There Is No Perfect Path, There Is Only the Path You Are On

Many 40-something women share the hindsight that there  will be many paths in life so don’t be so hard on yourself in your 20s”  The gift they want to give 20-somethings is freedom from the pressure to choose a path because you feel like the train is leaving the station.

40-something women…tell me how you avoided the pressure to be on the “perfect path” when you were in your twenties. 20-something women, here’s some advice from women how have learned there are many paths…because as we all find out by 40, you will go through many cycles and push the reset button many times.

“The twenties are often a time of great freedom and fun but also insecurity. Worrying about everything. Am I doing right thing in my career? Am I making enough money?  Is this right guy? If you were a 20 year old and could know that there are many paths and that you are the owner. You can make any choice you want and have anything you want. It’s your deal.


Don’t feel like every decision is final. You feel at first like everything is open then it narrows down. I got married at 26 because I felt like I have to do this thing. Get married. Have kids. Even though I wasn’t sure. But at the time, everyone else was getting engaged. So I thought; I guess it’s time to get married. I wanted the approval of my friends. Do we look good together? Is this the way we are supposed to be?  So you think it looks good but it’s really not. We had nothing in common. We were pretending.


Before my marriage, I dreamt of living in a city, having my own apartment and traveling the world. Then the next thing I knew I was living in a suburb in Detroit and my husband said he didn’t ever want to go to China.  And I said, “How could you not want to go to China?


I realize all this now. I see it. You hope if you can save someone from that kind of pain, that kind of mistake. How awesome. If you could just tell someone not to worry about what other people think”. – 40-something, travel industry executive, Los Angeles, CA,



“My advice is to experiment. This is the time. Don’t believe in this set path where you have to do this and this and this. There is a difference between being self absorbed and irresponsible and exploring. There are lots of paths — you don’t have to go down just one kind of path. You can reset. Many times.” – 40-something, wife, mom, marketing executive, San Francisco, CA



“It’s going to be okay. You make the best decision you can make at the time and the situation you are in and just know that wherever it takes you, that decision is going to take you somewhere and it will be okay.”– 40-something wife, working mom, artist, Sierra Vista, AZ


“In hindsight life is so short. You think oh I’ll get to that. But in your 20s there are so many opportunities to be alive. Take advantage of that youth today. I see too many young people being too serious at too young an age. Just be responsible to yourself. I’ve been a bit impulsive but it has all worked out. I’m happy with my life and wouldn’t be what I am today. The only thing you have to be responsible to is yourself. What you have in front of you is what you have to work with. No one else can change it” – 40-something, business owner, widow, mother, Sierra Vista, CA


“I learned over the course of the last 20 years that you should have a fluid sense of your future instead of a concrete idea of what it’s supposed to look like. In my 20’s I think I imagined that I’d have a career which I did and then I would have kids which I did and I would find a person who shared the same ideals and goals that I did which I did.  And it’s just that that person that I was then is not the person that I am now. I had an unstable feeling childhood so I tried to create that sense of stability by creating a family, rather than finding it in myself. – 40-something, divorced, remarried, mom of 3 and step-mom, Detroit, MI


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