LFL's Anniversary Blogging Celebration!

What 26 Was Gonna Be Like, As Told by a *Naïve* 22-Year-Old.

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Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!

So, here’s a funny story.

When I was younger, and not that much younger but seriously YOUNGER, ya girl had plans. You see, I was 22-years-old, in 2016, living the best life I could possibly live, making plans for my future like some big, ambitious hot-shot. I was wrapping up college, I was going to grad school right after, I was in a serious relationship, and I was trying to think where I wanted to be by the time I turned 26.

I told myself the following:

  • First and foremost, I expected to have a working career, even though I never had a job in my life at the time. I thought by the time I turned 24 and graduated with a master’s degree, employers were going to crawl to me and beg me to work for them, and just instantly get a career that I loved. At the time, I wanted to do screenwriting, which I planned that with film school hopefully in the works, I’d be making films and all that jazz. Yep, living the dream.
  • I also wanted to get engaged by the time I was 26. In my mind, 26 seemed like the right age to make such a major decision like that, that I was so ready to settle down and marry the man of my dreams; which I guessed could’ve happened because the relationship was a serious one, but still – I thought I would’ve been engaged by then. If I got engaged before that, like from 23 to 25, then I wanted to be married by the time I was 26. In this relationship, I was in that mindset that I was ready to settle down with the man I was with, so I just thought that 26 was a good age to do so.
  • When I was so in love with that relationship, I had thoughts about even having children by the time I was 26. I didn’t want kids at first but discussing things like that with my former partner, it was something that I wouldn’t mind happening with that man. I was crazy in love, indeed. Again, it was in reference to my mother and how life was planned out for her; she had my sister when she was 25, and to my 22-year-old mind, I thought that was mature and an adult-like age to do things like that.
  • I also thought I’d be out of my mother’s place, possibly living with my then-partner or with a roommate or something. Then again, I thought that I was capable of moving out when I was 18, but man was I fooled! At 22, I just thought that 26 was still “too old” to be living in the same roof as my family, whether or not the rent was (and still is) stupid high.

Being at 25, I realize how ridiculous and high these expectations were for me. Of course, always aim high, but at 22, I didn’t realize just how much more growing up I needed to do. Of course, at 22 I didn’t know where exactly I’d be when I celebrate my 26th birthday, but it’s nowhere even close to where I thought it was going to be. At 25, I’m single, I don’t have anyone sliding in the DMs nor do I want anyone doing so, I know I don’t want to have kids and accepted that, and marriage is something I don’t see myself being in even in the next 4 years of my twenties. At 25, I learned a lot about life since I made those plans. Also, life just happens, and sometimes the things you work for just don’t happen for you and instead bring you other opportunities to discover things that feel more like you. Although I didn’t go to film school, I found my passions in writing flourish through rhetoric and writing composition, which lead me to the place and path I’m on now! Although I didn’t get engaged, married, or had a kid (THANK GOD), I found out that some of the things that I thought I wanted were not things I wanted for me as a person, but for me as a person who was in a relationship. And lastly, although I don’t live in my own place, I still have money to do the things I want to do like travel and explore the world; just living my damn 20’s!

So, this is how I’m truly entering my 26th year:

  • I work at my old college’s bookstore and I love it. I get to help college students get their textbooks as smooth and efficient as possible, which is just the start of my mission towards my career. I plan to stay in academia, maybe teach one day, but I truly become an academic advisor! Although I don’t have the experience to do so (yet), just working at a college is a good start. I also really like my job.
  • I’m not in a relationship anymore, which means all the relationship things I planned didn’t happen, and I’m perfectly fine by that. People just outgrow each other, and sometimes things just don’t work out. Since being out of the relationship, I’ve had the time to focus my energy on myself, which gives me a better understanding of who I am, what I want, and where I’d like to be. As of right now, I don’t want to enter a new relationship; I just want to get to know myself, travel, live my life, and challenge myself to new and better things in life.
  • I live at home because the rent is expensive and I’m just starting my life. I just started to make my own money, and I still have so many things to do because I get a place and have to spend my money on bills and such. I’m not ready for all of that, and that’s fine! Living in NYC is hard on your own, and I know I’m just not ready to try to be a complete adult and live on my own. The time will come, but it ain’t coming anytime soon.
  • I’m planning to go on my first airborne trip! This would be my first time ever on an airplane, and it would be to Florida to see Tori, one of my closest friends in my life. She moved to Florida last summer, and I’ve told myself that when she settles into a place with her fiancee and her dog, Sasha, I was going to visit her. We’re hoping for a March trip, so hopefully, the blog will be getting a travel diary within a couple of months!

There’s still so much life I feel like I need to live before I do any of those “plans” I had planned for myself. I’m not sad, nor upset that my life didn’t go as planned, it happens and everything happens for a reason. So here I am, 25 and 2 days away from 26, living my life the way it was planned out for me, by me, as I got older.

At least 22 was optimistic… too optimistic.

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