My ideal timeline was supposed to be the following:
2011 – Get my bachelor’s degree at the age of 21
2013 – Get my master’s degree at the age of 23
2013 – 2017 => Dive into career
However I joined kindergarten school almost a year late. Thus,
2012 – I graduated from engineering school with a bachelor’s degree
2013 – 2015 => After doing nothing for a year, I finally joined a grad school
2015 – 2016 => Extended my master’s degree graduation by a year
2016 – 2017 => Got a job at a startup – and at present at the verge of perhaps losing that job in few months.
It seems that the fact that my career was supposed to be kick-started in 2013, and it’s about to “begin” in 2016/2017, I wake up everyday with a strong feeling of “How I have late started my life by 4 years”. This feeling makes me feel old and unworthy. It gives me anxiety – on how people around me are scaling new heights and how I am stuck at the very beginning at an age I envisioned I would have had all figured out for myself.
Over last few months, I haven’t been sleeping well. All I dream about is the regret of not being tuned to “time” i.e. the usual “What Ifs” pertaining to social and career choices. How do I decouple myself from the thought that I am not a late bloomer? And by using the term “late bloomer”, I consider myself one by looking deep inside of me.
Thank you. (From the USA)Timeline
Starting kindergarten late isn’t what has thrown your life timeline off — but holding to a rigid timeline and berating yourself for not keeping to an arbitrary expectation has. I’d highly recommend some individual therapy with a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist who can give you specific tools to confront, what sounds to me, like obsessive thoughts.
In the mean time you may want to take advantage of a book called The Resilience Factor. It has many of the tools needed to help challenge this type of thinking.