Do you remember SK-II‘s “I Never Expire Campaign” from last year? Part of SK-II’s ongoing #ChangeDestiny campaign, it was one of my favorite brand campaigns of all time because of the focus on dealing with something we all face: age related pressure. The brand is back again with a new campaign – TIMELINES. I’m thrilled to be a part of the new campaign and get to share my own story!
It’s interesting, really. The American dream changes and evolves and I love how it’s completely different for everyone. I love that while twenty years ago, all women were more or less expected to go down a very specific cookie-cutter path, but things are so different today. You really can live life on your own terms… what is one person’s perfect timeline may be completely wrong for someone else.
When I think back to when I first moved to New York (13 years ago), I had four very close girlfriends.
One is now married with two kids on the Upper East Side. Another is the same, but in New Jersey. Another moved to Florida… she also got married and has two kids. Yet another moved back to Boston and completely restarted her career, changing fields in her mid-thirties. Something that was once terrifying but is completely doable. She’s single and navigating the Boston dating scene. And then there’s me. Single (the horror!), attempting to date, but right now pretty focused on work and my new baby (the podcast!). And that’s okay. All of these situations are okay, there isn’t one “right” timeline!
For the latest campaign (the trailer is linked above or you can watch it on Youtube), SK-II and Katie Couric aim to inspire women around the world to create their own timeline. Rather than living a life that is in line with everyone else’s expectations, we should all aspire to live a life that leaves US feeling whole and good. There are five videos total, profiling four women from around the world (New York, Shanghai, Seoul and Tokyo) and one hero film that combines the four cities.
The videos are incredibly moving and I would encourage you to watch them all.
The films are all beautifully, artistically shot (and I love Katie Couric) but the message is SO powerful. The New York video resonated most with me the most as I know what it’s like to move to New York and put your career and professional ambitions ahead of a more traditional timeline. It also struck a chord when she said that marriage is not a top priority right now. Women all around the world, no matter the city or country, face huge amounts of societal pressure, but things have changed so much. We are able to challenge social norms and do things our own way. Our lives will probably play out pretty different than our mothers’ lives did and that’s okay.
For me, I have never really cared about having kids.
It’s never been a hard no but it’s also not a priority, if that makes any sense. Finding a partner to share life with IS a priority for me; but I could care less about a big wedding or a house in the suburbs. Life is all about compromise so who knows how my future partner will feel but if I had my way, I’d find my person, settle down in Brooklyn, and live a lovely “just us” life here where we have a lot of animals and maybe a house upstate, lead vibrant lives in the city, and support each other in our careers. That’s not too much to ask, is it?
There’s also the self-imposed pressures.
While I’ve never cared about having children, I worry that I will change my mind and someday in ten years I will wake up and be sad that I never did. Right now it’s hard to imagine that being the case but the fear is still very real. Both of my sisters have kids and they were all together in Minnesota last week and it tugged on my heartstrings a bit, seeing them all together with the kids and wondering where I fit in. (That’s silly and irrational, I’m the cool auntie but the fear is still very much there!)
And while marriage is not a necessity, it’s still a subconscious thing. All of those romantic comedies we watched (and still watch) take their toll, making us feel like the real happy ending involves meeting “the one,” falling in love, and getting married. I think that’s the other reason I love this campaign so much. It defies the norms and challenges the ideals we’ve built up in our heads since childhood!
We all have our own timeline.
The importance is to live a life that leaves you feeling good on the inside; rather than what’s in line with conventional norms. It isn’t just about romantic norms though; it spills over to all areas of life: careers (and reaching a certain level by a certain age), finance (shouldn’t I have bought something by now?), friendships (the comparison trap // feeling alone and not having a close circle if your friends have moved away). Those are all just thought starters but I’m so curious to hear your own stories with regard to timelines. If you feel comfortable, please share in the comments!
created in partnership with SK-II; photography by Trent Bailey.