I try to always set New Years Resolutions. I do it mostly for fun but this January is a milestone for me. I’ll be turning 30.
I know 30 doesn’t seem old to many people, but I thought I’d be further along than I am. I feel like I’m right back at 19. I’m working back in retail (not by choice- I went in to skin care but the highest paying job I found was retail)
All my early adulthood, I wanted to be married, 2 kids, own a home and have my dream career. I’ve been married 7 years, have the two kids (technically 3) but we rent and I work a job- not a career.
At 19, I dropped out of college, got into an abusive relationship and was stuck until I finally got away from him at 21 and ended up homeless. I bounced around from couch to couch and ended up on harder drugs. I finally woke up and cleaned up, moved back with my mom and dad and got a stable job.
At 22, I met my husband. We fell in love fast and were married in 3 months. Our oldest daughter came along a month after we eloped. (we celebrated our 7th anniversary last August, so I definitely do not regret marrying that fast nor that young- he was 10 days past 20 when we eloped and he also has no regrets). At 23, I lost the job I had and went to school- the plan was to take the six month course, graduate then the baby was due shortly after graduation, then I was going to take 6 weeks to recover and start searching for a job. Instead, she came half way through the course and I had to take maternity leave. I went back and graduated almost on time (stacked up hours before and after she was born- it was a 600 hour course) while she was still in the NICU. She had to transfer to a different NICU in a different state right after I graduated so I went on to live in the NICU room (and Ronald McDonald House) with her while my husband and parents visited occasionally but all three worked. During that time, I started loom knitting and making earrings to deal with boredom from being alone while she slept and with the hats, Bethcessories was born but not well thought out. It was just put on Etsy and forgotten. After she came home, we took her out grocery shopping one time, she got sick and ended up in the PICU and on the vent. It was that moment (along with some bad experiences with a few home care nurses) that made me realize I’d be unable to work and put her in daycare and at that time, we were unable to find jobs that would allow us to work around each other’s schedules.
During that time, I found I was unable to get into the local colleges but was able to get the financial aid restriction lifted at the college I left but I’ve had the major issue of- do I want to go into debt for a job that doesn’t pay well but I am passionate about or do I want something I don’t really like much but makes more money?
The logic vs emotion disagreement has had me torn apart and is why I’ve successfully been re accepted 4 times, had almost everything planned out perfectly but then one tiny thing always falls through.
The very last New Year’s Resolution I kept was back on January 2, 2010- I promised myself I’d stay away from all drugs and as of right now, I’m going on 8 years clean. It’s something I’d be proud of- if it was a challenge, but it was my way of dealing with the trauma of what happened to me in those two years and lasted such a short time, it was very much against everything I have ever stood for and due to my nature, I know I’ll never be tempted to go back. It feels like it threw off my life path and since then, I’ve lived in regret and even shame that it happened. I know it’s me holding myself back from my goals but it feels like that one year threw me off so bad.
Most of what I have wanted to do ended up being dead end or low paying.
My cousin got a Bachelors in what I was originally wanting to get into (interior design), spent a year out of college (my senior year of high school) and couldn’t find a single job- back when the economy was better so I changed my mind.
I started off in communications (journalism) then switched to marketing before I dropped out.
My first job was writing for the local newspaper in a teen section they had weekly. I loved going to the meetings, doing the interviews and writing the articles. I had a friend who did it professionally (a huge dream) but it was lower paying. I went to beauty school to get into make up artistry (it’s always been a dream to either write for a fashion magazine or work behind the scenes at a runway show, now I’m too old to get into that. I’d be in my mid 30s by the time I graduated and I’m sure most places want an early 20 something fresh out of school to intern and I only studied skin, most make up artists need to be able to do hair as well, I believe)
I’ve read so many blogs and articles on so many different websites that seem to reinforce the fact that women are pretty much useless both career or otherwise after they hit the mid 20s, that what you make in your 20s is the highest you’ll make and if you’re not lined up to move up in your career by the time you’re 30, you’re screwed so it does kind of give me the mind set of “why bother?” I wouldn’t say I wasted my 20s. I loved staying at home with my oldest, I wanted kids young and the biological clock is a real thing but now I’m out of that stage (I very happily signed to be sterilized after my third c section) and as my youngest gets older, I’m thinking more seriously about career (the plan- first kids and focus on education then focus on building career while kids are older and in school. I didn’t want to have to freeze a career for 6 weeks to go on maternity leave- it happened when I was in a salon and it killed the career I was starting to build but I also wasn’t a proper fit in that particular salon)
People always tell me to not plan so rigidly- that life always throws curves into plans, but trying to have a plan is one of the best ways my ADHD mind is able to focus.
I had another plan to have my main work ready to send to try to get traditionally published by the time I was 30. Thanks to my OCD perfectionist personality, I literally spent 4 years editing the same 3 pages and am no closer to finishing it than I was when I finished the rough draft (the story is fully written from front to back- but I want this one traditionally published so I want it perfect). Once again, I had friends who have been published telling me I needed to stop being so hard on my work, stop overthinking and to not have such high standards for myself. My new goal is to have it ready by 35. I actually have several others started (thanks to Nanowrimo- a fun challenge I do every November)
I’m not sure why I’m writing this, I have severe anxiety over turning 30 and I guess I need to just get it out.