Planning for your dreams to look different than you expected
Hehe, no, I never pictured myself as a marshmallow girl. I never imagined I’d work for myself. I never really thought I’d move back to Vermont. I didn’t plan any of this.
That said, I’ve never relied much on blueprints. If you asked me, “well, what DID you picture for yourself at 31?” I’d probably answer, “hm, Iunno!” There’ve been a few milestones where it was like, “huh, when I pictured myself at X age, I pictured having X, Y, and Z, and I don’t.” There’d be a small rearing of shame-failure-?-?-I’m-doing-it-wrong-!-!-!-feels, always followed by a humble, “hold on, am I ready for any of that? If I had it right now, would I actually feel happy?” The answers were hard nopes.
I’ve held steady, in part to justify my own job-hopping, continent-hopping, version-of-myself-hopping, that your 20s should be for learning what you don’t want. For whittling away everything that’s not truly You. For trying on and shedding as many skins as you can. For. Playing. With. This. Avatar!
I’m not saying don’t have goals, I’m not saying you don’t already know what your dreams are. I /am/ saying the only thing you can really plan for is the space for your dreams to look totally different than you ever expected. I’ve got five words (love, adventure, spaciousness, harmony, and growth) that I use to guide me. If those five words feel ticked off, then I know I’m successful (I revise this list once a year, per the "growth" piece of it all!). I know I’m “making it,” no matter what it looks like.
Your life isn’t gonna follow your blueprint, so get less attached to how things look and pay more attention to how things make you feel. You might already be way closer than you think.