I always thought that I had my life planned out and that I knew exactly when certain events would take place – how old I would be, where in my life I’d be at and the type of person I would be. At twenty one, I can confirm that I am exactly where I need to be, but not where I thought I would be.
I definitely feel that weight that society pushes down on you once you reach your twenties, I have no bump and no ring on my finger and I’m constantly on a back and forth between England and Portugal – and in all honesty, I don’t know where I’d like to be permanently – but that’s a whole other issue that I might dive into on another day.
So when I look at how my life has actually turned out vs how I expected it to – can I say that I’m happy? Can I say that this is where I wanted to be? The short answer is yes and no. I’m in a position in my life where I feel like I’m very happy on my day to day basis, I like my job and I love my blogging side-job, however if I told the me from a few years ago that I’d be working full time as an expeditor and that my side gig would be blogging, I don’t think I’d believe me, nor would I know what the word “expeditor” meant. I also think that I’d be a bit miffed at the fact that I don’t have a baby or a husband, mostly because I was planning my life around the timeline that my mum had hers. She had her first baby at nineteen then turned twenty the day after and was married in her early twenties too (I don’t actually know her exact age – sorry mama!) so I always assumed that was how life was supposed to go. That I was supposed to move out as early as possible, that I was supposed to have a baby and that I was supposed to be married.
Now that I’m living life at my own pace and my own timeline, I have opened my eyes to many many possibilities. One is that I’ve been learning how to manage money and how to save and also build a credit score, these are things that have become very important to me as I want my credit score to be good and my saving methods to be lasting – I’ve gotten better at handling money and budgeting around things that I want to do, I think that this is something that I never thought about before I realised how important my credit score actually is. I’ve also realised that I’d actually quite like a baby, but give it a few years. I feel like travelling has become more important to me over the last few years and I’d like to see more of the Earth before I become a mother, but I’m also feeling ready for that level of responsibility – so if it happened sooner than I wanted it to, I’d be fine with it, and if I only get to visit two new countries before then, I’m fine with that too. But I definitely want to live out my Lara Croft fantasies of exploring the world a little bit in my lifetime.
But the main lesson that I’ve learned is that my life is my own. I don’t need to rush or to slow down because it doesn’t work out to how somebody else views the ideal life – that’s their ideal, not mine. I’ve also learned to stand up for what I want and also what I need, because even though right now I feel like I need a holiday 365 days of the year, I also want to be working whether it’s at my job or on my blog.
I feel happy for people when I see their marriage photos and their pregnancy announcements, some have it much later than others, and it makes me realise just how different each and every individual is. That whilst one person was building a business and focusing on their work, another was building a family and focusing on the love of their children. Some people tried to juggle both at the same time, some more successfully than others, and either way: they’re where they need to be right now. I feel like whatever ideal suits someone else, I don’t need to be dipping my toe into that somebody else’s ideal.
I actually don’t have a five year plan laid out or any plan at all, whenever I do plan it always seems to change somehow so I’ve given up with slapping dates and timeframes on things, I feel like the more spontaneously I live, the happier I am regardless, when things happen whether they’re good or bad, in my perspective it’s because they were meant to happen and not because I made them happen. I also believe in hard work too and that’s why I’ve been putting so much pressure on myself as of late with my blog and social media presence, but I’m proud of my progress and proud of how far I’ve come in the span of twelve months vs how far I’ve come in four years.
I was putting myself down because my blog was growing slowly (but steadily), and then I stepped back and realised that just because someone else gained 50,000 followers in a year and it took me four to gain 14,000 doesn’t mean that I’m bad at what I do or that I need to put in more work, it just means that right now, my blog and my online journey is where it’s meant to be, and that it’s growing on an uphill scale so I should still be proud, and not feel the need to put myself in a position of comparison because my timeline didn’t match somebody else’s.
So when it comes to life’s milestones such as marriage, buying a house, having babies and scoring an amazing job – I don’t feel the pressure or the tide anymore. I feel relaxed and excited about life and I’m looking forward to seeing how mine goes through both the good times and the bad times, I’m happy to see how far I’ve come as a person and I’m happy to see how far my life has come and I like to reflect on the obstacles that I overcame to get to where I am.
Right now, I’m happy, hopefully next year when more things have happened, milestones or not, I’ll still feel just as happy and just as excited about where life is heading.