Happy March! March is a particularly lovely month, don’t you think? I feel like it is under appreciated. March has good weather, it is the month where winter usually makes its way back into spring. The time changes again so you can stay outside past 6:00pm. St Patrick’s Day is one of those holidays that you get to celebrate by doing nothing other than drinking, and spring break is always in March! And yet, whoever makes those silly birthday constellation calendar thingies always mentions pisces last! March is a cool month, okay? It’s also my birthday month. 😉
This particular March. I turn 26. Yes, I vomit in my mouth a bit every time that I say it as well. I am no longer excited about birthdays. Well, I guess I like my birthday, but I am not excited about aging, it terrifies me. Maybe because… real life goes nothing like you had planned. As a younger version of myself I had grand plans for the place I would be in life by the time that I turned 26. Because let’s face the music, 26 is kind of old. Like, I am no longer a baby adult, I’m a real adult now, and it’s scary.
I don’t know if I am the only one, but now that birthdays are no longer just an exciting excuse to celebrate, they have become a yearly self evaluation. I try to escape it, but they just are. Every March I find myself simultaneously celebrating my accomplishments and lamenting my short comings. Don’t get me wrong, my life is full. I have so so many things to be thankful for and to celebrate every year. But if I’m being completely honest, my life is nothing like I would have expected. In some ways it’s so much better than I could have expected, in other ways I’m still scrambling after dreams that some days seem to only get farther away from me.
So on this day (one week before my actual birthday) I started to feel the usual pull of my subconscious to psychoanalyze my life and my goals. For better or for worse, here is a short list of things that I thought would be different by the time that I turned 26.
- I would have a Bachelors Degree.
and depending on which version of my old self you talk to, a law degree by now.
This is one that I beat myself up about every year. But, this year is different. While I will not have my degree before my birthday, I will have it shortly after. And that day my friends, will feel like a million birthdays rolled in to one. It is definitely one of my proudest accomplishments. I am also in the process of applying to law schools for the fall, even though…I’m not entirely sure that I want to go through with it anymore.
- I would have a house/apartment somewhere besides Florida.
And I don’t necessarily mean in addition to my house in Florida. I just knew that I wanted to move somewhere else, and yet, here I am. Don’t get me wrong, Fla has its perks. I don’t even remember what it’s like to not have a beach nearby. And I haven’t owned a real coat since I was 13. But I really want to live somewhere with seasons. I really want to play in the snow with my kids. I know that grown ups have this horrible aversion to snow, but some of my favorite childhood memories involve snow.
- I would have/be on my way to my “big girl job.”
This is a possible success story, if I decide to stay with Publix. But at the end of the day, I am no more committed to Publix today than I was at 17. So even if I decide to make it a career, I would hardly consider myself “on my way.” Had you told my 17 year old self that I would still be with Publix 8 years later, I would have laughed at you. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a career at Publix, sometimes I think I’m downright crazy for not pursuing it, but my dreams then and my dreams now reach beyond it.
This also ties in to the whole I-don’t-have-my-degree-yet thing. Also, now that I do in fact, practically have my degree, I have less of an idea as to what to do with it than I ever have had in my life. Becoming a non-baby adult and mother sort of challenges everything that I always thought I wanted. This leads into my next point.
- I didn’t think that I would have 2 kids.
Not to be confused with either a.) me not wanting my kids or b.) me never having wanted kids. I just never expected to have them so young. This is pretty standard for people who get pregnant at 19 though. haha! In so many ways, this is the fundamental reason for slowing down all of the other steps on my way to the life that I expected. But in so many ways it’s worked out for the better. Sometimes the best adventures are the ones you never expected. Motherhood is that adventure for me. I also like to think that in terms of my career, by the time that I do start one, I won’t have to stop halfway through to “stay home with my kids” and then return to the workforce outdated and under experienced 10-15 years later, as happens with too many female professionals contributing to the huge gap between male and female representation in the top tiers of the American work force. end rant.
- I expected to have traveled more.
Traveling is hands down my favorite thing to do, my favorite thing to spend money on, and one of the hardest things to actually find the time/money to do (not to mention finding a sitter.) 😉 I totally would have been one of those people to drop everything and backpack around the world. But ya know…babies don’t like living in backpacks, well except for those baby carriers but you know what I mean. 😉 And mommas usually* tend to not do the backpacking thing. haha! But, I mean, I am not entirely deprived of travel. I have been to many many cool places and still plan to explore more.
- I expected to know more.
And by this I mean that I expected a better sense of direction for my life. As of right now, I am not so sure what I want to be when I grow up. I am not so sure where I want to be grown up, and I am definitely not sure about anything else. As a younger version of myself I expected that I would have all of life’s answer by 26. Because c’mon, 26 is old! ;P
I am not at all disappointed with how my life has turned out. I am confident that I will stumble my way on through just fine. In a way, being so unsure makes being happy pretty easy, because your expectations become pretty flexible. haha. Also, this longer than expected road on the way to goals that I refuse to give up on has been full of valuable experiences, memories, and well, life. I have a beautiful life. Nothing like the one that I would have expected, but wonderful none the less.
is YOUR life anything like you had planned?