When I was a 15 I knew exactly how my life was going to be.
By 30, I would’ve had it ALL.
The dream career, the brag-worthy corporate title, the stylish power suit and matching stiletto shoes that screamed confidence.
A big chunky statement necklace to go with every outfit.
An upcoming promotion.
Tons of holiday photos in the most exotic places.
A weekly blowout for my hair.
Fast forward to the 33 year old childless, dogless, freelancer wanna be me that has nothing to do with anybody’s plans for my life, including my own. I won’t even mention my mom’s.
I’ve been working my ass off since before graduation, but it’s not exactly a career.
Big, flashy corporate life? Turns out, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be (for me, at least). I’d gladly give up any corner office for a day in the sun. Lavish office parties and adventure-packed team buildings? I’d trade them in a heartbeat for some quiet me & my laptop time.
Power designer suit?! As I write this, I look down on my fluffy pajamas and chuckle. The only thing for which I’d ever give up this perfect “work uniform” is also a 2 piece – a bathing suit.
My hair is dying for a blowout or you know … just a regular combing at least once in a while. I’m still waiting for my glow up to happen.
Just like in my teens, I choose sneakers over stilettos every time.
I’ve traveled quite a bit, but since my mortgage and me are a 2 in 1 special, it’s been tough.
The last part of adulting: the marriage, dog and happily ever after trilogy is not yet in the books. I undoubtedly thought that by now, I’d have it figured out. The truth is: I’m still
failing learning. And that is OK.
It took me a minute to see it.
This “OK” you see here is not a close cousin of the one we’re using to kid ourselves that we’re “fine” when everything is going downhill. It’s not a lie. It’s the realization that I never wanted these things in the first place.
My parents, my teachers, friends, society wanted (required?) those things for me.
The world celebrates an insanely busy schedule and ridiculous corporate titles. I never did.
Others feel the need to see me as married women. The “happily” part is in no way a “must” in their heads.
Figuring out what the “musts” are for me was terrifying.
Finding my own way seemed selfish and ungrateful.
But it was also brave.
So here’s what I know today:
- My 30s don’t look like my parents’ or other people’s and that is exactly how I wanted it to be. It’s not about invalidating their life choices. It’s a constant exercise to choose myself first;
- Courage and kindness are just like a muscle. I practice them daily and still struggle;
- Mistakes are magnificent;
- I have a plan B, C, D for my future, but I also have the power to change things along the way;
- Fear still rides shotgun with me every day, but I choose to go out & do my thing despite of it (almost every time);
- Perfection is boring – “done” is always better than perfect;
- There’s no job title that can capture my entire worth or make me happy. My work does that;
- Happiness is something you do. It doesn’t just happen and it’s different for everyone;
- Kicking my own ass should not be my favorite (and only) sport.
I don’t have everything figured out and I might never do.
That would make life extremely predictable, and it’s anything but.
There’s no way of knowing your next pivotal moment. You just have to make space for changes, love, compassion and courage in your life and then, show up!
Focus on yourself instead of the ridiculous pressure society is putting on a number. Don’t give a rat’s ass on what other people think you “should” be doing by this age. It’s literally none of your business. Learn how to say “No” more often and only say “YES” to what truly moves you. Live with intention, no matter the age!