The bug finally bit me! I haven’t shared a Becoming Bella post in a while (I start every BB post with that, don’t I?! LOL), but man oh man have I had some things to get off my chest and into the world. Some recent lessons, failures, triumphs, and ah-ha moments that will hopefully make their way to the ears of those who need to hear them…
Life, you guys. What is life? What is the right way to do life? My life is anything but traditional. It’s fairly inconsistent, it’s not exactly “stable”, and it’s so far from the norm. I never in a million years imagined that I’d be where I am today. I made a timeline when I was in college (on a piece of paper…literally a physical timeline) mapping out the acceptable age range for every major milestone:
- 21-22: Get a cool job! At Cosmo or UsWeekly (I wanted to be Andie Anderson and LOVED celeb gossip)
- 22-24: Eligible for engagement. (I vividly remember using the word “eligible” LOFL. Omg.)
- 24-25: Get married & buy a house (25yo home owner…ambitious)
- 25-27: Have first child (Okay…)
- 27-29: Have second child (Two?!)
- 31-33: Have third child (HOLD YOUR HORSES GF!)
What was I doing at that time…
Guess what I don’t have right now:
A traditional “job”, a house, a husband, or 3 children.
And in the weirdest most bizarre freaking way…I know I wasn’t supposed to have those things already. It has taken me so, so long to learn to trust the timing of my life and it’s the most frustrating, aggravating, irritating, hair-pulling thing I’ve ever done. I’ve always been someone who wants something and goes for it, someone who makes things happen for herself. What I’ve come to realize is the big things in life…a fulfilling career, a happy husband, a beautiful home, and a few children aren’t the things I can just “make happen”. Those things take a little more time, at least to be done in the way that I want them to be.
Society puts everyone, especially women, under so much pressure. Which is unfortunate. If I told you that being an unmarried 29 year old woman with no children was easy, I would be LYING. Everybody kind of expects that of you at this point. Now my personal life isn’t something I usually dive into because …it’s personal lol. But I do feel that there are a lot of women in similar boats who probably feel the same way. There really shouldn’t be any shame in the situation, but shame is something I’ve felt many times before. And don’t get me wrong…talk of marriage, our own home, and children is not off the table, it’s something that is actively discussed with my partner. We’re on the same page; it’s hard, but important to remember that that’s the only thing that matters. It’s our life, our timeline, and we’re doing things our way.
In turn, we’ve both been able use this time selfishly. I’ve been able to build a little business doing something that I absolutely love. Something that is rapidly growing, and proving to be a sustainable career. When I look back at my proposed “timeline” and think of where that life would have led me, I cringe. Because in this strange way, even back then, I knew I wanted more.
And please let me state that that there is nothing wrong with that timeline or “the norm”…absolutely nothing at all. There are so many people who are completely content with their lives and I admire them…because at the end of the day, we are all seeking the same thing. Of course health and financial stability are key players, but I think the most difficult thing to attain is happiness. It doesn’t matter if you want to be a superstar, an admin, a CEO, or a stay at home Mom, if you’re happy, you’ve done life right. It’s just taken me a little longer to realize what my happy was going to be.
When I look back at my life thus far, I know that things are playing out as they’re meant to. Someone has a bigger plan for me and it’s being put into action. Maybe the things I thought I always wanted weren’t the only things I was meant to have.
Like everyone, I have up and down days. Unfortunately, when you’re working towards dreams that seem larger than life your up days feel like a Super Bowl win and your down days feel like …death. Balancing those emotions can be hard, but most days I wake up first and foremost feeling grateful. Grateful for my health, my family, a handful of the most kind and supportive friends, a loving boyfriend who is truly my number 1, a safe place to live, the ability to pay my bills, and the opportunity to spend my days doing something that I love.
It’s important to know that everyone’s cards don’t align at the same pace. Your deck may have stacked perfectly at 25. Someone else’s may be lost in the junk drawer. Mine was about a quarter of the way assembled when I decided to throw the whole thing on the floor and play 52 pick up. And that is okay, it really, really is.
My entire life my Mom has told me that I was her slow and steady child. I wasn’t the very best, or the very first, but I was persistent. And I think that continuing to have persistence and patience is going to lead me to my ultimate happiness, scratch that…I know it is. 🙂
If you are feeling a little lost in life, a little stuck, a little uninspired, I really encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone and do something about it. You have every opportunity at your fingertips, you have the ability to create a life that you love, and you deserve to find your happy. Maybe you think it’s too late, but that’s never the case…it has taken you this long for a reason. You weren’t ready then, but you can be ready now. Trust the timing of your life!
