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6 Things that I Thought Would be Different by 26.

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,Β whoever makes those silly birthday constellation calendar thingies always mentions pisces last! March is a cool month, okay? It’s also my birthday month. πŸ˜‰

6 Things I thought would be different by 26.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. I would have a house/apartment somewhere besides Florida.Β 
    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.
    IMG_2795 2e
  3. 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 toldΒ 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.Back to Blogging
  4. I didn’t think that I would have 2 kids.
    Not to beΒ confusedΒ 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.
    IMG_9004e
  5. 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.) πŸ˜‰ 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 Β for those baby carriers but you know what I mean. πŸ˜‰ 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.
    Goodbye 2015
  6. 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?

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  • Ashley Chase

    I turn 26 in August and I am freaking out! Theres a lot of things that I thought would be different as well!

  • Lindsay Katherine

    What a great reflection! I am so proud of you for almost being finished with school, which was one of your goals, regardless of when it happened. That’s a huge accomplishment, especially since you didn’t have the conventional route. I always thought 20-something seems so old and adult-y when I was younger, but now I realize age is just a number, truly. I’m almost 29 but don’t “feel” 29 – I’m not sure if I ever will feel my age : )

    • Thanks Lindsay! I am SO thrilled to have almost finished. It was a long time coming. I recently asked my grandma at what age she began to “feel old” and she confirmed; we never “feel” our age. Only our bodies begin to betray us. Darn mortality! πŸ˜‰

  • Ashley Chase

    I turn 26 in August and I am freaking out! Theres a lot of things that I thought would be different as well!

  • Lindsay Katherine

    What a great reflection! I am so proud of you for almost being finished with school, which was one of your goals, regardless of when it happened. That’s a huge accomplishment, especially since you didn’t have the conventional route. I always thought 20-something seems so old and adult-y when I was younger, but now I realize age is just a number, truly. I’m almost 29 but don’t “feel” 29 – I’m not sure if I ever will feel my age : )

    • Thanks Lindsay! I am SO thrilled to have almost finished. It was a long time coming. I recently asked my grandma at what age she began to “feel old” and she confirmed; we never “feel” our age. Only our bodies begin to betray us. Darn mortality! πŸ˜‰

  • Amanda-Jo Adams

    Hi Amanda! I loved your post. I turned 26 this past December and yeah, I am no where near where I pictured I would be in my head at 26. I am sending this post to s friend that is turning 26 today and is not thrilled about it. Your experiences are worth so much! Thank you for sharing this.

    • Thank you! (Happy Birthday to your friend) My experiences are so valuable, you’re right. It’s just so funny how life takes you where it wants, no matter where you thought you were headed! haha. Thanks for reading and sharing!

  • Amanda-Jo Adams

    Hi Amanda! I loved your post. I turned 26 this past December and yeah, I am no where near where I pictured I would be in my head at 26. I am sending this post to s friend that is turning 26 today and is not thrilled about it. Your experiences are worth so much! Thank you for sharing this.

    • Thank you! (Happy Birthday to your friend) My experiences are so valuable, you’re right. It’s just so funny how life takes you where it wants, no matter where you thought you were headed! haha. Thanks for reading and sharing!

  • Dana Brillante-Peller

    You still have so much more of your life to live – you can do everything you mentioned and more!

    • haha, thank you! I still plan to chase my dreams, its just funny how different I thought everything would be. I am certainly happy with where my journey has led me though. πŸ™‚

  • Dana Brillante-Peller

    You still have so much more of your life to live – you can do everything you mentioned and more!

    • haha, thank you! I still plan to chase my dreams, its just funny how different I thought everything would be. I am certainly happy with where my journey has led me though. πŸ™‚

  • Esther Rawick

    Wonderful reflections! I understand your post 100% even though I am only 24 right now. But I’ve been married for almost 6 years and my son just turned one… this honestly was never what I thought my life at 24 would be like. But it makes me happy!

    XoXo,
    Esther G
    http://www.hadessah.com

    • oh good! So happy to hear from so many that share my sentiment. Life is funny, isn’t it?

  • Esther Rawick

    Wonderful reflections! I understand your post 100% even though I am only 24 right now. But I’ve been married for almost 6 years and my son just turned one… this honestly was never what I thought my life at 24 would be like. But it makes me happy!

