a down payment on a house), get married at a certain age (or at all), or have a specific career (switch careers, go back to school, climb the ladder at the same job your whole life).
Let’s appreciate the uniqueness of each of our paths, and find a way to encourage each other during the hard times, while celebrating the good times.
“You are capable of more than you know. Choose a goal that seems right for you and strive to be the best, however hard the path. Aim high. Behave honorably. Prepare to be alone at times, and to endure failure. Persist! The world needs all you can give.”
– E. O. Wilson