Growing up, I always assumed I would meet my husband while in college, most likely because that’s how my parents met. What I hadn’t counted on was that they didn’t go to school during the “millennial hookup culture” (see the whole internet and even most printed periodicals for the oversaturated dissection of our generation’s version of dating).
I’ve always been a late bloomer when it comes to romance. I didn’t get my first kiss until I was 17, I have never been in a serious relationship (really, I haven’t gone on a second date in my adult life), and… I am still a virgin — a personal fact I usually keep close to the chest when it comes to potential mates and even friends. It’s not that I’m embarrassed; I’m comfortable with my decision. I also don’t feel the need to bring it up in polite conversation over drinks. The problem with being a late romantic bloomer isn’t exactly a problem, except, I always saw myself making decisions and building a life around a husband and kids.
I’m 25. No kids. No husband. No boyfriend. No prospects. In five years, I will be 30.
When people ask you to visualize your life in five years, or ask what will make you happy, for me that image has always been of having a family. The problem is there are only so many things you can do to work toward that goal and in my case, they’re not working. So I sat down with myself, and tried to find five goals that I could work toward that are completely independent of my love life. These are the five things I want to accomplish in the next five years:
1. Have a job I enjoy and that I feel my unique skills and personality add value to. Show up to work most days happy to be there.
I’m in my 20s. I’m “paying my dues.” Paying your dues sucks. I’ve had two jobs that are both going to help move me forward in my career (I keep telling myself as I press snooze one more time to delay that moment when I actually wake up and go to work) and they have blown giant chunks. My number one goal is simply to not dread Monday mornings.
2. Travel somewhere new. Book a plane ticket. Go.
Again, for reasons as to why this is a good idea, see the entirety that is the internet. Trusting I will someday find success in having a family, this will not always be an option. So, why not turn my lackluster love life into an opportunity to see new places and do new things when I don’t have to worry about kids-or quite frankly a significant other?
3. Get down to and maintain a healthy weight. Control my alcohol consumption. Continue a healthy body image.
I was a varsity basketball player in high school, and then in the icy depths of upstate New York, gained more than my fair share of the freshman 15 in college. I have slowly and healthfully knocked off pound after pound, but I don’t want to be dieting in five years. And while I’m no longer drinking like I’m 21, I’m definitely not drinking like I’m 30. Somehow I worry these two things are probably related… excuse me for a moment while I google “number of calories in a Budweiser.”
4. Improve my French and German, take an improv class, learn new cooking skills and learn to dance.
What’s the most cliché break up you can think of? Having never gone through my own horrible break up (bonus of not being in a relationship?), I would guess based on television and pop culture that it’s: “it’s not you it’s me, I just need to work on myself right now.” Well, I OBVIOUSLY have all the time in the world to prepare and skip this step later. Let’s just get it out of the way now. Why not take this time and refine some skills, polish up others and learn some new ones? I shall be a renaissance woman at the ripe age of 30!
5. Have a sophisticated, well-made wardrobe and feel good in my clothes.
I am a giant. An Amazonian. Well, close to one. I’m 5’11… and a half, and I don’t know why it took me 25 years to discover “tall sizes,” but for some reason it did, and I LOVE them. I bought a “tall” dress recently and put it on and said to all of my friends, “this is what normal people must feel like when they try on new clothes! The sleeves come all the way down to my hands, and the dress isn’t the same length as a $2 hooker’s. It’s glorious!
Will achieving these things find me love? Maybe. Perhaps I’ll meet a dashing co-worker at my dream job who wants to travel to Buenos Aires with me while eating salad and drinking responsibly. Maybe upon our return we sign up for a South American cooking class to which we show up looking fabulous in our perfectly tailored wardrobe. Also he’s probably tall and with a great sense of humor. But, probably not. That’s not really the point. The point? Who says there needs to be a point at all?