Twenty-five used to seem so far away. Being 25 meant being an adult and having my sh*t together. It meant being a few years out of college, living on my own and making a life for myself.
Well, I'm now 25 and I can assure you that while a lot has changed since I was 18, I still am no where close to where I thought I would be.
1. A job I love that is turning in to a career.
I have a job that pays my bills and supports my online shopping habit. I go in at 9 and leave at 5. I sit at a desk all day thinking of all the things I would rather be doing. I have a full time job and that's great, but it's not my career. I still haven't figured out what my career will be, but I know it's not what I'm doing now and at least that's a start.
2. A steady relationship that is headed toward marriage.
This expectation was so outrageous, I can't believe I'm even writing it. To be fair, when I anticipated an engagement in my mid-20s, I was in a relationship. I wasn't thinking about marrying him, but I also wasn't planning on us breaking up. I couldn't see myself with anyone else and now looking back, I can't believe how naive I was. I gave up a lot of my own needs and interests for the relationship. Thankfully, I learned my lesson. And while being single at 25 wasn't in my plan, I also don't hate it.
3. A dog.
Plot twist: I do have a dog. I rescued her about a year ago and am obsessed with her. We are attached at the hip, and adopting her is the greatest decision I've ever made. A lot of stores now have those mugs and signs that say, “Who rescued who?” with a paw print, and in our case, it's so true.
I don't recommend adopting a dog to fix your problems or find happiness. It is a huge financial and time commitment that should be taken seriously, but becoming a dog mom did lift me out of a rut I was in.
4. A socialite lifestyle similar to LC from "The Hills."
I fell victim to reality TV, and thought that I would be able to afford going out every night, getting regular blowouts and eating sushi just because it's a Tuesday. I also thought I would have the energy to go out after work and meet up with friends on a regular basis. In reality, I come home, throw on sweats and snuggle with my dog.
5. Money in the bank.
I wish someone told me when I was in high school to save save save. Save your money -- all of it. I'm sure my parents probably did tell me this over and over, but obviously I wasn't listening. It's only in the past few years that I have had the harsh realization that life is expensive. Cars break down, bills add up, unexpected expenses arise and I am responsible for all of it.
I can't pin point the majority of what I spent my money on in the past, but I assure you it was nothing noteworthy. There were a few trips here and there but, for the most part, I probably spent it on clothes I never wore, food that wasn't that great and drinks I definitely did not need.
Twenty-five isn't as old as I used to think it was. Every time another birthday rolls around, I still feel like I'm 20. It's good to plan out where you think your life will go and what you hope to achieve in the next five or 10 years, but it's not the end of the world if you aren't there.
Life happens, plans change and all that matters is that you're happy with where you're headed.