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  • Writer's pictureelinorturner

Falling Behind

...and why these two words are detrimental to our existence.

So the other day I found myself listening to something that was reporting on children "falling behind" in school because of the lack of lessons they received during lockdown.

This rattled me.

There's a constant narrative and data driven goals that surround us daily. From the food that we eat, the sleep that we have, the minutes it takes us to travel to a destination or the amount of work we do in a day. It's seems to all be measured. Or rather the society we live in wants us to measure ourselves against the numbers.

seagull flying freedom

Anyway going back to my point and looking at who this article was reporting about.

What if their experiences in lockdown ie. baking or cooking more actually means they follow a pursuit in a kitchen environment? What if the fact that they have spent more time in a close unit, they have become more exposed to relationships on all levels and become therapists of the future? What if the space that arose has allowed creativity to bloom; the next novelist or playwright?

This "falling behind" business needs to stop.

It is only "falling behind" based on data - not human life!

Of course I realise that the inability to access school was detrimental for some, both adults and children, and I am aware it offers a safe place for some people - I'm not denying this.

But let's not put pressure on this from an angle that they are not meeting expectations - who's expectations anyway? An external perception. A predicted outcome.

We are not robots.

We have to honour the grief we have gone through. The trauma is real and will continue to remain for some time. I am sensitive to this.

This "falling behind" lark sets us up to feel as adults that we have failed if we do not meet expectations and sets us up to believe there's a set way to do stuff.

I turn 34 this year and so many people would look at my life and say I am "falling behind" - according to data I might be. But do I feel like I am? Nope. I couldn't feel more free.

There's this narrative that society plays out to us that keeps us "on track" - but on track according to who?

I know.

I did it.

I went to college.

I went to university.

I met a boy.

Got a "good" job (there's a whole other blog to come on this)

Bought a house.

Got married.

And then...

I guess the next thing on the checklist would have been starting a family.

But no we chose different routes.

I'm by no means saying if this is the path that you have followed and chosen to take that it is right or wrong. And I am also not saying it was wrong for me to have followed this road, as I wouldn't be where I am right now, or even writing this blog if I hadn't experienced all of this. It was right for me at the time.

What I am saying, however, is that we need to step away from the influence of a structured societal story - and choose to write our own.

Be your own muse.

Do things your way.

Do not worry about the data.

You're on your own journey; do not let someone else's judgement allow you to live a life where you feeling like you're "falling behind".

You're exactly where you need to be right now, in this moment.

Trust in it.

Trust in yourself.

Trust in the journey.

Sending kindness,


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