1.16.2013

It's Been 10 Years

It's been almost 10 years since I thought I had it all figured out.   I had been accepted to my college of choice.  I had a boyfriend that I thought was the one.  I had plans of graduating with a degree in journalism and advertising, moving to New York City and figured in 10 years, I would be the lifestyle editor for Instyle on the fast track to editor in chief.  I would be married to that boyfriend and he would probably be the head trainer for the Knicks or the Jets or something.  We'd have 2 kids, a boy and then a girl and with chic style and endless amounts of energy, I would manage it all with a smile on my face.   I would come back to my high school reunion without hesitation, because big time New York editors totally have time to fly across the country to see people they were too shy to talk to in High School.  Yep, I had a pretty awesome plan.
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Then I graduated from college and those big dreams got a little smaller.  A new boy was in my life, and he was "the one" for sure.  We'd been together for almost four years and a proposal was right around the corner.  He planned to continue on and get into the Physical Therapy School.  In just a few short years he's be making tons of money and we could travel the world together, because you know we'd have tons of time off.   I wasn't so sure about having kids anymore, although I didn't admit it to anyone. We'd just have a couple of dogs to keep us company. After a couple of hiccups and degree changes, I graduated with a dual degree in public relations and advertising.  By the time my high school reunion rolled around 6 years later, I was sure I would own my own company and be a self-made success, who spent most of her time traveling with her hubby.  I mean, when you own your own company, you don't really have to work right?  
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Three years later, I was in a tailspin from a serious quarter-life crisis.  I had married "the one" and he decided I wasn't "the one" and we were getting divorced.  Meanwhile, I realized I hated PR and took a job in sales that made me die a little more inside each day.  All of a sudden, I was dying to become a baby-making machine that could rival the Duggars- because you know, getting divorced meant I would never be in love again and and probably die alone.  I was living alone in an apartment I couldn't afford with a surly cat.  Not exactly what I expect my life to look like at 24.  I racked up credit bills like nobodies business trying to buy security, comfort and hope.  I wasn't showing my face at any reunion.  Hi, I'm Ashley.  Divorced, in debt and usually drunk.  No thanks!
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I had almost succumbed to the idea that this was as good as it was going to get, when I decided to give dreaming another shot.  I no longer had a plan.  I just knew that this wasn't it.

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Fast forward another three years.  

Here I sit on my laptop.  I have almost 3 years of non-profit/event management/online fundraising experience- a career that has given me numerous opportunities I never would have imaged when I was 17. I work on a regional level and have fun at my job every day. I write a lifestyle blog, which if you ask me is kind of like a magazine because people subscribe to it and actually choose to read what I have to say.  I have a passion for online communication and social media; mediums that were almost nonexistent 10 years ago.  I am single and not currently dating like my life depends on it, because finally, being single doesn't sound so bad.  I live in California (a place I swore I would never live) in a two-bedroom apartment with a girl I met on craigslist and I love it.  But most importantly, I'm not worried about the future. 10 years later I am absolutely content with the unknown and I can't wait to find out what life has in store for me.

It might be time for my 10 year reunion, but I'm not going to be looking back on what I have or haven't accomplished up until this point. Instead I plan to just enjoy this moment because 10 years went hella fast.

17 comments:

Dani @ Inspire. Motivate. Love. said...

I love this! I absolutely relate to this post 100%. I also graduated 10 years ago, and my life is nothing like I thought it would be, and I may not be "content" but I have decided that isn't exactly my goal anymore. I'm glad you're settling into Cali life. I was really hoping you'd enjoy it! Xoxo

Renee Arianna said...

I can't even express to you how much I love this post. A blog is so much like a lifestyle magazine and this could easily be an article in a real magazine. You should submit it to Lucky. You are such a good writer girl! And you are in Cali? I didn't realize that.

Deborah Owen said...

Wow, I can't even begin to tell you how much this post touched my heart. I'm 56 years "young" and boy do I relate to what you wrote....my life certainly has ended where I thought I would be now, but, you know what? It is exactly where it is supposed to be. My children, my grandchildren....even my pets, wouldn't be here if I had taken a different road. Blessings, Deborah

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Luka, said...

the honesty of this gave me goosebumps.
i absolutely admire and adore your writing, and it effects me much more than most other blogs, simply because you strip down this way from time to time and let others take part in how you grow.
amazing blog and fabulous post. really.

and i read it from a different perspective, because i am basically you ten years ago.

this will keep me thinking today.

~ko said...

Love your blog lady! Love your honesty! :)

Kim (Babyw8) said...

Great post! It made me take a look back on where my life is and where I thought it would be.

ty said...

Love this. Just love. I splattering it all over Twitter.

Brooke said...

Great post, girl! I accept it every day but I love my life and that's all that matters!!

xx BHB said...

Ty sent me here via Twitter -- YOU GO GIRL. It's amazing to see how wonderful things turn out when you loosen up on the reins a bit :) xo

Mandy said...

Seriously this is great! Sometimes I'm really worried that I don't know what I want to do with my future and it sends me into a panic attack. Thanks for the reminder that it's okay to just let life take you somewhere and not worry about the future too much!

Jamie F said...

I also tweeted this post! You just spilled your heart out for everyone to see. I so wish I could do that! Maybe one day I can!

Jessica.Anahi said...

We had similar dreams, I also wanted to move to NYC and be a writer like Carrie Bradshaw but as I grew up I realized that my dreams and goals had changed and living in NYC was now a fantasy of mine. I really like this post, love the fact that you are raw and honest. And that even tho there have been downs in your life you have still managed to find happiness :)

Xoxo Jessica

Stephanie said...

This is seriously one of the best posts I've read in a long time. I feel like my life has been somewhat similar. When we're young we believe that it will be so easy, I'll go to school and get my dream job and everything will work out. Then, life gets in the way. I've dated guys that I thought were 'The One' and when it didn't work out, I swore I'd be alone forever or end up with a guy that I wasn't crazy about.

Now that I'm 26, I work in social media in the Orlando, the city I grew up, no big changes for me! I'm dying to move into non-profit/event management. I've had my eye on the Make A Wish Foundation for awhile and I'm just waiting to make my next move.

I need to learn to get to where you are. Not worrying about the future constantly and enjoying the presence. I'll remember this post when I start to feel anxious! :)

Jennifer said...

It's a Friday Flash Blog! Please share your favorite posting of the week and see what others are talking about at http://www.fridayflashblog.blogspot.com

Cindy C said...

Hey there. I too graduated 10 years ago...and I am no where I thought I would be, so I completely understand. I found you via the GFC Connect Blog Hop and look forward to seeing more content from you.