    XoXo,
    Esther G
    http://www.hadessah.com

    • oh good! So happy to hear from so many that share my sentiment. Life is funny, isn’t it?

  • My life is nothing like what I would have planned but looking back it is so much better than I could have planned. And don’t worry, 26 is definitely not old!

  • My life is nothing like what I would have planned but looking back it is so much better than I could have planned. And don’t worry, 26 is definitely not old!

  • It’s ok girl, 26 is not old… haha I am 26. I think if that is what we focus on, then here come the wrinkles. Just be joyful, happy and grateful for what you DO have in your life πŸ˜‰ and enjoy the more mature age you are ! Happy Birthday Month!! I hope you enjoy it ! Don’t beat yourself up girl, I bet you never would have thought you’d have an AMAZING blog by 26… great job!
    Danielle Greco | AccordingtoD.com

    • Thank you! And I do enjoy the unexpected journey that is my life. It’s just so funny to ponder how different I expected everything to be. And I’m already all about that moisturizer, please no wrinkles! haha! πŸ˜‰

  • It’s ok girl, 26 is not old… haha I am 26. I think if that is what we focus on, then here come the wrinkles. Just be joyful, happy and grateful for what you DO have in your life πŸ˜‰ and enjoy the more mature age you are ! Happy Birthday Month!! I hope you enjoy it ! Don’t beat yourself up girl, I bet you never would have thought you’d have an AMAZING blog by 26… great job!
    Danielle Greco | AccordingtoD.com

    • Thank you! And I do enjoy the unexpected journey that is my life. It’s just so funny to ponder how different I expected everything to be. And I’m already all about that moisturizer, please no wrinkles! haha! πŸ˜‰

  • Candace Davidson Wells

    I love this post because I am in the same boat as you except I’m 30. Yikes! But I try to remain calm and thankful. I know it is all going to work out in the end and my main goals will get accomplished.

  • Candace Davidson Wells

    I love this post because I am in the same boat as you except I’m 30. Yikes! But I try to remain calm and thankful. I know it is all going to work out in the end and my main goals will get accomplished.

  • I turned 26 in July, and cried!!! Literally had a pitty party! It was one for the books! I thought to myself, now I am definitely closer to 30 than 20! I also thought I would have had at least one child by now… However, 26 has proven itself worthy of existence! My life has been full of so much excitement! My husband and I sold our house, and built a shop with an apartment on land we purchased to be able to build our dream home. It has been one adventure after the other! The day I turned 26, you could have asked me about living this way and I would have said NO WAY! But it has become so much fun! I promise, 26 will not disappoint! [I also told people I was celebrating my first anniversary of turning 25 for about 4 months! I finally gave it up, and embraced 26!]

    Erin | http://www.awelderswife.com

    • Oh girl, I will likely have a pity party as well! Aging is so scary. But I’m glad I’m not the only one whose life is not going completely according to plan, but it sounds like you’re rocking it anyway. I’m have high hopes for 26 too!

  • I turned 26 in July, and cried!!! Literally had a pitty party! It was one for the books! I thought to myself, now I am definitely closer to 30 than 20! I also thought I would have had at least one child by now… However, 26 has proven itself worthy of existence! My life has been full of so much excitement! My husband and I sold our house, and built a shop with an apartment on land we purchased to be able to build our dream home. It has been one adventure after the other! The day I turned 26, you could have asked me about living this way and I would have said NO WAY! But it has become so much fun! I promise, 26 will not disappoint! [I also told people I was celebrating my first anniversary of turning 25 for about 4 months! I finally gave it up, and embraced 26!]

    Erin | http://www.awelderswife.com

    • Oh girl, I will likely have a pity party as well! Aging is so scary. But I’m glad I’m not the only one whose life is not going completely according to plan, but it sounds like you’re rocking it anyway. I’m have high hopes for 26 too!

