I've gone a long time believing that my generation is the one that will FINALLY make the right decisions, will CHOOSE to be happy and will NOT wind up regretting half of life (and making sudden and drastic life changes at 37).
One of my best friends is deciding whether to take a year off and apply to her true passion then, or wind up commited to something she sort of hates for the rest of her life. I don't know what she'll decide. Maybe she'll realize that what she thought she hated really isn't so bad, but I'd feel so disappointed if she went with what she hates because she doesn't want to "waste" a year.
Believe me, I have my deadlines -marriage by xx, kids by xx - (clearly a kid raised without a lot of rules will invent her own and hold herself strictly to them...I realize more and more how hippy-like my parents are!). But I have learned as my deadlines passed by without the accomplishments firmly in place that meeting a deadline does not secure eternal bliss.
I could probably have married a certain guy I dated when I was 21, and I would have met a deadline. I would also probably be divorced by now, accomplishing something totally not on my list of life goals. What are deadlines in the face of an unhappy life?
I just pray that my friend can put aside the notion of wasting a year and realize that spending a year might buy her a life she loves.