• Alexa Groat

28 is The New 21

Updated: Mar 3

Growing up, I always thought that I would be settled down and having kids by at least 28 years-old. But, if the past year has taught me anything, it’s that there is no timeline in life.

Here’s the thing: I thought I had the next 5 years of my life completely planned out. I thought I was going to find the perfect job that would continue to allow me to grow and succeed professionally, I thought I would be engaged in a few years, I thought I was going to be living in my own place with my boyfriend and our future dog and I thought I was going to spend this year falling in love with the world and traveling while pursuing all of my passions.

Now, as I type this out on a Saturday night in mid February, I can’t help but let out a little laugh. Because the truth is: nothing happens when or how you think it should.

After Covid-19 hit the United States, life came to a screeching halt for most everyone. At the time, I was beginning to take on a career change (one that I am still unsure of), super single and living with my parents and feeling a lack of hope for my future. But, almost a year later and here’s what I know:

Some people’s timelines are meant for all the things I thought I was supposed to have. I am still going to have everything I ever dreamed of, but I am simply not in control of my timeline. I have learned that we cannot rush things in our lives without hindering their vibrance or intended value.

“Waiting” sucks sometimes, so here is what I propose: we should do whatever the hell we want.

This time in my life--my twenties-- is absolutely not meant for perfection, as hard as we all may try. Our twenties are for finding ourselves. And no, not like the cliché. We are ever changing, evolving human beings.I don’t think most people realize how rare it is to truly understand that about yourself. We are taught our entire lives to visualize a timeline for our future. We so often end up forgetting to consider who we are and what it is that we want in life. How insane is that?

At such a young age, we owe it to ourselves to focus less on the “timeline” created in our heads by society and social media. If this time is meant for anything, it’s for self-discovery and fun, not trying to adhere to an unrealistic timeline so that we feel adequate in comparison to those around us.

I’m setting a new goal to hit by 28: to have fun, get to know myself and live life to the fullest no matter what the timeline looks like.

Maybe in a few years from now, I’ll re-read this piece and think, “Wow, you fucking did it.”


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