Life On Your Own Timeline

Soho, NY

Life On Your Own Timeline

Living life on your own timeline requires courage. Society, friends, family, and even strangers all seem to have an opinion on when you should or shouldn’t be doing things. Everything from what age you should get married at, what age you should have children at, when you should buy a house, when you should start a new job, when you should move in together…the list goes on and on.

Societal Pressures on Women

Women in particular are faced with an insane set of unspoken societal standards aren’t they? When I turned 31 last year, I personally felt it more than ever before. It felt like an invisible rulebook or guide that was out there saying you should get married as soon as possible, have babies right away, and buy a house with a white picket fence, all while working full time and looking perfect!

Personal Experience

Just a few of these “standards/rules” that I’ve been subjected to myself… When I was first starting my business, I remember someone who told me I wasn’t ready, that I should write a 10 page business plan, and that I needed years more of experience. Luckily, I completely ignored them and started anyway. 10 years later, I still do not have a “10 page business plan” and the person that gave me the advice is no longer in business.

Another time, I was telling a friend that Thomas and I were moving in together after dating for 3 months. The person said that it was too fast and I shouldn’t do it. I ignored that advice and listened to my instinct, which turned out to be right. Moving in together was one the best decisions I’ve ever made. Moral of the story, you’re in charge of your life. Only YOU know what’s right for YOUR life. No one else can be sure of what will or won’t work for you, so do YOU.

Transitional Periods

This timeline that we all feel or have felt at some point in our lives, isn’t talked about enough and I really wanted to open up the conversation around it. I know many of you are in a transition period. Whether it be moving out of a city, starting a new job, looking for a job, trying to find someone nice to date (or maybe you don’t even want to date at all but you feel pressure to!), trying to get pregnant, deciding you don’t want children, buying a home (or selling all of your belongings and road tripping!), eloping, planning a wedding, you name it. These are all such exciting things, but I do I know how they can often bring up a LOT of outside judgement, anxiousness, and a deep sense of urgency.

Breaking the Mold

Something I’ve always told myself is, “If you want to live an extraordinary life, then don’t live an ordinary life.” As cheesy as it sounds, I’ve always dared to dream big and pushed the boundaries on almost everything in my life. I believe in doing what you want, when you want, and asking for permission LATER. As organized and regimented as I can be at times, I’m also an incredibly free spirit. I believe in going to the beat of your own drum.

How To Respond To Others

Don’t conform to other people’s standards, instead make your own. Don’t feel pressured to do something just because everyone else is doing it! If you’re 35 and single, and have no desire to date, but your parents keep pressuring you to settle down, simply tell them, “I really appreciate you thinking of me. I’m doing what’s best for me right now. Thank you so much for respecting that!” If you’re newly married and your in-laws keep asking when you’re having a baby say the same thing, “I really appreciate your interest. Right now, I’m focusing on doing what’s best for me.”

If you’re feeling like everyone around you is settling down or somehow “ahead” of you in certain areas of their lives, remind yourself, “I’m in charge of my own life. I’m lucky to be able to live life on my own timeline. I love having this freedom and I trust the process.” If you’re feeling judged from strangers on your decision to not have children say, “I really appreciate you thinking of me. This is what’s best for my life. I really hope you’re doing what’s best for yours!” If you’re feeling pressure to start a new job or project say, “I appreciate your sentiment. I’m glad you have faith in my decision making and know that I’m going to do what’s best for me.”

Never Assume

It’s all how you look at, react and approach a situation. You can see the glass half full or half empty, you know? We cannot compare our lives and trajectories to others. The person we see in our community or on Instagram, who has “checked” all of society’s boxes and seems to be living the “perfect life” (PS there is no such thing!) may very well be privately struggling with something. We honestly just never know what goes on in people’s lives! This is why it’s SO important to never compare ourselves to others when we haven’t walked a mile in their shoes.

I hope that you always live life on your own timeline – regardless of whether or not it’s popular or understood. I hope that you give yourself credit for how much strength and courage it takes to carve your own path and do your own thing – I know it’s not easy! At the end of the day, we only get one life and you’ve got to make sure you’re living it for YOU! Never, ever stop going to the beat of your own drum, I know I won’t! xx

Shop the Post
L’Academie sweater (also love this one)
White House Black Market pants (sold out, similar here)
Restoration Hardware couch  |  Restoration Hardware mirror (similar)
Anecdote coffee table (similar)  |  Anecdote rug c/o
AD book  |  YSL book  |  Diptyque candle  |  Cloche  |  Wick Trimmer
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18 Comments

  • Elle says:

    Needed this post my friend! Completely relate and the whole timeline thing just hovers over all of us which it should never be. First step is accepting that everyones timeline is different and then telling that to others. xo elle

    September 1, 2020 | Reply
    • kat@withlovefromkat.com replied:

      Elle! So glad you can relate. Yes exactly – we all have different timelines and the beauty is we get to each follow our own! xx

      September 1, 2020 | Reply
  • Jada says:

    Kat, thank you so much for this post! It had taken me a while to build a tough skin that would not be affected by how others viewed my life. For the longest time, the topic of conversation was surrounded by when I will attend graduate school or when I am going to med school. I took a few years off and was truly able to develop and find my passions and now I just started an MBA program which I am truly excited to be a part of. You said it well, we all have our timelines and we know what is best for us in the moment and we need to trust our instincts.

    https://thegirlfromconnecticut.com

    September 1, 2020 | Reply
    • kat@withlovefromkat.com replied:

      Congrats on starting your MBA!!! So smart of you to take those years off to really hone in on what you want to do long term. So glad you listened to your gut and did your own thing. Thank you for sharing your inspiring story :)

      September 1, 2020 | Reply
  • Erin says:

    This post hits home for me right now. Transitions can be so hard, and so can external pressures. Recommending a book that I found on PsychologyToday.com that is exactly what I need right now called “Life is in the Transitions- Mastering Change at Any Age” by Bruce Feiler.

    September 1, 2020 | Reply
    • kat@withlovefromkat.com replied:

      So glad it resonated. They really can be. Thank you so much for the book recommendation!

      September 1, 2020 | Reply
  • Orangemintpop says:

    Life is hard enough. Just have to listen to your heart.

    September 1, 2020 | Reply
    • kat@withlovefromkat.com replied:

      <3

      September 1, 2020 | Reply
  • Nazgul Zhumagulova says:

    Such a nice post Kat agree with every point you wrote! Thank you, Nazgul

    September 1, 2020 | Reply
    • kat@withlovefromkat.com replied:

      Thank you! x

      September 2, 2020 | Reply
  • Regan says:

    Yes! so needed this, sometimes even if no one is saying it directly to you, you can still feel pressured or “behind” in certain areas of your life. Superb advice!

    September 2, 2020 | Reply
    • kat@withlovefromkat.com replied:

      Exactly! A lot of times it can absolutely be internal, or you can just sense that silent outside judgement/pressure!

      September 2, 2020 | Reply
  • Weekly Roundup - wit & whimsy says:

    […] I really appreciated my friend Kat’s post on living life by your own timeline. […]

    September 11, 2020 | Reply
  • Friday Finds #37: What to Read & Shop This Weekend — bows & sequins says:

    […] A great read: Life on Your Own Timeline […]

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  • Meghan says:

    Thank you so much for this post, Kat. My fiance and I are currently planning our wedding and I have found myself being SO anxious every time we talked about the wedding because of everyone’s opinions, his parents random family that I don’t know coming, the money being spent, etc. Until last week, we decided, SCREW IT, we slashed our guest list from 100 people down to 40 people and are having the wedding of our dreams with only the people WE want there. Also, I was feeling so anxious because I kept hearing people say “are you guys buying a house after you get married?” and I had this expectation in my head that the second we get married we need to buy our own home… our parents all kept saying that we should because it’s a good investment, etc, etc. My fiance and I just decided this morning that we aren’t going to listen to those opinions and were going to enjoy our first few years of marriage renting a cute apartment, living in different neighborhoods, maybe even moving to a new city before we decide where we want to purchase a home or condo and settle down. There are SO many pressures on social media too. I kept seeing all these bloggers with HUGE homes, mercedes benz, etc. etc. that I was starting to compare my life to theirs and thinking mine was not up to par, when in reality, I live an INCREDIBLY blessed and fortunate life. Thank you so much for this blog post. It’s what I needed to read today. You are so wise and I truly appreciate your experiences that you share with your followers! XOXO
    Meghan

    September 13, 2020 | Reply
    • kat@withlovefromkat.com replied:

      Meghan!
      Thank you so much for your kind words and for sharing your story with me. I completely relate on so many levels – it’s so nice to know I’m not alone in my feelings! I am so glad you two are listening to your gut and hearts and doing what feels right for you as a couple! Best thing you can do. Enjoy this special time :)
      XO

      September 13, 2020 | Reply
  • Ashley says:

    I really needed to read this today. Your replies to people giving pushy opinions and advice are thoughtful, yet firm. I’m bookmarking this post to reread again in the future.

    September 19, 2020 | Reply
    • kat@withlovefromkat.com replied:

      So glad it resonated <3

      September 19, 2020 | Reply