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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

expectation vs reality – life in your mid-twenties

I remember daydreaming back in high school about who I was going to be once I got into my twenties. I had my whole life planned out in my head. When you’re 17 years old, 25 seems like a lifetime away. They say God laughs when you make plans, and now that I’m older, I’m laughing too. 

When you’re a kid, adulthood looks so appealing. I thought that your twenties was full of glitz, glam & good times. And don’t get me wrong, your twenties are certainly fun…but my expectations vs. reality ended up being a little different.

I had this conversation with someone recently about them feeling the need to “have it all figured out” by now. That’s actually what inspired this post. 

I like to think that your twenties are a lot like the theme song from Friends, “See no one told you life was gonna be this way. Your job’s a joke, you’re broke and your love life’s D.O.A. It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear and it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month or even your year.” 



Expectation vs Reality of my life:

Getting Married

Expectation:  Married at 23

Reality: I can’t even fathom being married right now, let alone being married at 23!! 23 seemed so much older when I younger. I don’t know why I wanted or expected to be married in my early twenties, but that sure as hell didn’t happen. Thankfully, during my late teens and early twenties I’ve dated some really great guys. I always say that I could have easily married all of my ex boyfriends—meaning they were all good experiences, just not the right fit for the long term. My mom always told me how important dating was when I was a kid and she was so right. You learn so much about yourself and what you want through relationships. You grow. You evolve. What I wanted at 18 years old and what I want now, are two completely different things. I hope to be married by 30, but I’m truly in no rush. Forever is a long time and I want to be sure that I do it right the first time around. Besides, I’m having more fun now, dating in my mid-twenties, than I’ve ever had before. I also have this gut feeling I’m going to be the type who meets the man of her dreams and is engaged within 6 months (lol). Time will tell.

Kids

Expectation: At least 1-2 kids by age 25

Reality: Following my above vision of marriage at 23… I for sure thought I’d have at least 1 or 2 kids by the age of 25 (like what!?). I always envisioned myself being the young, hip mom at school. The closest I am to that right now is being a young, hip, dog mom picking up my mini golden doodle at doggy daycare. I bought a puppy this past Christmas and it was like having a furry teething infant running around that poops and pees but doesn’t wear a diaper. Let’s just say puppies are WAY more work than I remembered. As someone who thoroughly enjoyed her freedom and ability to “get up and go,” getting a dog was a big (but good) change for me. I love my little dood (he’s the best thing that ever happened to me), but it made me realize that I am A-OK without kids for a few more years.


Finances

Expectation: Buying clothes, traveling the world & balling big

Reality: When I was younger, I really didn’t think too much about long term finances. I’ve always been great about paying my bills but any extra money leftover always went straight to clothes and shoes. I loved clothes and still do, but I’m MUCH more mindful about my purchases. I also want to be in a great place financially when the above (marriage & babies) come along. I'd like to think that I've matured in my financial thinking (is that a thing?). I actually taught myself a lot about money and finances through reading books and articles online. One sentence that changed my life a few years ago was, “Just because you can pay for it, doesn’t mean you can afford it.” That line has saved me big time and always makes me think twice. I’ll always love clothes and shoes, but I’d much rather be on time with all of my bills, have money put away for my future and spend any extra money on travel and experiences.

Career

Expectation: To have it figured out by now

Reality: Reality is, I still don’t have it figured out (does anybody!?). When I was in high school, I wanted to be a fashion designer. In college, I started studying exercise science. At 24, I wanted to be a professional ski bum (lol). And in between all of that, I’ve worked in our family business (real estate). As you can see, I’ve bounced around quite a bit trying different things. I’ve loved some of the jobs and loathed some of the others. Although I might not have a “set” career (aka something that I know I’m going to stick with forever), I certainly know what’s important to me in a job. I need to be hands on, I need to be inspired and I need to be able to express my creativity. Something I would have not known had I not tried different things. I’ve learned that if you can’t find something to do that you love, try to find something that you don’t hate.

I've heard it said a time or two that life is what happens when you're busy making other plans. 
I think your twenties are just that. So if you're feeling like you've gone down every other path than the one you had planned...don't worry, you're certainly not alone. 

Keep on keepin' on
XX, Laura 

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