  • When I turned 26 in September, I kinda had a panic attack! I had expected to be married by now and hoped to have kids and a great career started! However, I spent the majority of college single, went through a few rough and bumpy relationships, got out of them, finished school, started a great career at a university, moved from home,decided to leave it for a different opportunity training with horses, met a wonderful guy who I’m hoping to be my future husband. Now I’m living in Utah (where I never imagined living), waiting for him to finish school so we can settle down somewhere! It’s been quite the journey lots of bumps and turns, but it has been a good one πŸ™‚

    • Well it sounds like your life keeps things interesting at least! I have friends in Utah and it seriously looks like the prettiest place. And training horses sounds awesome?! You’re giving me high hopes for 26 girl. πŸ˜‰

  • When I turned 26 in September, I kinda had a panic attack! I had expected to be married by now and hoped to have kids and a great career started! However, I spent the majority of college single, went through a few rough and bumpy relationships, got out of them, finished school, started a great career at a university, moved from home,decided to leave it for a different opportunity training with horses, met a wonderful guy who I’m hoping to be my future husband. Now I’m living in Utah (where I never imagined living), waiting for him to finish school so we can settle down somewhere! It’s been quite the journey lots of bumps and turns, but it has been a good one πŸ™‚

    • Well it sounds like your life keeps things interesting at least! I have friends in Utah and it seriously looks like the prettiest place. And training horses sounds awesome?! You’re giving me high hopes for 26 girl. πŸ˜‰

  • Kelsie Kleinmeyer

    Thank you for this sweet, honest post. I am also 26, and it’s a weird “closer to 30 than that 20” feeling. But I also am thankful to have year 26, because some people never do. I pray that you wouldn’t feel bogged down by the expectations of either the world or yourself, and rather feel comforted by the fact that you are just where you should be.

    • Thank you for the kind words. I know that growing up (and then growing old) is a privilege denied to many, so I try not to let it get me down. I often feel at peace, amazed that my real life is far better than the one I could ever have dreamt up.

  • Kelsie Kleinmeyer

    Thank you for this sweet, honest post. I am also 26, and it’s a weird “closer to 30 than that 20” feeling. But I also am thankful to have year 26, because some people never do. I pray that you wouldn’t feel bogged down by the expectations of either the world or yourself, and rather feel comforted by the fact that you are just where you should be.

    • Thank you for the kind words. I know that growing up (and then growing old) is a privilege denied to many, so I try not to let it get me down. I often feel at peace, amazed that my real life is far better than the one I could ever have dreamt up.

  • I always get reflective when I come close to a birthday and I have a big one coming up (30) so I’m feeling extra reflective this time. My life isn’t like I thought it would be in so many ways, but that’s totally not a bad thing. It’s interesting to look back on, though. Great post!

    • Thanks. And I actually hear a lot of people say that their 30’s were their favorite. I am certainly petrified of the first digit change, but I keep telling myself that I’ll just be like J.lo or Jen Anniston and get hotter with age. πŸ˜‰

  • I always get reflective when I come close to a birthday and I have a big one coming up (30) so I’m feeling extra reflective this time. My life isn’t like I thought it would be in so many ways, but that’s totally not a bad thing. It’s interesting to look back on, though. Great post!

    • Thanks. And I actually hear a lot of people say that their 30’s were their favorite. I am certainly petrified of the first digit change, but I keep telling myself that I’ll just be like J.lo or Jen Anniston and get hotter with age. πŸ˜‰

  • I can really relate to this post! While I’m not 26 – I used to think that at 22 I should have my life figured out. I keep going over my time line as far as when I’ll be finished with school, when’s a good time to have kids, when I’ll be able to start my career – and so on. It can be so overwhelming. But I completely agree, staying true to your dreams and goals will get us through πŸ™‚

    • I’m so glad I’m not alone! I’m pretty sure that there is just never an actual age when we finally feel like we’ve got it figured out. Nor is there a perfect time line for life. There are only goals and the many different paths to reaching them. Don’t stress, sometimes things just work out the way they’re supposed to!

  • I can really relate to this post! While I’m not 26 – I used to think that at 22 I should have my life figured out. I keep going over my time line as far as when I’ll be finished with school, when’s a good time to have kids, when I’ll be able to start my career – and so on. It can be so overwhelming. But I completely agree, staying true to your dreams and goals will get us through πŸ™‚

    • I’m so glad I’m not alone! I’m pretty sure that there is just never an actual age when we finally feel like we’ve got it figured out. Nor is there a perfect time line for life. There are only goals and the many different paths to reaching them. Don’t stress, sometimes things just work out the way they’re supposed to!

