I think I need to first address the fact that I repeatedly say I’m 30 [years old], when I am in fact 31!! Someone once told me that the age you have kids is the age you stay mentally for the rest of your life. Take it with a grain of salt, but I sort of buy this concept. I feel like unless you are a very in tune person and understand how your mind works and consciously make an effort to grow and change as a person you may very well stay the same age (mentally and emotionally) you were when you had a baby. My point is…maybe I’m mentally stuck on 30 because that’s when I had Capri and I basically don’t give a shit about my age anymore? I’ve barely given it any thought this year and I like to believe it’s because fixating on your age is just a superficial issue and I’m past that. Okay there, I said it. Moving on.
This post idea was a suggestion from a reader (thank you!) and so I thought it would be fun to share where I thought I’d be at 30 (or 31) versus where I actually am in life. I spent a few days thinking about this post and what I wanted to put in it and I personally find it hilarious how disillusion I was as a teenager. I mean, I thought I would have 2 or 3 kids by this age. But then again, I also thought 30 was old AF when I was a teenager so I guess that’s not saying much.
Here is the expectation vs reality of my life:
+ Getting married
Expectation: Find the “perfect” man by 21, get engaged by 23, married by 24.
Reality: I did find “the one” at 22, but technically I knew him since age 16. We dated and lived together for about 5 years before an engagement was even a conversation. Paul was finishing up law school and I was a broke blogger–not exactly the ideal position to be in when you want to get married. In his last year of law school Paul proposed and we waited 2 years to get married. Getting married at age 27 made better sense for us–we were both starting careers and honestly just so much more mature / responsible / ready.
+ Buying a house
Expectation: I envisioned myself living in some mansion upon getting married (not entirely sure the age I had in mind).
Reality: Paul & I bought our first house the same year we got married. In fact, we moved in the day of my bridal shower and left for Greece 2 months later. It was a small 2000 square-foot starter home. I loved it and it was the perfect first house. We learned a lot in the process and when we finally felt ready (financially and mentally) to start a family that is when we started looking for the next house. We view our house now our “family” house. It’s spacious (4000 square feet), we got to renovate to make it our own, and there’s room to grow in this house. Buying a house is NOT easy (or cheap in Los Angeles), so it definitely took patience and hard work to finally own a house we absolutely love and want to stay in for a while.
+ Having kids
Expectation: Have my first kid by 25, and then keep pumping them out every other year or something like that.
Reality: Ummm first baby at 30…and totally okay with that. As I mentioned above, I feel it is SO important to be mentally and emotionally intelligent before having kids. I needed to be comfortable with myself, posses a level of maturity, understand how the human mind works before bringing a human into my life. I am an over-thinker when it comes to relationships–I dwell on situations until I understand every perspective and motive inside out. The way people behave fascinates me and I think being in my 30’s was a great time to start having kids because I finally felt like I was in a good place as an adult. I also had goals to achieve before having babies. I wanted an established career before taking on the GIANT responsibility of having a kid. Life obviously changes drastically when you have kids so for me timing was everything. If it happened any earlier I really don’t think I would be in the position I am today and I can honestly say, I probably wouldn’t have been as happy.
+ Career path
Expectation: Working for a fashion magazine writing articles (but NOT living in NYC…).
Reality: I’ve always envisioned myself having a career in fashion. I was never super thrilled by the idea of staying home or working in a field other than fashion. I have dabbled in various parts of the [fashion] industry–buying, wholesale, creative consulting, and now, blogging and the reality is: I don’t do a lot of fashion. I consider myself more of a lifestyle blogger because I am much more interested in other categories like home decor, cooking, etc. I wasn’t totally off in thinking I would work for a magazine as a writer; I do write but on my own platform, which in my opinion, is better than being edited / filtered / censored / directed. Also, it wasn’t until I was 28/29/30 that my blog really started becoming successful…so again, lots of hard work and patience to get to this point.
+ Savings account
Expectation: Have lots of money somehow (prob from my non-existent magazine job that in reality pays nothing).
Reality: I remember driving on the 101 freeway right before I turned 25 and thinking how sad it was that I did not have $1 in my savings account. I always worked but I was strictly about paying the bills and then living my best life with every last dollar that was left over. Savings just wasn’t a thing for me back then. Enter: finance-major-turned-lawyer Paul. Yeah, the second he caught wind of my spending it was all game over. He basically threatened to never marry me if I didn’t get my shit together (LOL). That’s when I started to really budget and value my hard-earned money. I turned my life around with a fresh mentality about finance and since then one of the most rewarding feelings for me is moving money into my savings account.
I think ultimately as a kid I was ambitious about everything. I wanted lots of money, the finer things in life, a high-powered career. While today I don’t find material items to be the top priority, I do feel like aspiring to own them was always in the back of my mind, pushing me to work harder and advance in my career path. My views about things has also changed, of course. Today I prefer to spend my time and money traveling, fixing up my house, enriching and adding value to my life. I was definitely off on the ages these things would happen in my life but you live and you learn, you know?
The moral of my story is this: DO make plans for yourself. DON’T be disappointed if things don’t pan out exactly as you imagined.
Now tell me, what was your biggest expectation versus reality in life so far?