Life has compartments to it. I do not get to stop that. I cannot stop teething. I cannot stop puberty. I cannot stop cannot prevent myself from growing hair on my chest any more than I can prevent the times when I have to fill my perpetual need for food. However, life has other compartments too. 

There is a preschool phase, a kindergarten phase, a elementary school phase, middle school, high school, college, post college for some, and maybe even some version of professional compartment. All of these then followed by retirement.

As I listed these compartments I think of myself in each compartment. How I might play on the playground or watch the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers in kindergarten. Learning to write in cursive and learning my multiplication tables in elementary school. Even learning how to format a computer hard drive or play the bass stick out to me from middle school. 

There are many more memories to dig into; but, with each passing compartment, comes a certain set of expectations and allowances.

In the kindergarten compartment, you are only allowed to go so far from the house and cross the street under certain circumstances. The middle school compartment probably has a certain curfew. 

The high school compartment has certain allowances for community development. You are expected to be able to interact with people a certain way orThe college compartment has expectations about grades and friendships. Allowances for post college include healthcare benefits, finding a significant other, some possibly children, and preparing for life after career.

Nobody ever shows up and blends the compartments.

Nobody ever shows up and says, “While you are at college you can do anything else outside of college while you are here.”

Where is that guy? The guy who encourages me to break down the walls because I can. When does someone explicitly say, “These things to the left are the bare minimum and these things to the right are considered ‘extra.’ You can do all or none of these. Your call.”

Who is the guy who gets to set the expectations for each compartment?

When did the expectation committee meet? 

How come I was not invited?

Life’s compartments are only dictated by age. I cannot stop time from ticking. I can stop my time from being wasted on the bare minimum. I can set the expectations for myself.

What are the walls of your compartment? Which ones can you move?