Let’s Get Personal

An Essay on Age-Related Pressure

LOCATION:  New York, New York

INeverExpire INeverExpireINeverExpire INeverExpireINeverExpire INeverExpire INeverExpire INeverExpire

Though I love showcasing fashion and style through many of the collaborations that I’m honored to be a part of, there are some partnerships that speak to me on a deeper level. Ones that are created to share a message that I’m not only proud to support, but that I can relate to on a personal note.

As you may remember, last summer I tried SK-II’s Facial Treatment Essence as a part of their #OneBottleAwayFrom journey. Ever since, I’ve had my eyes and ears fixated on their transformative skincare products, and more recently, on their #INeverExpire campaign –  an ongoing global campaign that’s raising awareness of the pressures that women feel to achieve certain milestones on society’s timeline, instead of their own.

Not only do I adore this message and the fact that SK-II is making it a talking point in our community, it’s also something I’ve faced in my own life which is why it’s resonated with me so deeply. When SK-II asked me to share how I choose to live my life on my own terms and not concede to society’s timelines for women, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to share.

I’m sure many of you can relate, too. For decades, women have had pressure to accomplish certain things by a certain age. Regardless of if we choose to play into the “social norms” of getting married and having a baby on someone else’s timeline, we’re all aware that these ideas exist. These pressures come at us through friends, families, career choices ….the list goes on.

Though I met my love in my early twenties and didn’t necessarily deal with societal pressure of finding “the one” by a certain age, I’ve witnessed dear friends go through it. They’ve settled with guys only because they felt they reaching their “expiration date”. Being alone is hard enough – having mounting pressures from family about why you haven’t found the said “one” can be crushing.

So how do we deal? We change the social norms by changing our thoughts. We have to change the way we think and that starts with a conversation.

Personally, I’ve had my own inner dialogue telling me that it’s time to stop focusing so much on travel and my career and instead settle down and start a family. After all, family is something Freddie and I want very deeply for our future. I question myself about our decision not to try yet due to my age, and every year when another birthday comes around, I feel the pressure mounting.

With the simple act of opening up Facebook or Instagram, we’re bombarded with birth announcements, wedding moments and career achievements. It takes a lot of strength not to compare yourself and your life’s timeline to others’.

I see my friends and peers going through these milestones and my heart sings for their accolades. But I can’t help but wonder, am I going to expire soon? Am I missing my window? Should I do it now before I no longer can? Writing this even feels vulnerable, a dear diary moment. I don’t have all the answers, but what I do know is that I’ve always trusted the timing of my life, and right now just doesn’t feel right. I’ve honestly never fit the age I was supposed to be. So instead of giving into societies artificial timelines, I will live my life without limitations and trust where I am.

Can’t we all keep dreaming, keep achieving, keep doing what makes our souls fire up no matter our age? Instead of letting an age tie us down, let it raise us up. Let’s remember the freeness we felt as a child and bring that into our lives until the day we die. Let’s never let society define our timeline. Let us find our inner strength to overcome these pressures, as the women in the empowering #INeverExpire video do.

Who is with me, ladies?

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18 Comments

  • Roses for Fridays | by mia  • 

    Such a beautiful and message powerful post! Love ♥️it!

    ♥️ROSES FOR FRIDAYS ♥️ | by mia | A Creative Lifestyle Blog

  • Anais Stoelen  • 

    Beautifully spoken dear Jenny! I’ve personally gone through the pressures too and it made my life miserable for a couple of years. Who doesn’t compare.. It’s hard not to in a world where we’re constantly reminded of how we should live our lives. Always follow your heart, it will lead you in the right direction at the right time. Stay true to yourself and the pieces will fall into the puzzle. Xo Anaïs – http://www.anaisstoelen.com

  • Ewa Macherowska  • 

    Such a nice look 😉

    http://www.evdaily.blogspot.com

  • Love this post so much! I feel the same way. My birthday is next week and it’s just reminder that another year has passed. I’m at the age where everyone is having children and while I want for myself, I’m not quite ready because there’s still so much I want to do. At the same time, I’m afraid that if I want too long, I’ll never get the chance. It’s helps to know that others feel the same way.

    Liz
    http://www.lizzieinlace.com

  • Pennee Koczka Iaboni  • 

    Hey Jenny! I totally get what you’re saying and I wrote about something similar this week too on my website (https://thehappyproject.ca/2018/05/28/why-we-travel/)
    Sometimes, I wonder if this is a stressor only for women, or if men also feel a looming expiry date hanging over their head. What do you think?

  • Maria J Ortega  • 

    Love this post Jenny, it’s so important to talk about this subjects.

    I’m 22 and at this age, all my former high school friends are graduating from college. I drop out of uni when I was 19 because it didn’t felt right in my soul. I was having major anxiety problems and I was fighting so hard to stay at uni and do what my family members and friends thought that I supposed to be doing, that I got sick and I had to drop out and come home to recover. Now four years have gone by, and never a day I have think that I made a wrong decision, even when my family is constantly dishing me because I don’t have a college degree. Since then, I discover that my true passion is makeup and writing. Right now, I work as a freelance writer and I’m training to be a makeup artist. oh, and I have my own beauty blog. I’m sharing my story because I feel like is so important that everyone knows, that everybody has a different path in life. And it doesn´t matter if yours doesn’t look like your best friend’s, or cousin or neighbor. We are unique and wonderful individuals, that were created to shine in our own light not everyone else’s.
    Have a great day Jenny, thank you for being a great inspiration for all of your readers.

    • Maria, this makes me so happy to hear you connect with my writing in this way. I love that you are forming your own path and SO agree with you. Stay you babe! xx

  • Allana K. Gonzalez  • 

    I needed to read this right now at this very moment! Thank you for sharing I appreciate it so much!!!

    -Allana K. Gonzalez

  • Brittnee Fox  • 

    This is the realest thing to think about, personally. My boyfriend is almost 30, while I’m about to turn 25, and we both share the same opinion about our future and children. It’s a foreign concept to think that women over 30 can have kids, especially when I have planned to be 26-28, but now that I’m almost there it seems too soon. It’s definitely a sensitive subject, but do what your mind, body and soul tell you too, not other people.<3

  • Penny Dimitrakaki  • 

    Hello Jenny…I was so inspired by your article,I feel the pressure and have felt it over the years…I have been married for two years now and I’m 34, we started trying for a baby 8 months ago and still hasn’t happened…. but I still feel the pressure…it’s your own decision when you’ll start your family… after all the majority of women now has a baby after 35. Wish you all the best!!!