Did your life turn out the way you thought it would?

I don’t mean, did it turn out the way you wanted it to. I mean, are you where you thought you would be at this age?

When I was 24, I envisioned a completely different life for myself at 42 than the one I’m living now. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; I’m just wondering if I’m the exception or the rule.

And I’m not just talking about possessions; it could involve successes, conquests, status achievement, money in the bank, community service, creation of a family, gobs of friends, traveling the world, whatever.

So, are you where you thought you’d be?

Way, way better. Excellent kids, great husband, ok career. 30 years ago I wanted an excellent career, ok husband and didn’t care about kids at all.

I got what I didn’t really want and am thankful every day. :cool:

Yeah, pretty much.

I actually thought I’d be married by now, and own my own home, but I made some decisions along the way that put those things off for awhile.

Career-wise, person-wise, interests, money, travel… yeah, those are all the way I want(ed) them to be.

I’ll take care of the wife and house when I find the right one(s). No worries. :slight_smile:

At twenty, all I thought about was sex and physics.

I thought I was going to be much hotter shit than I am, professionally speaking.

And that I’d be having much, much more sex.

On the other hand, I have more social skills and am more physically fit than I ever thought I would be.

But careerwise, I’m basically doing the basic sort of stuff I thought I’d be doing, just at a slower-publishing rate. :wink:

Good grief, no. Overall, things are much, much better than I ever thought they’d be. In my early 20’s I made a few decisions that touched every aspect of my life. I had good reason to believe that these decisions, while necessary and correct for me, would also ensure that I would never have a comfortable, ordinary life.

I was wrong. I don’t know why - hard work, the grace of G-d, sheer happenstance, supportive family, or all of the above - but I have a shockingly ordinary life. I found something I’m good at (even if I don’t enjoy it much), and it pays decently. I have a loving partner. My family likes me.

Basically, anything I expected was wrong. I’m working in a field that has nothing to do with what I studied. Instead, I’ve been successful (if unsatisfied) working in IT (I, who shunned computers as a kid). I married someone whom I found terribly attractive and romantic, and was divorced within a couple of years. Instead I’m heading into year 17 with my tremendously supportive and forgiving partner (whom I initially thought was funny-looking and, well, strange).

I’m having a much better time at 48 than I thought would have been possible. I used to have so little. Now I have so much it’s almost embarrassing. I am a lucky man and I know it. This is my payback for all the other stuff I went through to get here. I like to think it is, anyway.

I’m 36 years old. When I was in college I thought that someday I would have a lucrative career and be married with children, driving a nice car and living in a nice suburban home. Sadly, that never came to be. I was never good with any of the few women I dated and thus never even came close to any prospects of marriage. At age 30 I decided to give up dating completely. I gave it one more shot when I was 32 only to find that nothing had changed, so I once again resigned myself to a lifetime of being single.

While I did finish college, I haven’t gotten a job that does more than pay for my living expenses and have a little left over, but I’m getting by still. My car is 11 years old and it still runs fine. I’m not as bad off as I could be, but things could have turned out better.

Well in some ways my lifelong pessimism about my future has become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

In other ways, my life is SO much better than I thought it could ever be.

I always knew that having no ambition, no career aspirations, and no focus would bite me in the ass. And it has. As of this fall, I am out of a job.

BUT … I never thought anyone would want to marry me, or that I’d ever get to be a mommy. And last spring I married The Most Amazing Man In The World and last fall I had The Most Beautiful Baby Girl In The World.

So, in the most important ways, my life is amazing.

When I was in grade school, I thought I would grow up to “work with computers” (even though that was the most abstract thought possible in 1980), get married to a beautiful girl, have kids and fritter away a lot of my time creating and playing silly games.

When I was in my late teens/early 20’s, I knew I was going to be a huge rock star, make millions and have a ton of groupies. My lack of musical talent wasn’t going to stand in my way – I had the look and the attitude…that should be enough, right?

It turns out I was exactly right on one of those.

Yes and no. I pictured myself with a loving wife and a family. I’ve got the loving wife, and we’re going to start working on the family this summer. I’m financially successful, graduated from an Ivy League college, and have traveled all around the world.

However, when I was younger and was thinking about what I’d do when I grew up, I did NOT see myself joining the Army. It was the furthest thing from my mind, and if you’d asked me at 14 if I’d end up an Army officer, I literally would have laughed in your face. Part of my young self was right there, though. While I have had some excellent military experiences (including living in Europe, and traveling all over the continent), the military lifestyle is totally not for me, so I guess I should have listened to young me. Oh well…I have 3 weeks left in uniform, and then I’m a civilian again.

Back to resume my ‘how I thought it would be’ life.

As a kid and teenager, I imagined that by 30 I’d have a college degre, a husband and kids, and a job I at least liked.

I have none of those things. But I’m okay with that–I don’t hate my life, and I’m willing to call that good enough. :slight_smile:

Hardly. I grew up wanting to be a physician since I could remember, was voted Most Likely to Succeed in my senior class, and was awarded two scholarships to college. A couple of years later, among other things, I made a slight detour to knee-walking, snot-slinging alcoholism. It took me about 10 years to reinvent myself. I’m almost fifty now (Kee-rist! how did that happen?), I’ve been married the past 12 years to a woman that I love, and I’m a mid-level manager in a software firm.

