The Success TimelineThis is a ramble, sorry in advance.

A while ago, I started a post about how I really wasn’t where I wanted to be in life. It was as if all my friends were growing up around me, travelling, buying houses, getting married, becoming parents, landing their dream jobs, having fun – all huge successes while I was still stuck in a rut I’d been in since leaving university. I was still in the same job, still renting a flat, still not married….and even though I was happy, it felt like a sort of lazy happiness. I was content with what I was doing but just because I couldn’t be bothered working harder to achieve more because I’d missed the point I could have been a success.


The post sat in my drafts for a while, as most posts do, before I tried to finish it off last week. I wasn’t in a good place last week as, despite taking my medication every day, my headaches have come back but even in my bad mood, I really couldn’t finish the post. It reeked of self pity, and in general I just didn’t feel that way. Instead, I felt like life really was going as well is it could do.

Within reason of course. Life, obviously, would be better if I won the lottery, or could become a professional Elder Scrolls streamer, and I didn’t get so many headaches, but let’s be realistic.

I’m working in the industry I’ve wanted to be in since I was 16 – granted, the department changed numerous times along the way – but I’m here, in the world of theatre, doing shows tens of thousands of people come to see. Yes it’s the same job I’ve had since university; but it’s what my degree is in, it’s what I want to do! And really, I’m a freelancer, so I’m not in the same job, I’ve just been with the same client for a long time – and surely the fact they keep asking me back is a good thing? Alongside the actual theatre work, I make props for other shows. That business doesn’t do as well, but still, it’s my business that I made and I’m proud of it. If I spent less time playing the Playstation, I’m sure I could do better.

Me and Matt got engaged in January, and before we make any weddings plans we wanted to buy a house. Being self employed, we’d been told by many people that getting a mortage would be almost impossible, but it’s just not true. Obviously, I’ve nothing to compare it to, but we’ve been through the mortgage process now, and it wasn’t too bad. Actually buying a house seems to be much more difficult, with surveys and soliciters making the process that bit more complicated – but finance wise, we have a mortgage. A bank thinks I’m financially responsible enough to own a house. This time last year I was deep into my overdraft, having no work planned for the following three months, but now I can own a house. That’s good enough for me!

Barcelona - I think!

Travelling is something that’s a struggle, because I’m a freelancer I don’t get set holiday time that I can take. Although me and Matt try to make our schedules match, it’s difficult to do so we often have to put holiday plans on the back burner when a job gets extended, or we’re offered work we can’t turn down. We do get to travel, though, be it a little few days in a different part of England, or a week in Italy and these holidays are worth the wait. We’ve seen castles and mountains and oceans and palaces, and we will keep seeing more.

I’m not writing this post to brag, because really, it’s not that exciting. There’s no major groundbreaking achievements in there, it’s just me living life the way people tradionally expect but I never thought I’d be able to do that. And once I’d hit 25, I thought it was too late to do it, and people would say to me “you’ve only just managed to do that?” rather than “wow, you’ve done that?” – but actually, there’s no timeline. If you’re doing the job you want at 18 or at 50, it’s still a success. If you buy or house at 16, or 60, or you never buy a house, it doesn’t matter as long as you’re happy where you live. You have your whole life to travel, if you want to. You’re not going to stop seeing things.

And one day, I’d like to get somewhere with this blog – but it desn’t matter if that day is tomorrow, or in five years time, or in 30. Or never. It would be a shame, yeah, but it’s not necessary for me to be happy. One day I’d like to see all the fountains in Tivoli, I’d like to visit Australia, I’d like to learn Italian, I’d like to learn to swim, I’d like to bungee jump – but it doesn’t matter if I do that now or later. Honestly, once I’d hit 23, I stopped paying attention to how old I was because everything felt the same. The only thing that changed, really, was how sick caffine makes me – once it kept me awake enough to finish essays, now it give me headaches…

There’s no timeline to life, really. There’s no law that says you can’t be successful after a certain age, there’s no rule that says you have to stop trying after a certain age. Yeah, work gets in the way of things, health gets in the way of things, life gets in the way of things – but you can carry on succeeding at your own pace. And that’s winning. As long as, when you get to the end of the road, you can say “I did that” – that’s what people will remember. Not whether you did it at 18, or 28 or 88 – just that you did it, and you were happy you did it. Maybe your friend did it when they were ten years younger, maybe the celebrity you admire did it at 18 – but they’re not you. They’re not dealing with your life, they’re not trying to succeed alongside whatever is happening in your life that could slow you down. You do it at your pace.


I’m not writing this post to brag, I’m writing this post because in at some point in the near future, I’m bound to get in a slump, and I’ll need to see something to drag me out of the slump. Let’s hope it can be this.

x

 

6 Responses to The Success Timeline

  • I’m glad to read that you are in a good place right now. It’s wonderful you can get a mortgage and get your own home.
    I don’t think there is a timeline either, even though I got married in my early 20s and I got my first home at the same time. It was the way my life developed and not because I was on a tight deadline. If you are happy, nothing else should matter. xx

  • You have a good message in this post! Success and happiness looks different for everyone, and it’s unrealistic for everyone to want the same thing or be on the same timeline. It’s unfortunate that society pressures us to think that way.

    Doing the job you love is so important. It doesn’t matter that it’s been the same industry since you were in college. If it’s what you want to do, then that’s awesome! Also, congrats on getting a mortgage from the bank!

    I am glad you’re in a place in life where you’re happy though, and it’s totally ok to take your time. After all, it’s hard to enjoy the journey if it’s rushed!

  • I’m glad that everything works out for you. Congrats on getting the home loan and start building your own dream home with Matt. 🙂

  • I love this post! It’s so lovely to hear that you’re happy. Congrats on getting a mortgage and congrats again on getting engaged. That’s amazing.

    I know what you mean about feeling like you’re behind though. A few of my friends got engaged just before I did and they planned their weddings within a year of the engagement date. I sometimes feel like me and Andy are doing it wrong because we’re waiting until we’ve bought a house, then saving up for a few years for a wedding, but it’s fine. I shouldn’t have to rush just because other people are doing things in a certain way.

    It’s great that you have the job you love and you should never feel pressured into changing that just because other people have moved around a bit since university. If you love what you’re doing, keep doing it!

  • Best of luck in your future endeavors. I’ll be honest, it’s actually pretty nice to hear “unconventional” success stories like yours because it certainly opens doors to creative approach to people’s futures. As it currently stands, there’s an established route that people typically take to get to what they perceive as successful. Those that supposedly deviate have nothing to be ashamed of as long as they keep on going. 🙂

  • OMG. I totally feel you on that front, and I can’t begin to tell you that I felt like that at age 28-and now I’ll be 29 and starting over is difficult to fathom at my age. But despite a lot of odds and luck and maybe who knows what else, life just seems to fall into place for all of us. I am so delighted to hear you got engaged and just managed to get a house~ That is difficult to do at least in the States as more and more college kids live with their parents at no fault of their own but I digress. I will continue to chant for your continued happiness and good luck.

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Uglyfish

A little-bit-of-everything blog by Katy, 26 from Liverpool. Stage Manager and occasional backstage crew. I'm not a hugely exciting person, if I'm being honest...

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