Peaking is not actually a thing.

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You guys, I am here to alleviate all of your fears and misgivings. I mean, this may be more for myself, but I know a lot of you have the same feels even if you don’t want to admit to it. Don’t worry, I will confirm it for you. I got you. And if someone catches you actually reading this and asks what you are doing just be like hey I can’t hear you above all of the judgment you’re throwing at me right now. That’s my go to, even if it only sporadically works.

But seriously, PEAKING IN LIFE IS OVERRATED.

And if you think that’s a stupid statement and doesn’t apply to you it’s probably because you’ve already peaked so hard in life you think that earning All State in high school for baseball was your biggest achievement. Or you still think that the Valedictorian speech you gave at your college graduation changed all of your classmates’ lives. Four years later. And it didn’t. I am sorry. Half of us were probably drunk.

But, you know nothing, (Jon Snow).

What is peaking? When you’re at your prime. The absolute pinnacle of your life. All your goals are met. You’re maxed out. Seriously, what’s the point of even getting up in the morning to put pants on? Because game over. You won. I hope the $200 you collected at Go lasts you throughout the rest of your stagnant years. We can only assume that the Battle of Hogwarts pales in comparison to the promotion you received at work with that  one-dollar raise (Omg, if this recently happened to you though, seriously congrats. But don’t stop there.)

The point is society– along with ourselves, has dirtied our minds with these obsessive needs to figure life out. And there is the unrealistic timeline in place to achieve it. We graduate from high school. At eighteen we are pressured to enroll in college and choose a major to stick with for all four years. And from there we graduate again and then expected to plan for the rest of our lives and exceed in a premeditated path that we end up feeling stuck in. All the while, there’s the whole “find a partner and start a family in your twenties” image that’s been injected into our heads even though more than half of us aren’t even ready for that type of committment. Because it’s a societal norm.

And we are then plagued with the idea that if none of this is achieved within that specific timeframe, we aren’t considered accomplished.

I say that’s unacceptable.

But what’s next? Let’s say we have peaked in the eyes’ of society and have meet the low standards we set for ourselves, where do we go from there?

We stop living. And we then consider any type of chaos we face a failure.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking living and peaking are the same. Living is the act of challenging ourselves with experiences that we continuously learn from. Peaking is when we accept a challenge, conquer it, and then settle. You didn’t win. There is no winning in life. Because when it comes down to it, if we aren’t facing anymore challenges then we aren’t learning. So, ya, kudos on that promotion. But that isn’t an excuse to get comfortable. It’s incentive to work harder.

You guys, I didn’t plagiarize any of this. I know that’s what you’re thinking. “Omg, Ariel isn’t talking about her aversion to adulting or complaining about the hardships of being a middle child.” That will be saved for another day.

Today I am just here to encourage you to aspire to live instead of just simply peaking. Anyone has the ability to achieve something so massive in life that we then convince ourselves that it isn’t going to get any better after that. Life always gets better. And if you aren’t at that stage yet, then you have time to prepare yourself for when it does happen and you’ll have a better understanding of how to proceed moving forward.

I am twenty something years old (I refuse to say I am in my mid-twenties). With a full-time job in a field that has no correlation to what I majored in for my Bachelor’s studies or to what I am pursing right now for my Masters. I am tragically (at least that’s what my family believes) single. I have absolutely no idea of what I want to be when I grow up. I’m a modern day gypsy with no set direction. But most importantly, I am having the time of my life. Because I am living.

It doesn’t matter how many jobs you’ve had. Or how old you are. Or how long it took you to get where you are. None of is relevant in the big scheme of your success and happiness. I mean one of my best friends Evan (who is just as much as a lost soul as I am) is a Combat Controller in the United States Air Force. Before that? He changed what he wanted to do with his life as much as the Kardashians change who they’re dating– or married to.  And now, he’s about to kill it in dive school and is married to a stunning lady (who I am convinced puts the fear of God in him). My sassy seventy something year old retired grandmother was just hired as an assisted living helper and bought a new car (AZ watch out). WE ARE SURROUNDED BY INSPIRATION.

Society doesn’t encourage you to be the best version of yourself. Society doesn’t pay your bills and it sure as hell doesn’t keep your bed warm at night. Society isn’t the one who is going to suffer after you’ve wrapped yourself up in your own cocoon and miss out on life when you refuse to step out of your comfort zone BECAUSE YOU’VE ALREADY PEAKED.

That’s all on you. Because to be honest, it may have its standards, but society really doesn’t give a damn whether or not you peaked in life. You’re just dollar signs.

But like I am not saying don’t be proud of yourself when you’ve crossed a goal off of your list. Dude, celebrate. Have a bottle of champagne. Have two. I am saying don’t stop. What’s next on that list? How are you going to keep killing it?

S0 when you feel like you haven’t peaked. Just know it’s not the end. But if you feel like you aren’t living, then it’s never too late to start. Push yourself. Do not rely on others to take that first step for you.

Work hard for yourself. Love yourself even harder. The rest will always follow.

I’ll leave you with this:

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.”    -Eric Roth

Stand by,

Ariel Ross

Side Note: Shout out to my cousin Megan for being the absolute inspiration for this post today. One day they are going to create a Marvel superhero dedicated to your unrelenting strides of dominating every obstacle you’ve been faced with.

 

 

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