TK-Things-We-Thought-Wed-Accomplish-By-A-Certain-Age-And-Didnt--400x300In the movie “Singles,” -—and this sticks with Ami because she first saw it at the age of 14, so it made a big impression — Janet Livermore (played by Bridget Fonda) gives a monologue about where she thought she’d be by the age of 23. She laments:

“I’m 23. Remember how old 23 seemed when you were little? I mean, I thought people would be traveling in airlocks and I would have 5 kids. Here I am – 23 – things are, um, basically the same. I think time is running out to do something bizarre. Somewhere around 25 bizarre becomes immature.”

And where was Janet at the tender age of 23? Working in a coffee shop, having an unrequited crush on her musician neighbor without any clue as to what she wanted to do with her life. Exactly what a 23-year-oldshould be doing, in our opinion. Pretty much exactly what both of us were doing! Ami made note of this monologue, telling herself, Learn from Janet Livermore and don’t expect to be married with kids by the age of 23, expect to start reproducing around the age of 28 because that’s when your mom had you. Also, you’ll be a famous actress by 25,  so you’ll have plenty of money to raise your kids either alone or with your husband who can be a stay-at-home-dad.

Oh, the naiveté of Ami’s life plan. She is almost 35. No husband. No kids. Not famous. At least she has a career she loves, but that didn’t happen until she turned 30. She now understands that she missed the point of this monologue entirely. Well, she was only 14, after all. The worlds seems so much simpler at that age. But the point Janet Livermore (via Cameron Crowe) was trying to make was that there is no definitive timeline when it comes to our lives. There is never an age that we should accomplish something by, only the age we think we should accomplish stuff by. Yet, that doesn’t stop us from having these ridiculous timelines in our minds. We polled the rest of The Frisky staffers about the ages we thought we should be for everything from when we’d get married to when we’d stop taking shots at bars (spoiler alert: we were wrong about all of them).

Check out our list of self-imposed age limits below, and please share your own in the comments!

By 18:

I’ll publish the first of many books to come.

I will lock down a college major and figure out what I want to do with my life.

By 20:

I’ll stop having body image issues.

By 22:

I’ll stop drinking well alcohol.

I’ll backpack across Europe.

I’ll have my first real job in the field of my choosing.

By 24:

I will stop taking shots at bars.

I will have my own apartment — no more roommates, please!

By 25:

I will stop giving a shit about what other people think of me.

I’ll quit smoking.

I’ll be famous.

I will lose my baby fat.

I will finally stop fighting with my mom.

By 27:

I’ll speak at least two foreign languages fluently.

I will stop blaming my parents for how I turned out.

I will start investing in expensive, classic clothing like a leather jacket and trench coat.

I will finally stop having messy dating situations.

By 28:

I will stop being excited about getting checks for my birthday/accepting money from my parents.

I won’t have debilitating hangovers anymore.

I will learn how to be on time.

I will just generally have my shit together and feel like an adult.

By 30:

I will be over all my 20-something exes and looking for a real prospect.

I’ll know how to cook a full Thanksgiving dinner and will host family for the holidays.

I’ll get in the best shape of my life.

I’ll remember to eat dinner before drinking.

I’ll stop shopping in the juniors’ section.

By 32:

I’ll be married, or at least be in a relationship that toys with the idea of marriage.

I’ll pop out my first kid.

I will stop feeling awkward at parties.

By 35:

I will know if I want to have a baby.

I will own a home.

I will pay off all my credit card debt.

I will have traveled the world.

I will have a robust savings account.

By 38:

I will be able to afford to take lavish, European vacations regularly.

By 40:

I will have a fat retirement fund.

I will make a few more babies before it’s too late.

By 45:

I will finally learn how to say “no” to things I don’t want to do.

I will be my own boss.

By 50:

I will pay off my student loans.

I will have all my various emotional issues figured out.

By 60:

I will have grandkids that I can spoil the crap out of.

By 65:

I will retire to the south of France with my handsome husband.

I will learn how to meditate.

By 70:

I will stop creating lists like this and accept myself — and my life — exactly as I am.
This post originally appeared on The Frisky. Republished with permission.

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  • Miss A

    There isn’t anything wrong with setting goals, but don’t get depressed or bent out of shape if your life isn’t going according to your planned timeline! Trust me, you will need to do your timelines in pencil because you WILL need to make readjustments, changes, additions, etc., and that’s fine….that is also LIFE! When I was in my 20’s, I didn’t even think about a timeline…I was just enjoying life, traveling, enjoying my family and friends. I just lived life and was grateful for every day I was alive to live it! I’m in my 40’s and my biggest accomplishment happened a few years ago – got my Bachelors! I will be starting my Masters soon and thankfully I have always had great jobs. I was in the military and traveled all over and currently in a supervisory position in the government (never jobless thank God). I’ve met a wonderful man who I will be marrying this year. I didn’t have kids, but he has and I adore them…so I have the big family.

    Have an open mind and realize that just because you haven’t accomplished your dreams in a certain amount of time and in the way you planned doesn’t mean it’s not obtainable. It may take longer and it may take a different course but it’s still obtainable.

    • Chacha

      Good points, thanks for that comment! It is so hard in these times to not feel like I’m so unaccomplished when so many people my age and much younger are more “successful” than I am, not to mention we live in a “get that money/status” type of society, but then again, what defines success depends on who you talk to. I sometimes forget that it is ok to take longer to reach goals, and that as long as I’m not standing still, I’m still on track.

  • Miss A

    You are absolutely right! Success doesn’t automatically mean money, good job, nice ride, happiness, etc. A lot of people with all of those things and more aren’t successful or happy.