Thursday, June 30, 2011

Life: Prediction v. Reality

Some of my oldest friends (and as J points out, that means that we’ve known each other for a long time … not that they’re old), who also happen to be bloggers, recently approached me with a fantastic idea. Let’s talk about life - love, family, and career. How did we think things might turn out? What predictions did we make in the past about our future lives? And, how have those things played out in reality?

So here is the challenge... what did you expect your life to look like? Is it anything close to what you once imagined? The best way to attack this topic is to compartmentalize into three major subsections: Love, Family, and Career.

LOVE
Prediction: I had a firm plan that I wouldn’t even consider getting married before age 30. I would first conquer the world, then think about settling down. What I did know, though, was that the person I ended up with would be as many of the following things as possible: Catholic, tall/dark/handsome, refined/educated, smart , driven, successful. He would be all of those things and still willing to let me rule the world. I would also not end up with somebody who ‘had potential’ … it would have to be someone who was already achieving their potential.

Reality: I met Husband when I was 23, almost 24. The rest, as they say, is history. The walls came tumbling down, albeit after some resistance on my part. Husband has a much more elaborate and exaggerated version of this story and how I ‘ran like a scared rabbit’ … yes, even educated men in the south use expressions like this. As it turns out, Husband actually had every single quality I ever imagined wanting. And then some.

Breaking it down: I’m not sure my predictions could have ever really been based in reality, because I don’t think it is possible to plan for something you don’t know exists. Husband, while meeting all of those superficial characteristics I mentioned, is so much more loving and supportive that I ever thought possible.

FAMILY
Prediction: I was all over the spectrum on this one, ranging from thinking I would never have children to thinking I would have or adopt a whole litter. The thing I was fairly certain of was that children wouldn’t really enter the picture until much later in life.

Reality: I turn 30 this October. I’ll have an almost-four-year old marriage and an almost-two-year-old daughter.

Break it down: Who knew?! This might be the one and only time in my life that I’ll admit to having been wrong and actually be happy about it! Pregnancy was hard, and Brian is not as into the idea of adoption as I am, so the future remains to be seen. For now, we’re good with only having one toddler rule the roost.

CAREER
Prediction: I’m not sure I ever had a specific plan of my own. Which is strange considering how much of a planner I am. Sure, there were times I thought I’d be a lawyer or a counselor or something truly noble. But, I think I just always expected to graduate from college, move to New York City (or Milan or Paris), find something interesting and important to do – anything ranging from human rights to fashion – become insanely wealthy, and never look back.

Reality: In one word – family. I was ultimately just too tied to my family to move far away. The more detailed description, of course, involves: applying to law school, not getting into the schools I wanted (probably because I didn’t put a ton of effort into my applications or the LSAT), studying for both the GRE and GMAT but never taking either ... and subsequently just needing to ‘get a job’ … which, I did. I sell textbooks. Glamorous, I know.

Breaking it down: It’s actually been a really enjoyable career path. I work for a phenomenal company that really takes care of its employees. I’ve been able to travel all over the US for work and to some more exotic destinations on incentive trips. I have more hotel and airline points that I will probably ever know what to do with, so traveling is always affordable for us. And, working in the publishing world has opened doors for me that I might never have considered otherwise ... blogging, publishing Macaroni Kid, and more.

One thing I know for sure is that I will forever be ruined for any kind of desk job or position that requires set hours or being micromanaged.

How does your reality compare to your predictions? I’d love to host a linky, but I have no idea how to do that and no time to look into it! If you post about this topic, comment below with your link!

2 comments:

  1. I don't think any of us can really predict any of these things. Sounds like you ended up with a pretty great reality!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Totally will post about this when I get back!! :)

    I love that I am not the only one who thought their life would be different! :)

    And I too wanted to move to NYC...and now live only 2.5 hours away from my family. :)

    ReplyDelete