  • amotherworld

    Aw what a sweet post… I’m 41 so reading this makes me envy the fact that you have two kids and are still soooo young! You have so much time ahead of you to get that bachelor’s degree if you want it, and travel with your kids. Think – when you’re my age, your kids will be independent and you’ll have a LIFE again! Haha!

    • I will have my bachelors in May! I have worked SO hard to achieve it as well. I am also dreading the day the my children outgrow me! I relish the unexpected life of motherhood that I have. πŸ™‚ Thanks for reading.

  • amotherworld

    Aw what a sweet post… I’m 41 so reading this makes me envy the fact that you have two kids and are still soooo young! You have so much time ahead of you to get that bachelor’s degree if you want it, and travel with your kids. Think – when you’re my age, your kids will be independent and you’ll have a LIFE again! Haha!

    • I will have my bachelors in May! I have worked SO hard to achieve it as well. I am also dreading the day the my children outgrow me! I relish the unexpected life of motherhood that I have. πŸ™‚ Thanks for reading.

  • Is my life how I planned it? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. That’s a good one. Life is never as we planned. I’m approaching 32. At this point in my life I thought I’d have 3 kids, a husband with a cushy job, be having play dates with my mom all the time, and living in a house with a yard. Instead my mom is dead, my husband is trying a creative job, so I’m the breadwinner, I can’t seem to want to have kids yet, and I’m getting my first gray hairs!!!

    Life is never as we planned, but it’s beautiful anyway.

    • Life can definitely be an unexpected adventure. Thanks for reading.

  • Is my life how I planned it? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. That’s a good one. Life is never as we planned. I’m approaching 32. At this point in my life I thought I’d have 3 kids, a husband with a cushy job, be having play dates with my mom all the time, and living in a house with a yard. Instead my mom is dead, my husband is trying a creative job, so I’m the breadwinner, I can’t seem to want to have kids yet, and I’m getting my first gray hairs!!!

    Life is never as we planned, but it’s beautiful anyway.

    • Life can definitely be an unexpected adventure. Thanks for reading.

  • Girl, I’m 28 and living back with my sister after being independent since I was 18! So yeah, I feel you! I was listening to an Oprah book last night, and she said we shouldn’t mind getting older or telling our age. We should think about all the things we’ve gone through, and STILL survived to see another year!

    • haha, well I think I should definitely try to take Oprah’s advice, she obviously knows something! And life certainly has its ups and downs, doesn’t it? Best of luck getting back out there!

  • Girl, I’m 28 and living back with my sister after being independent since I was 18! So yeah, I feel you! I was listening to an Oprah book last night, and she said we shouldn’t mind getting older or telling our age. We should think about all the things we’ve gone through, and STILL survived to see another year!

    • haha, well I think I should definitely try to take Oprah’s advice, she obviously knows something! And life certainly has its ups and downs, doesn’t it? Best of luck getting back out there!

  • I wanted everything figured out by 21 haha the husband, the home, my career, my education, a family. All of it. I’m now 23 (about to turn 24 in a few weeks) and FINALLY have everything I’ve wanted πŸ™‚ aside from our home and baby. My husband is currently deployed so we can’t purchase a home or start our family until he returns this summer. But once he’s back, we’ll be able to check both of those off the list!

  • I wanted everything figured out by 21 haha the husband, the home, my career, my education, a family. All of it. I’m now 23 (about to turn 24 in a few weeks) and FINALLY have everything I’ve wanted πŸ™‚ aside from our home and baby. My husband is currently deployed so we can’t purchase a home or start our family until he returns this summer. But once he’s back, we’ll be able to check both of those off the list!

  • I love this! I feel like when we’re younger we have all of these expectations of where we’re going to be by the time we’re blank age and sometimes if we haven’t met that than we can feel like a failure. But I think it’s also important to remember that life is sweet and we should take our time to enjoy it. So we’re not where we thought we would be, no big deal! 26 is still super young and we’ve still got tons of time πŸ™‚ Great post!

  • I love this! I feel like when we’re younger we have all of these expectations of where we’re going to be by the time we’re blank age and sometimes if we haven’t met that than we can feel like a failure. But I think it’s also important to remember that life is sweet and we should take our time to enjoy it. So we’re not where we thought we would be, no big deal! 26 is still super young and we’ve still got tons of time πŸ™‚ Great post!

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