In Five Years

Today is a very special day for me. It signifies the day I was born and yet another year that I can say, “I made it.” Studies show that age 23 is one of the best years of your life and that you don’t reach that type of satisfaction again until age 69. It’s been on hell of a year — from the ups and downs I’ve had many fruitful moments to be thankful for.

Birthdays make me reflect on the year that has been and the years to come.

Aside from a celebratory mindset, it makes me think… am I where I want to be in life?

In any type of interview, a question that is often asked is, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” At 19 years old, I said that in five years I’d be living out in LA or NYC, working for a fashion or beauty corporation, and with the man of my dreams. Now at the age of 24, let me just say that the only one that holds true is that I have found my prince charming.

It’s not easy to decide at that point in time what you want to do with the rest of your life or who you want to become, but you do know what your passions are. I found this to be the best way to determine my future. Sure, you can look at what you’re good at but it’s important to ensure that what you’re good at aligns with what you love. I, for one, am a very hands-on, in-the-moment type of person, which is why I enjoy all aspects of planning, organizing and styling. It allows me to let my true colors and style shine through. If I could help coordinate a fashion show, determine whether or not an ensemble should be purchased for a store, or even write the witty descriptions for products then I’d call that a dream.

And like all good things, why keep it all to yourself? The best events, fashion trends and even recipes should be shared, allowing others to benefit from them too. That said, my passion for the things I love and for creative writing is what inspired me to launch my personal food, fashion & lifestyle blog last year, the one that you so graciously are reading right now.

The overlapping point of a career and passion is where I want to be, which is why I pictured myself in that fantasy land I described five years ago. However, that picture still holds true. If you were to ask me now where I see myself in five years, I would not hesitate to tell you the exact same thing. Why? Because it’s not just a dream, it’s a vision that I’ve mapped out for myself since my teenage years.

In the past five years, I’ve learned five lasting lessons:

  1. Never give up a dream you’ve envisioned your entire life.
  2. Never settle for less than you deserve or less than you want to achieve.
  3. Never sacrifice your own happiness for someone else’s.
  4. Sacrifices need to be made, but be wise to which ones you make.
  5. “If you can shape it in your mind, you will find it in your life.”

Not to say that I dislike where I am right now, I am very happy with how far I’ve come. I’m living in my own apartment post-college with my boyfriend of 2.5 years in one of the top 50 safest cities in Michigan; I have a wonderful job that surrounds me with an excellent culture and genuine co-workers; I am closer than ever with my siblings; and I keep in touch with my closest friends regardless of where we all live. I really can’t complain.

It goes to show that the road to the future is truly unknown, and you may not always end up where you’d once imagined. In the next five years, I’m hoping to be one step closer to that 19-year-old vision, but with a more realistic mindset. It may take a few baby steps or a giant leap of faith, either way I will get there one day. So how do I satisfy that immense craving in the meantime? I’d say my blog really helps me indulge in my passions, and maybe I’ll even keep my eye out for some weekend gigs — anyone know of any stylist opportunities out there?

Even if it’s not the exact outcome I had hoped for, if I can incorporate my passions into what I do in my everyday life, then that will be a real fine place to start.

Here’s to one year wiser, and another one for the books — Cheers to 24!

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A passionate twenty-something that wears a lot of hats, writes an abundance of to-do lists, and color codes the appointments on her calendar.

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