Do you have an expiry date?
I want to talk about expiration dates. Not the kind you find on your milk and get excited over when it says your birth date on the carton (the little things amuse me) but the age-related pressure we often place on ourselves since the sweet young age of around 23.
I remember allocating expiry dates for personal mile stones I wanted to achieve. I wanted to be engaged by 24, married at 25, first baby at 28 and you know what? For me, I bet those use by dates and ticked those things off my list. Now in my almost mid-thirties, I see age related pressure in a different light and subconsciously add new pressures unnecessarily to my life. Will I age gracefully? Should I get botox soon before I get too wrinkly? How old is ‘too old’ to be a fashion blogger? Should I stop at 36? If we have four kids, what is my cut off age?
It is interesting that no matter what we have already ticked off in life, that we continue to add pressure and essentially an expiration on everything. But, is this how we should be living life?
Some of you would have your own expiration dates you might have reflected on whilst reading this. Perhaps it has to do with having babies, meeting a partner or achieving career goals. Maybe these pressures are put in place due to society, family and personal expectations but why is this? Why do we have to live by an expiry date? Why can’t we be present, happy and flow with how life is going? Why do we care what other people think or expect from us?
I would love you to take a moment to assess yourself, acknowledge your pressures you have on yourself and put them in a place. Reflect on who you are, your health, your highlights in life and achievements and put those pressures in a box and start living, loving and being proud of yourself in this very moment. We all live a different journey with different timings, just because you don’t achieve certain expectations, does not make you worthless. I recall my caption in my year 12 year book “To not limit myself to other people’s expectations”.
I bring this blog post up after seeing the SK-II recent film ‘The Expiry Date’ which highlights these age-related pressures and questions how life would be if we erased them. It features a story about the unspoken timelines and expiry dates society places on women and sparks a conversation around age-related pressure that women all over the world experience. In the end of the film, we see the women have accepted themselves and their timing despite pressures placed on them by society and this acceptance is clearly liberating and empowering for them. A true inspiring film that we all need to see and be reminded that we are in control of our own lives.