All in all, I’m happy with my life.

I’m a cynic by nature but I’m not one to dwell on the past or should-have/could-have beens.

As George Carlin put it about the RCC: “Mistakes were made…” :stuck_out_tongue:
As late as my early 20’s I often wondered who I’d end up marrying and spending the rest of my life with. I never worried much about children as I always thought I’d have two. I never much worried about a job/carreer as I always knew I’d be reasonably successful in life.

As it turned out I married a beautiful woman who I loved very much and we had two amazing children. Alas, she changed and I changed, we fell out of love and even like and recently divorced. Not something I’d planned on.

The silver lining of that incredibly trying time has been that I’ve had the opportunity to experience many wonderful things I thought I’d never get a chance to experience. I learned that I could survive a betrayal of the kind I’d always feared. I regained my own sense of self and confidence that I’d lost along the way.

I have a job that I like and am good at. It pays very well. My kids are still amazing and are my pride and joy. I see them all the time. I’ve aged well and am physically very fit. I enjoy dating and find it relatively easy (though not without it’s own set of challenges). I’ve got a list of goals and a plan to attain them and I’m the only one who decides on how, when, where and why. I’m going to buy a motorcycle next year and I don’t have to check with anybody if that’s alright.

So, no. It hasn’t all turned out the way I thought. Not by a large margin. But it’s better in some ways and worse in others. On the whole, I’m happy.


And what are YOU going to do about it?


No-it didn’t. Sometimes it makes me enraged, sometimes saddened and sometimes I can’t believe my luck. I’d say that’s about right.

No. I have completely screwed up almost everything, and I can’t even blame drugs/alcohol/addictions of any kind, 'cause the only addiction I have is caffeine. (Well, and chocolate.) I suppose it takes a certain amount of talent to crash and burn in the absence of severe or even moderate substance abuse but I did.

I can, however, blame the damned hormones.

Not really. When I was 14 and just starting high school I was absoultely certain I was going to go to some big college on the east coast, graduate, go to Columbia and get a higher degree in journalism, and end up some hotshot reporter. Four years later I ended up going to a very tiny college out in New Mexico for three semesters. At the end of the month I’m going to Europe for nearly a year, and I’m not certain I have any desire to actually go into journalism.

Interestingly, “going to live in Ireland and/or Britain” (which I’m going to do) is something that I always wanted to do but assumed that, unless I went to college there, I wouldn’t be able to.

I can’t say everything’s turned out the way I wanted it to or planned on, but I think I’ve salvaged something decent out of it.

Umm… no.

When I was 18, I expected I’d be a Veterinarian.

When I was 22, I thought, seriously, about making the Navy a career.

When I was 27, I thought I had found the perfect job. Then lost it because of my mental illness.

Let’s just say that I do still work towards goals, but they aren’t very lofty these days.

Dear Og, no.

I’m a lot less successful that I thought I’d be.

I remember being in college and thinking, “Well when I get a job, I’ll save for a couple of years and start getting some toys. Then eventually I’ll rise in status, buy a house, meet and marry a beautiful women, maybe even have a family.”

Totally didn’t work that way. I knew then that there was something wrong in the way I related to people, but I couldn’t define it. All I know was that, as far as I could tell, I couldn’t seem to attract the interest of women, except as (sometimes) friends. Meanwhile, I moved out into the working world.

Then my world fell apart. My sister died of cancer. With counseling, I put myself together. Later, I tried for a career change. It didn’t work. My mom, my stepfather, and my aunt died. I withdrew from the world. More counseling, both to deal with the wreckage, and to figure out what the hell was going on. Why was my friend making three times what I did even though we used to work side by side?

I got into trouble with credit cards, buying things and going on a trip, trying to make myself feel good. This didn’t work. Credit counselling, then a repayment plan removed all my sources of credit, and led to four years of struggle to repay.

I joined a group to learn about social skills. This was new to me. There was a whole world of communications I knew little of, but the biggest revolution was inside me: I had to learn to perceive and think about the other person, outside my own plans and fears. it was very subtle and tricky work. I also confronted my greatest fears in the course of the group, and I made all the mistakes I feared. I hurt and was hurt.

I came out of it. I paid off my debt. After 15 years of struggle, I’m back on my feet and planning for my personal future. For the first time, I have some sense of what it’s like to be in an intimate emotional relationship of equals with another.

I still don’t live in a beautiful house with a beautiful wife and beautiful toys. I’m okay with that, now, though I’m still lonely. My path is stranger than suburban conformity.

When I was 18 I thought by the time I was 30 I’d be married with kids, have a house in the midwest, work 9-5 in an office.
At age 30 I was single, renting a flat on the beach in Florida, working odd retail hours.
Fast forward 6 years and I’m now married with a kid on the way, have a house in the midwest, and work 9-5 in an office.

I’m in the profession I always thought I’d be in, but way back then I expected that by now I’d be married with children (4 or more). It hasn’t happenned that way.