Young people can be really judgmental. I know this because I'm young and judgmental, and when I was even younger, I was even more judgmental. For instance, I was super judgmental of the people who (at the age of 24 or 25) would come back to my undergrad to visit a sibling, party all weekend and crash on the sticky, dingy, it-came-with-the-place apartment couch.
After a weekend of partying with the aforementioned individual (and guzzling all the alcohol the person bought with his or her huge $50,000 salary), my bestie and I would tear the person apart from the comfort of our very own sticky, dingy, it-came-with-the-place apartment couch. Our conversation would go a little like this:
BFF: I better not be still stumbling around frat row at 25.
Me: Honestly, it makes me so sad. This is exactly why I will never graduate from college.
BFF: How bad is the "real world" that you have to come back and party with kids?
Me: What if we're 24 and still grinding with Lance at AKL?
BFF: He at least could have gotten a hotel. Can't he afford a hotel?
Me: How awkward is it to be uncomfortably near 30 and still crashing in Beaver Hill?
BFF: That will not be me. I swear to you that will not be me.
Me: I better be busy renovating the kitchen of my home at 25.
BFF: I better be fresh and rejuvenated from my three-week honeymoon in Greece by the time I'm 25.
Well, now that I'm deep into 25, my life couldn't be more different from what I thought it would be. I hate to admit it to myself, but I'm not even engaged. *Awkward turtle.*
So, here are 25 things I thought I would have achieved or been able to do by 25 that I currently have not achieved or am unable to do:
1. Be married. I'll just leave this one right here.
2. Own a home. I wanted a beautiful one. I wanted a French country style mixed with that traditional New England style, with a hint of Craftsman, but also extremely modern. You know, it's the perfect home for someone who has no idea what she wants.
3. Possibly have one kid. But I didn't want just any ordinary kid; I wanted the perfect kid. I wanted a cute, chubby, smart as heck kid. I wanted a kid who's like one of those little toddlers from the commercial where the 7 month olds can read the word kitten.
4. Have a boss bitch career. I'm talking about an all-glass office, black pencil skirt, Versace blouse, severe office bitch bun, staring out at my view of the city while a nervous intern brings me my favorite Ocean Spray in a fancy glass kind of career.
5. Be independently wealthy. This is a bit contradictory to number four, I know. But, I really thought I would be straight chilling on a yacht with 34 of my closest friends. I don't know how I got the yacht, and I don't know why I'm not at work. I actually have no idea where I'm getting the money to do this. But, in this fantasy, I had the sense that I didn't need to be at work because I'm actually a part of the 1 percent.
6. Own extremely valuable stocks. I knew that if I were ever to purchase stock, I would have a knack for picking the really good ones. I'm talking about the ones that went from $1 a share to $40,000 a share overnight. Why? Because female intuition. (I should probably sign up with E*Trade.)
7. Invent something groundbreaking (aka the next Facebook). I just have all these ideas that have never been thought of before. For example ... well, if I tell them to you, how would I make money?
8. Know the ins and outs of the tax system. I just do whatever TurboTax tells me and hope for the best. #LivingOnAPrayer.
9. Own a luxury vehicle. I wouldn't even just own a luxury vehicle. I'd go back to my home town and straight stunt on the bitches who ever doubted me while blasting Big Sean's "Paradise."
10. Be taken seriously by my older siblings. I thought a time would come when they looked to me for guidance. But no, I'm still "the baby," no matter how much I accomplish.
11. Have a legit savings account (definitely no less than $10,000). I cannot even begin to explain to you all the ways in which that is not my reality.
12. No longer be on Facebook. I honestly thought that Facebook would be eclipsed by some newer, cooler, more innovative social media trend. I thought I would be updating my friends and family on some more aggressively invasive form of social media. Obviously, I know nothing.
13. Have a healthy and balanced diet. In college, I chugged tequila and ate pizza that was $1 a slice. I imagined that at 25, I would be eating broccoli, baked squash and quinoa. In reality, I chug port and eat pizza that's $3.50 a slice. #Progress.
14. Travel the world. I'm talking about yoga retreats in Bali, mimosas by the pyramids and bike riding through Thailand kind of traveling. But, I take the T from Maverick to State Street. That's the extent of my traveling.
15. Buy my parents expensive Christmas gifts. Here's a Louis Vuitton purse for you, Mom! Here's a Rolex for you, Dad! I'm sorry, but I meant a drawing of those things on a homemade card. Merry Christmas.
16. Know how to cook a Martha Stewart meal. The thought of hosting Thanksgiving is frightening. Shout out to Pinterest Crock-Pot dump meals. One day, I swear that I will cook the sh*t I pin.
17. No longer shopping at Forever 21. I thought that shopping at Forever21 a second after you turned 22 was beyond sad and desperate. Well, the upside is I don't shop there exclusively anymore. Shoutout to ASOS and Revolve Clothing.
18. Be taken seriously by my parents. Refer to number 10.
19. Have a reality TV show on MTV. My friends and I are honestly really, really funny. We're truly way funnier and more interesting than most people, and it's shocking and unjust that we haven't been discovered by MTV yet. — Said every girl after a "Jersey Shore" or "The Hills" viewing party.
20. A beautiful puppy. Obviously, I thought I would have the perfect puppy to happily galavant around the yard of the French country, Craftsman, modern and New England-esque dream home that my husband and I owned. My reality? Two cats.
21. Win the lottery. Every time I signed an MPN, I kind of imagined the stars would align, and I would win the lottery and never have to pay my loans. Why? Because optimism.
22. Confidently and regularly make appointments. I am still a slacker when it comes to making doctor appointments. Only when I am near death do I call. This a far cry from where I thought I would be since I believed I would be making pediatric appointments for my genius 7-month-old.
23. Consistently use a planner. If I used every Lily planner the way I imagined I would use it, then I would be a completely different person. I would be the perfect person, and I would have it all together. That's just not the way my life worked out, but everything happens for a reason.
24. Sophisticated dinner parties. I imagined beautiful dinner parties with my rich, fancy colleagues. They'd be complete with cheeses I can't pronounce and wines I can't spell. In reality, my law school friends and I go to networking events and pray for open bars.
25. Be an adult. I guess I am technically an adult. But, I thought I would be comfortable in my adulthood. I thought I would be sure in the decisions I made, and I would know exactly what needs to be done in any given situation. Yet here I am, 25 and accidentally adulting.
The moral of the story is, don't be so hard on yourself (or on others). We're all just trying to figure it out.
This article was originally published on the author's personal blog.