Expectations vs. Reality: Life at 25 in NYC
One of my favorite USA bloggers, Sivan Ayla, created a blog post about expectations vs. reality of where her life would be at age 30. I loved the blog post because it made me self-reflect on my own expectations vs reality. Where I thought my life would be vs. now is VERY different at 25 years old. Some parts better than I could of imagined, and some parts I am still working on. I didn't have the best concept of money, lifestyle, relationships, etc. because I didn't know what I didn't know. Simple as that.
I thought I would share my own expectations vs. reality of my life (thanks for the inspiration, Sivan!!):
Living in New York City
Expectation: Growing up, I knew I always wanted to move to New York City to start my career after college. I created scenarios in my head for how I would get there, the kind of career I would have and when I wanted to achieve my goals by.
Reality: I made it to NYC, but not right after college. When I received my job offer out of college, it was for Columbus, OH. Money was good, so I accepted the job offer and moved to Columbus. I never imagined myself living in the Midwest...it was always NYC on my mind. After networking internally, NYC was closer than I thought. After one month, I was approved for a transfer to NYC, and one month after the approval, I was living in NYC.
Working in Fashion
Expectation: When I graduated from high school, I wanted to go to University of Arizona to study Retail and become a buyer in NYC.
Reality: Hahahaha ok this one turned out very different. I DID study Retailing (& Consumer Sciences) at the University of Arizona, but when I tried out an internship at a retailer in NYC, it was not what I imagined. It was more analytical and not as much negotiating as I imagined. I learned by the end of the summer I needed a new career. Now, I am at a large consulting firm, in the Resources group focusing on Talent & Organization. I always thought I would know exactly what I wanted to do with my career, but I am still figuring it out. I like the focus of Talent & Organization because it relates to the end users needs, wants, changes....just like a fashion consumer. Always changing demands and trying to keep up with them. I am not sure if I love the industry yet, but we'll see where life takes me.
Expectations: I remember thinking, "Who cares about dating in college. I want to wait to meet someone in NYC because most of the people at University of Arizona want to stay in Arizona or West Coast. No chance of meeting someone here, so don't waste my time."
Reality: About 2 months after coming to this expectation, I met Dan. I still remember the conversation with him telling me about wanting to live in the Big Apple one day, but didn't know exactly the kind of job yet. I loved that we both had the NYC aspiration, and being so motivated to make big money in NYC one day. Five years later, we are still together, and after moving back and forth between NYC and Maryland, he is FINALLY moving back to NYC permanently!! Over the moon excited to have him back for good. I never thought I would have an extremely easy, fun and positive relationship like the one Dan and I have. He's my best friend.
Expectations: I always thought I could eat whatever I wanted, and would not jump in weight.
Reality: Since graduating from college, it's been HARD to manage a healthy diet. Between all the traveling, and not cooking at home too often, it's been harder for me to make healthier food decisions. I didn't realize how active of a lifestyle I lived in high school and college compared to post grad life, and I am still struggling to find my balance to adding more activity in my day to get back to my ideal weight.
Budgeting my Money
Expectations: Saving will be easy because I will make more than minimum wage and have a salary!
Reality: HA. So hard. Even with a salary, saving is so hard. Sometimes I wonder what my bank account would look like if I didn't live in NYC - I (hopefully) wouldn't be paying expensive rent, ordering overpriced food, and visiting trendy experiences. I keep telling myself I'm only 25, and when I want to settle down with more space, that is when I can move out of the city and really save more....but then again, life doesn't sound as exciting as living outside of NYC....so we shall see what happens.
Reality: I was so focused on landing the best job and ending up in NYC. Once I got here, I was bored. I would work, work, work all day, then sit at home and watch Netflix. After 2 weeks, I thought I should try working out everyday after work and get that SKINNY BODY! I did that for 2 weeks, then got bored. I felt like I needed more meaning to my life. I started looking for a blogger on Instagram and Pinterest to suggest fun things to do in the city, that was my age and was money-conscious. A lot of bloggers at the time consistently were posting photos in their latest designer bag, but I wasn't close to being able to afford the lifestyle they illustrated. I needed someone relatable. I looked for awhile, but couldn't find anyone.
I never thought of myself as a writer, but thought....why not go for it and see what happens. Two years later, my blog has grown tremendously, and I'm so proud to see how far it's come since creating it from scratch. When I talk to friends or co-workers about work life balance, starting my blog is my answer. It allows me to think about something outside of work, and collaborate with my love for Retail. I have no idea where this blog will take me, but so far, happiness and joy sounds perfect to me.
Have your expectations vs. the reality of how life ended up go according to plan? Share your thoughts in the comments below!