Posted by: Alicia Phillips | January 31, 2013

26, wishing I was 21…

Seems like every time I get on Facebook another one of my friends from home is getting engaged, or is about to get married, or pregnant with their first, second or even third child! At first I get excited for them, then I get sad that I’m not there to share it with them, then I panic because, shit- I’m 26 and I’m still living on own with no plans on settling down anytime soon. By the time my mother was my age…she already had me and my three siblings before me. I feel as though I am behind in life with no hope of catching up.

I’ve always wanted to be a young mom and to have a house full of kids. But now, I am realizing that while I still want a house full of kids, I also want to be able to pick up everything at a drop of a hat and go do something crazy like WWOOF in another country for a few months or (hopefully) have a job that will send me to work all over the world. I know it sounds silly that I am saying I can’t have one without the other….but I don’t think I can do one well with the other.

I feel a bit selfish because I am having too much fun being on my own. I like doing things that I want to do and not worry about anyone else. I don’t want to settle down anytime soon, when I think about getting married and buying a house and having a mortgage and sitting at a desk for the rest of my life I get a little panicky and depressed.  This was one of the many reasons why I applied to the Peace Corps in the first place, I felt like that was the path that my life was on and it freaked me out.

So instead of worrying about how old I am, I’ve decided to categorize my life into decades. My 20s will be for being young and selfish, for travelling and sleeping on peoples floors, for being ridiculously poor, for going on adventures and meeting new people and having fun, and for finally going back to school to study what I’m passionate about. My 30s will be for having my shit together, getting a good job, paying off student loans, settling down, and being a bit more responsible.

Thoughts?


Responses

  1. Don’t worry about your age at all. Pursue your interests and enjoy your life. In the end we really only have the present and a set of memories, so make your memories worthwhile. Good luck Alicia.

  2. Hi Alicia,

    I found your blog through Peace Corps Journals. It’s so funny that I should find you right when you’ve written this post. I just finished reading an article making the case for why women should settle since the pickin’s get a little slim as we age.

    I totally understand what you mean by watching all your friends get married/engaged/baby-laden, etc. I had three (THREE!) friends get engaged the week after Christmas. It was ridiculous. And they are just the latest in a long parade of happy, engaged photos on FB since high school.

    I’m a PC applicant right now, leaving the USA at 25 (this coming Sept. hopefully) to go do a seemingly self-serving stint abroad. I’ll be 28(!) when I return. Ack! But I had someone give me some great advice: when you’re young, you invest in yourself. When you’re older, you invest in others. Maybe for some, that’s through children and marriage. I always figured marriage was inevitable, but now I think that sometimes I’d rather find a partner with whom to create a home, and possible extend a family. It’s a lot to think about, but fortunately we still have a lot of time. :) Good to find your blog. Enjoy your last few months of service!

  3. Alicia,

    At 29, I struggle with these same fellings. I typically go back and forth between feeling selfish and to be quite honest damaged. You should see some of the looks I get when I tell people that I don’t think I want to get married and have children! As you know, I love my boyfriend and I adore children but right now I enjoy my life as it is. I can pick up and travel with Ryan whenever I want and that feeling is great! I realized that the only time I feel bad about these things is when I try and compare my life with what I feel is expected of woman our ages. So, I’ve decided to forget about it! I’m going to live MY life my way. The best things in life are never planned anyways.

    Love and Miss you

  4. I’m literally sitting at my desk at work texting my husband about how we have to pay our mortgage today! UGHHHH

    But I think the same things about being selfish. You know now that I’m married (for almost 2 years now), everyone asks me all the time when we are having kids. But I honestly don’t want kids til I’m about 30. That seems old to have a first child, but seriously. That gives me about 3 and a half more years to be selfish and spend my money on me and what I want to do. I want to travel and buy expensive purses and decorate my house, blah blah blah. And THEN I’ll save up for baby. I want to have all my ducks in a row before I think about bringing anyone else in to this world. I think it is okay to be selfish when it comes to YOUR life. As long as YOU are happy and doing what YOU want to do, it’s okay. Get everything you want to do out of the way before you start a new life of love and children and mortgages! And really, in 2013, what is the “norm” anway?

  5. Hi Alicia, i joined the Navy at 18 (never considered college) totally enjoyed every minute! Went to tech college airline training then was flight attendant for nearly 6 years, got married at 30 had three kids and settled in OH. Each chapter in my life has it’s wonderful memories, USN, flying, parenthood, retirement. Now, the kids are doing their thing, my love and I as settled in mid GA and we are in the twilight of our years. I lived more than most girls even think of…. No regrets. So do your thing as you feel you want! Be happy with yourself and you’ll be happy with others. Keep notes on a computer (no computers for me back then lol) and you can relive it all.!

  6. Alicia,

    All I can say is, you are living an amazing life!! I’m about 3 semesters away from graduating college and plan to start my application for the Peace Corps when I have two semesters left. For months, all I have done is do research on the PC.

    I read where you said that you didn’t think you were even close to be qualified to start the application process so you started volunteering. So inspiring of you that you set out to reach your goal.

    I will be keeping up with your blogging as an inspiration.

    Thank you,
    Marissa

  7. I find myself having these same worries (even though I’m a mere 23 years old!) and I’m leaving for Peace Corps in Benin in 3 months. But at the same time, it’s not like you’re in PC to only invest in yourself (though it does have its perks), and we live in a much different world than our parents! Don’t worry about being “behind” in life, in some ways you’re far ahead. Maybe I won’t feel this way when I’m 26, but right now I say just live it up and love it :)

  8. I just began reading your Fiji posts, sounds like an interesting blog.Keep it up, I’m 27, I like my freedom to do what I want and go where I want. Last year I was in Spain on a Contiki Tour it was amazing. This year I hope to go to Rio, Brazil. Fiji is on the list for places to go, Peace Corp sounds like an exciting company to volunteer for. I’m from Canada,


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