Planning For Life

At 23 years old, I often feel like I should have more of a purpose, direction, or plan. I know that 23 is still pretty young, but it won’t last forever, and there’s still so much I want to do. I’ve touched on this theme before, but it’s weighing on my mind again.

I work full time. I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it (usually). I took a break from theater to get my house in order, and it will get there, slowly but surely. But I feel like there’s so much to do in my LIFE and I don’t know when to do it all.

Here’s some of what I want to do:
– Go back to school and get some kind of degree in something!
– Get married
– Have or adopt kids
– Find a job that I love
– Move somewhere new
– Travel

I have long wanted to work in events. I love acting, but I don’t think that’s where I’m meant to make a living! I love photography, but I don’t know enough to work in that field (yet). Events (or public relations, marketing, etc) seem like the perfect place for me to use my creative AND practical sides. It just so happens that David’s sister feels the same way. In fact, she recently got a great job working events. We have talked a lot about opening our own event-planning business, and I really love the idea.

I would like to at least get my associates degree (if my past credits transfer, it wouldn’t take THAT long) in business. It seems like the program at MATC has a lot of practical courses on starting your own business. That would help both of us out.

The big time thing to me is kids. I think I want them. I’m 99.9999% sure I do. I think David is almost as sure as I am. I don’t know if I want to have my own or adopt. Either way, 30 seems like a deadline there. Sure, I could probably push it to 35 for bio kids. Could I adopt up to 40? Probably, but I don’t know that I’d want to. 30 seems like a good time. Not too old, not too young. I want to be able to keep up with a baby or two! Plus, I’m too selfish with my time right now to even have PETS, let alone kids!!

The “problem” I run into while trying to think about where my life is going and what I should be planning for, is that there are SO many things I want to do before I have kids!!

My degree should definitely be done before kids. I will obviously be married before having kids.

David and I have talked a lot about picking up and moving somewhere. Just for the heck of it! To experience a new city, to start a life together, to get out there and try something new, to go on an adventure! We’ve done a lot of casual browsing, taking “Where Should I Live” quizzes, etc. We’ve thought of Portland OR, Richmond VA, Baltimore MD, and many others. We like the feel of Milwaukee, but want something a little different. Of course, my dream is Chicago or New York, but David doesn’t like the thought of living in those places.

My current obsession is Lexington or Louisville KY. I know, I know… Kentucky??? What am I thinking? Well, my dad recently came back from a road trip where he visited some friends in Louisville. He could not stop raving about how nice of a city it is. He literally said “I want to move there!” I could barely take him seriously. I mean, it’s Kentucky! But after seeing pictures and browsing the Wikipedia and Craigslist pages, it doesn’t look that bad. They’re on a similar scale as Milwaukee. They’re not TOO far from home (Lexington is about 8 hours from Milwaukee). They are affordable and plenty of major corporations call one of those cities home. They’re safe. They have tons of art and history and culture. They both have summer festivals. And lots of theater. They look pretty good! Don’t believe me? Read their Wikipedia pages (linked above).

Ideally, we’d like to try out a new city for maybe a year or two. If we like it, we stay. If not, we move back to Milwaukee. I want to do this before we have kids for many reasons. But after we’re married. But then what does that say for the hopes of an event planning businesss?

I was thinking about going back to school in the fall. But how will that affect my debt-free goal? They say that student-loan debt is “good debt” and hopefully with a degree, I’d be able to get a job that pays more than my current one. But still. I am really against owing ANYTHING right now, and I don’t want to think about making more payments to anyone.

Also, how am I supposed to justify saving up buttloads of money for a wedding, when that money COULD be going to student loans? Argghh!

If money didn’t get in the way, I’d go back to school in the fall. At most, I’d be done in two years. At that point I’d get or be married. We’d take a kick-ass honeymoon somewhere exotic. Then we’d look for a job in the city of our choice, and move there for about two years. At this point it would be 2012 and I would be around 28. Perfect time to settle down in Milwaukee and do the kid-thing (close to family aka built-in-babysitters). Having kids seems like the ideal time to kick start a home business.

Even if I don’t start that plan for another year, to save money, or what not, I’ll be around 29 when I’m ready for settling down/kid time. That’s not too bad. I’ve thought that my life might be over once I have kids, but I don’t think that has to be the case. I’m sure my mom or David’s sister would be willing to baby sit while we went on vacation. And when they’re older, they could come along.

This is all pretty overwhelming. I like to live in the moment and be spontaneous. I don’t want to plan everything out. But I also don’t want to turn 30 and feel trapped or feel like I didn’t do anything with my young years or like my dreams of adventure can’t be achieved.



