The 25 Plan

How fitting that having contemplated penning this piece for half a decade, when I finally get round to it, its just days before it can no longer apply to me. Perhaps its so you can benefit from the luxury of retrospect I now have? Or more truthfully, perhaps its a defence mechanism to guard me from the inevitable hurt that'll come from the realisation of the stark contrast between my vision and reality. During dinner recently with old friends, we discussed how naive we once were to have charted our achievements on a timeline that climaxed at 25. With some past that landmark seated at the table, it dawned on me that I wasn't alone in my lamentations.
Lipstick : House of Tara (Kontagora) | Necklace : Forever 21 | Rosary : Souk (Israel)
Watch : Michael Kors
By 25, I had a long list of things I'd wanted to achieve from committed relationships and firmly set in one's career, to ownership of a car and a home to call my own. Its incredibly unnerving writing this for public consumption, especially with the knowledge that my nearest and dearest reading this already know what out of that list I am yet to achieve, if not all. Its disheartening to think myself naive to have once thought all this was attainable by 25, because quite honestly, some of my peers have indeed achieved many, if not all, items on that checklist. Why not me?
Cropped Fringe Suede Jacket : H&M | Shirt : Primark | Jeans : Dorothy Perkins
Peeptoe Laceup Boots : Primark
#Goals, the millennial generation is obsessed with it. We are the #selfie generation, obsessed with looking out for number one and constantly in pursuit of illusive happiness. What we fail to see is that we have more blessings in our lives than challenges, and its hard for us to see that because we culturally don't take out the time to express our gratitude on a daily basis. No more than a mere moment of praise via status update or self-gratuitous photo is granted to landmarks in our lives, and so, we take the little things for granted. We are so used to a snapshot existence, that we are losing sight of the bigger picture. Yes, by 25 I am yet to achieve said things, but what about the woman I am today? If we pay little or no attention to the good things, then we adopt a predisposition to negativity. We expect hardships, and bad news, and second guess positivity with an expiration date hanging over it because we have grown accustomed to only seeing the bad, expecting the worst. I am of the belief that we are all assigned a purpose, but that vision is unique to you, and the length of time it takes to achieve it is your cross to bear and persevere. ELLE Magazine The Live Shoot @ Camden, London
We live in a consumer society in the West, and as a result, our greed is ever-growing; we've taken on an Oliver Twist mindset and we always want MORE! However, sometimes what we want and what we can handle are at polar ends. What's even worse is due to our instant means of living, we have grown accustomed to (blame the rise of fast food and online retail), we have lost the value of preparation and perseverance. If things don't work out, self-taught coaches would tell us to abandon it and pursue what we love instead. Prosperity gospel preachers would tell us it would work out along the way. No one is spitting the hard truth that 'working out along the way' takes dedication and hard work, and most importantly, time and sacrifice. Your self-worth and esteem will take a beating and rejection will seem like daily bread to you. Rather than praying and wishing the end game into fruition, pray instead for the ability to be adequately prepared for it. Sometimes we may not have what we are pining for because we are not ready for it; timing is everything! You can't go from nothing to everything, otherwise you wouldn't have the skills or capacity to handle it. Take for instance those who've stumbled upon fame? They soon turn to harmful substances and a reckless lifestyle because they don't know how to handle public scrutiny at a mass level. Revel in your now, and take the steps necessary to achieve that end goal you are pining for. Not achieving what you'd envisioned by 25 isn't the end of the world. If its in your vision, it will come, in its time. People don't notice what you say you'll do until its been done. The end goal is what is visible and can be admired, which is why we must steer clear of comparing our struggle with someone's victory. We don't know what it took to get there, and they can't retrospectively shed light on the extremity of their struggle either because it is now clouded by success. Struggle is relative, and what we may see as a challenging time, may be paradise to another. We must learn to see where we currently are as a blessing, and I know that's hard as hell in a society where filters are bae, but its important to revel in your present. Enroute to success is ridden with challenges, and its ok to indulge those feelings of failure and disappointment, just don't live in it. I have learned this the hard way, and I am still learning, as I have a tendency to over-dramatise and adopt a fatalistic mindset when facing adversity. In life, plans don't always work out the way we once thought, but you can spare yourself the distress or depression even, if you take a step back from drumming at that goal and pitting it against your peers, and focus instead on making sure the steps you are taking are beneficial to your destination. 
"When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps" Confucius