It’s honestly so difficult hitting publish on these posts, but this is actually my life right now …and I think it’s really important to be honest and share some of the things that I’ve struggled with because I know so many other women struggle with them too. I don’t want to be afraid to start a discussion or offer a word of encouragement, we’re all in this together!
I love you guys and appreciate your friendships and support so, so much.
Inspiring indeed Mz Amanda !!
You made me remember my list when I expected to have by now I still laugh at it but I enjoy the journey of self acceptance and trusting your own path great post
Oh my goodness, I am so glad I wasn’t the only person with a LIST!! Thank you so much for reading, I’m glad you’ve learned to trust your journey. It’s something I wish more people preached, it would have saved us a lot of stress..and list making LOL. XOXO 🙂
Ahhh this made me tear up! I couldn’t possibly relate any more! I had a VERY similar timeline, and I can remember going through a breakup at 23 (23!!!) and thinking it was the end of the world because my timeline was all messed up. Obviously I had no idea how much better life was going to get, and things work themselves out for all the right reasons! You are such an inspiration and I’m so thankful for your blog. Somehow you always manage to hit the nail on the head, and put out the most relevant and meaningful content. I swear, if I could only follow one blog, it would be yours! xoxo
You’re so sweet, Dana. This comment is literally why I wanted to share this post! I’ve had so many discussions with girlfriends about “the timeline” and not feeling like we’re where we should be, and it’s just craziness. Everything really does happen for a reason and once you just accept that things will eventually fall into place, you can get back to making sure you’re spending your days becoming the best version of yourself. Thank you so much for your sweet words and consistent support, I feel like we’re so similar and I love your feedback! I hope we can meet up one day, I feel like we’d be great friends! 🙂 XOXO
YES i would love that! <3
I’m so happy you shared this! I love hearing about your fabulous life and your struggles – nobody ever did anything great by just sitting there! Thanks for opening up this part of your life with us. And thanks for exuding your encouragement out into the world so we can be great too 🙂
I have a couple YouTubes about similar issues coming up but the videos load so slowly that maybe you can watch them when you’re my age 😉
Thank you so much Kristin!! Life isn’t always as fabulous as it seems, and it’s unfair to let people think that it is. I’m just a normal girl who’s chosen to share a bit of my life with the world. I almost feel a responsibility to be honest and open because we all go through the same things! I’m so grateful for your support and so proud of you for starting to make your videos! We all need to go for it – there’s nothing to lose! I cannot wait to watch your videos on this topic when they’re live! Hopefully soon!!! haha XOXO
I can finally get your notifications yay hahaha! We totally need to go for it! <3
LOVE THIS! I struggle with letting go and letting God or letting life happen. I always have, but where i am now vs. where i was 5 years ago are so different and exactly where i wanted to end up, but i just struggle with being patience. i’ve gotten better at it, but it’s a constant battle, some days are good and some aren’t, like you said.
Consistency and persistence are definitely the keys to success! I love your BB posts, keep em coming girl!
I’m so happy for you, Fatima! You really do just have to let go. Patience really is one of the most difficult attributes to have, but it’s crucial. Just wait to see how much your life changes in the next 5 years! Don’t be so worried about the destination, just enjoy the journey. XOXO
I love this post and your open honesty. You are so beautiful and inspirational, successful, ambitious … I’m certain that many women look at you and see someone with a perfect life. It’s comforting to know we all struggle with hopes, dreams, desires, and the fact that we simply cannot control everything. I remember when I was first married, I had a timeline as well for having children, buying that dream home, being able to be a stay-at-home mom. Not one thing transpired that way. My husband and I never had children, his career took a downward turn for several years before turning around, and we are still not even sure where we want to spend the rest of our lives, so no dream home yet. I just turned 54 in October, and you know what, I’m thankful every day for the way my life has played out so far. I believe it’s unfolding the way it was meant to, because so many wonderful things have come my way that wouldn’t have otherwise. You are wise beyond your years, Amanda. We really do have to trust the timing of our lives.
Thank you so much for this, Connie. It’s crazy to think that the things that I have “planned” for one day still may never even become a reality, but it’s all about the journey and understanding that the way our lives play out is the way that they’re meant to. My life is far from perfect, and I feel like it’s important to share that. You are such a sweet person, surely the most wonderful wife, and I’m positive that the children you do have in your life are so grateful for you! When you realize what a gift it is to simply wake up in the morning it really makes everything else seem so small. Thanks for always being so kind and supportive! I appreciate you so much! XOXO
This is so beautiful!! I love your transparency & I loved hearing about how you’ve found what you loved/needed instead of what you wanted way back then. I’m kind of feeling like that now, I’m trying to find out where I really want to go from here!