10 Responses to “Planning For Life”

  1. CaptainNeeda Says:

    I can really relate to this post as 4 of the things are the best things I ever did in my life. On top of the list is having a child. I had mine at 30 and it gave me a lot of time in my life to enjoy being single & enjoy being married. Now that I have a baby I can’t imagine loving anyone more. But I also am glad that I took the time to really enjoy NOT having one if you know what I mean. (Sleep is never the same after you get pregnant.)

    The second biggest thing for me was getting my degree. It took me 7 years to finish college so I know where you are coming from. I floated in and out of colleges, lost credits like they were pennies in my pocket, and just didn’t take it seriously. And in the meantime the loans racked up. I’m so glad I got my degree, I could not be prouder of myself. I just wish I had done it more efficiently.

    The other thing on your list that I highly recommend people do is move around. Living in one city your whole life really limits your viewpoint and experiences. I moved around TOO much but I’m still glad I know what it’s like to be a southerner, a westerner, and a midwesterner. Sometimes it’s just fun to start over.

    Oh yeah, and being married is pretty great too.
    Sorry for the book. You just got me thinking!

  2. CaptainNeeda Says:

    Also, on adoption: my aunt & uncle adopted their first child this year (Joel on my blog). They are in their mid-40s. And loving it.

  3. tashamort Says:

    Apology accepted, Captain Needa.

    Hahaha, seriously.. thanks for telling me all this! I am definitely enjoying my baby-free existence, but I know the time will come when I am ready for one. You have just added fuel to my fire in making me want really go out and DO all of this! It’s really inspiring to know that you have and had similar goals and were able to accomplish it and be a happy, healthy adult with a family!

    And that is so great about your aunt & uncle. It’s good to know that the baby-time doesn’t end at 30!

  4. Sierra Says:

    Well, you DO know that the world is ending in 2012 anyway, right??? I kid.

    Really though, good for you for at least thinking this out. I think a lot of people go through life without a real plan or goals and suddenly wake up at 40 and think “where did my life go?”. While 40 isn’t old, there is a LOT of living for me to do in the next 15 years before I get there. There will always be the “what abouts..” and the “what ifs…”, but that’s life. This is life–it’s your life. Only you can decide what is best for you and how to make it work. Sometimes, you have to go out and LIVE it to find out what makes it work. It can be so easy to fall into the rut of the daily grind and, every once in a while, it’s good to take a step back and look at the big picture of your life so that you DON’T end up as the guy who wondered where your life went. If you want to move, do it. If you hate it, you can always come back, but at least you tried it and knew what it was like instead of always wondering. 🙂 Kids and marriage aren’t so easy to change/get rid of if it doesn’t work out, though. FYI.

  5. Julia Says:

    Ah yes, the popular ‘kids by 30’ idea. That was me, too, at 23…with a long list like yours to accomplish before. Who knows if we’ll get to that point in the next 3 years, but enjoy the moment NOW. It’s fun to daydream about the future milestones but don’t miss out on what you have now, either.

    That is my tidbit of wisdom as a wise 27 year old.

  6. CaptainNeeda Says:

    omg i love you for saying that line. i didn’t even see that coming.

  7. louisville help wanted Says:

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  8. Brooke Says:

    I agree with Sierra that it’s good to have a plan. But don’t forget to keep an open mind and be flexible.

    Five years ago, I never would have guessed I’d be living in Milwaukee. I probably didn’t even know where Milwaukee was. I figured I’d be some young, successful lawyer in some big city like Chicago or Boston.

    And then I got engaged, and I knew I’d be in Milwaukee. I thought I’d get a good job right out of school, and we’d pay off our loans quickly, and we could buy a house within a few years of graduation. Ha! I now have a job that I like, and we are going to be free of credit card debt by October, but student loans paid off and a house? Sooooo not happening anytime soon. I always assumed I’d want kids a few years after getting married. Except that now I think I might hate children. A lot. Also, I swore I’d never got back to school, but now I kind of think I want to get an English degree and work in publishing instead of law.

    So my advice is…plan ahead, have goals, work hard. But be flexible and don’t freak out if life in 5 years is NOTHING like you planned.

  9. choke2509 Says:

    I agree with Brooke. It’s seem a long term plan and hard to go on perfectly but keep in mind ” you can if you want”…..go!!!!

  10. msoj Says:

    I really like the fact that you simply HAVE ideas!

    Whether they ever come to fruition or not really IS secondary.

    Somebody with thoughts or plans about specifics really does have a jump on someone with no ideas… even if it merely relates to driving around Milwaukee with no particular place to go.

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