I turned 25 recently.
Depending on where you’re reading this from, that’s either really young, or that’s the age when you should already have multiple kids and a house. These days I’m surrounded by urban, highly-educated, non-religious colleagues & friends, so I think it’s still generally considered quite young. Most 25-year-olds in my circles are still applying for grad schools, living with multiple roommates, and generally #hustling their way towards whatever bright future lies ahead.
When I graduated college, I randomly picked a nice, random age to plan my new goals towards. I decided, quite haphazardly, that it would be “25”. I tend to like going 10000x faster than everyone else in all aspects of life (except the kid-having part………lol!), and working towards my predetermined goals was no different. When I started this blog, a few months out of college, my tagline was:
“join me on my quest to have [relative] financial freedom by the time I turn 25, while having as many adventures as possible along the way”
having graduated college debt-free, my next, and most important goal, was to get ahead as far as I could in life financially, before doing anything remotely close to “settling down”. It has always been extremely important for me to have my own independent life, irrespective of anyone else who may end up entering my life. Although M and I knew we were pretty much going to get married within a week of dating, part of the reason I think we’ve worked so well together was that we’ve been quite confident in our own lives without needing the other as support. Having each other is nice (more than nice!), but I don’t think I’ve ever needed anyone else. It may be surprisingly how #fairytalelike our romance has been, given that I truly believe, and am perpetually telling my girlfriends, that one should invest in oneself first and foremost, without thinking about any ~significant others~. I have great confidence that no matter what horrible tragedy happens out of my control (a death, #boys leaving, a layoff, WHATEVER), the things I invest in myself will keep me perfectly afloat.
to that end, I had a few things I wanted to accomplish before turning 25 – aka, before becoming engaged (but that sounded stupid out loud, so I told people my benchmark was “pre-25”. lol.). these were:
PROFESSIONAL: my career
ACADEMIC/EDUCATIONAL: my degrees & publications
FINANCIAL: my bank account
PERSONAL: my hobbies, friends, & satisfaction with spending time by myself
And yes, I’m sure I will consider it a great accomplishment in 50 years if we’ve managed to keep this wonderful relationship going, but when thinking ahead about my life, that’s always been been a supplement to my life – things that will, hopefully, just happen, and not the primary focus – at least not now, in my early-mid twenties, when there are so many other things to work towards! (Someone recently asked me what kind of house I wanted, how many kids, and if I envisioned a dog in my life. I laughed.) Some things I simply can’t control – so why waste time dreaming & pining about it? After all, if it’s not meant to be, it’s not meant to be. I never quite understood non-married people saying a relationship requires work………………..sincerely not trying to toot our horn here, but there has never been a second where I’ve felt like I’ve had to “work” at my relationship – not when we were long-distance, not when we had personal issues, and not when we’ve been stressed/stretched thinner than imaginable. Now that we’re getting married, yes, I see where marriagecan be a lot of work – especially when kids enter the picture! But with the (legal, and otherwise) freedom of being in a relationship….what’s the point of working so hard for something that isn’t completely within your purview? Maybe I am cynical, but it’s worked pretty well for me so far, so unless proven otherwise…..;)
All that to say, now that my threshold for my “short-term goals” has passed, it’s time to spend some time to reevaluate and create some new goals. I’ve been pretty happy about the state of my financial well-being, although certain large expenses like a wedding and graduate school degrees (past, and potential immediate future) are slightly setting me back – so that’s one major area of focus for the upcoming year or so (while, as usual, managing to spend as much time on ~fun things~ while spending as little money as possible!) Of course, I have one looming academic/professional goal that I am working towards, with hopefully an update in 2019 🙂 And personally, continuing to be as involved as I can with volunteering, board-running, picking up piano again, reading more…the list is endless when I’m no longer working/studying 19 hours of the day! Based on the popularity of my “money diary” series, I may post a few in the upcoming weeks, to give a glimpse of ~normal life~ in BOSTON!
Less than half a year until we’re married. Let’s see if my sentiments – and priorities- change thereafter. I hope I don’t slow down. I can’t imagine I will 🙂
(Thus concludes my February blog post, because no non-work big trips until April! Oh, and now that I’ve been here blogging for a while….@wordpress has upgraded my site for me & given me a free makeover (read: no more domain name, and an updated interface). Thanks, wordpress!)