Thank you Kristen, I’m so, so glad you enjoyed this post! It’s hard to figure out what you want and where you ultimately want to go at this point in life. I’m sure my path will change directions quite a few more times! But I hope whichever way you’re headed, it’s towards something that makes you happy and excited! Take this time to be a little selfish, explore your passions, and work on becoming the best version of yourself. If you’re happy, confident, and determined…everything else will fall into place from there. Thanks for the kind words!! XO
Love this post!! Your honesty is sooooo real. As a twenty something myself, I am right there with you. You are not alone! Keep it up, sis!
Ahh thank you so much Rachel!! I do and don’t wish I could re-do my twenties. I just wish I hadn’t wasted so much time stressing about things that were out of my control and focused more on the things that I could change! Enjoy your twenties and use them selfishly!! XO
Ok…Im not gunna cry, I’m not gunna cry…
So relatable. Thanks for being brave enough to write out what I feel like all sometimes categorize as ‘never mind, I’m just being crazy’ 😜 hoping everything comes together for you perfectly, when the time is right, and you (and all of us) can find peace in the process, and some fun!
You’re so sweet!!!! It’s definitely kind of uncomfortable and scary putting these posts out there, but I know so many girls feel this way…I don’t know why people don’t talk about it more! You’re not crazy, I’m not crazy, we’re just living in a world that expects us to do XYZ by 123 and it’s just not feasible. I hope everything comes together perfectly for you as well. We all need to be better about enjoying the process… tomorrow’s not even promised so why do we bother freaking out about it!? LOL thanks for the kind comment gf! XO
Amanda, this was such an inspiring post. Sometimes, we need to step back and count our blessings and it put everyyything into perspective. I thought I’d be living in NYC or California doing a cool big shop at 30 and here I am 10 min from where I grew up.. lol. Nothing ever goes according to ‘plan’ and that’s a beautiful thing. You are such a smart, beautiful person and your writing inspires people Xoxoxo
girls dinner soon 🙂
Aw thanks so much Jamie!! It’s so true though, it is wayyyy too easy to get caught up in those thoughts instead of focusing on all of the amazing things we do have! I think you’re doing life just right, and admire you for being a fabulous working Mom who’s still following some of her dreams too! Thanks for being an awesome friend, I’d love to grab dinner soon!! 🙂 XOXO
I love this, thanks for sharing! I remember having a timeline like that when I was younger. I would tell myself “okay, I’m going to meet my future husband in college and be together for a few years before getting engaged. Then I’ll need a year to plan the wedding.” etc. I’m a tiny bit older than you and I still feel like I have no idea what I’m doing. I’ve mentioned it a few times before in passing on my blog too. My full-time, “real” job is teaching and while I like it and I love my students it’s not something I’m super passionate about. Anddd my love life is always a joke (haha) so I really feel like everything is up in the air and I’m stuck in life! Especially when most of my friends are married now with kids or engaged. It’s definitely hard!
Thank you for sharing this Jamie! It just makes me so upset that women have to feel this way!! As “old” as I feel sometimes, I know I’m still very young, and I’m sure you are too! It sounds like you have a lot to be thankful for and once you take the pressure off yourself and just work towards un-sticking yourself, everything else will fall into place. I truly believe it! I totally know how it feels to be surrounded by the engaged, the married, and the parents, but I just try to turn it into a positive and realize that because I don’t have those things yet I can still do XYZ! And you can too. 🙂 Thank you so much for reading, I know life is playing out just as it’s meant to for you! XO
Slow and steady ALWAYS wins the race. Your hard work, dedication, and persistence inspire me everyday. You are a winner Beautiful. Always have been and always will be. So proud to be your mom ❤️
I love you so much!! Thank you for being my right hand woman and helping me make everything happen!! XOXO
I love this!! You are so inspiring! I too had a list when I was younger, just not in physical form. It was in my head. I thought for sure I was going to marry my high school sweetheart, get married around 22, buy a nice house, have kids, and a great job. And looking back I am SO thankful my life didn’t turn out that way! I love your B.B. posts, because it’s nice to know other people are feeling the same way as me!!
Thank you so much for this Colleen! It’s really just crazy how skewed our view of life is at 18/19! So many of us feel like that’s the only path to take and while many of us obviously want to go down that road, it doesn’t always work out that way so quickly! I’m glad you’re happy to be where you are in life right now, I am too! And just look at it this way, the best is yet to come! 🙂 Thanks for reading, I’m glad you enjoy my BB posts!! XO