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

posted 6 months ago in The Lounge
Post # 31
6649 posts
Bee Keeper

I always wanted a great career, a happy marriage, a big family and a home filled with friends and memories and room enough for everyone and their dog. I’ve enjoyed some of it and I’m on my way to the rest of it, I just didn’t envision a divorce and a lot of other complications along the way–not a straight path but hope to get there all the same.

Post # 32
688 posts
Busy bee

Oh my goodness, no, not in the slightest. 

I was a shy, intense kid, and while everyone was playing “house,” I was playing “archeologists.” I never wanted to marry – I wanted to uncover the mysteries of the world. 

Fast forward decades, add a ton of hormones, and my search for a husband nearly de-railed my career entirely. I was just way too focused on tying myself into pretzel-shapes so men would love me. 

I finally gave that up, focused on my own health and life and career again, and that’s when I met the man I am marrying in 4 months. 

AND I always loved theatre, Shakespeare in particular, and fantasy, NOT space… and yet pretty much the majority of my work (aside from a three year stint at a Shakespeare festival, which was a lovely, lovely dream, but exhausting to build a life on,) has been in sci fi. 

It’s comical, actually – my family laughs about it a lot. I’ve spent almost a decade in Space now, and counting. And so very grateful for it, but this lord of the rings woodland transplant had some serious adjusting to do. Technobabble wasn’t fun, those first few years. Bahaha! 


(Oh also along the way I converted to another faith, was ordained in that faith, and am now marrying outside it. Life is a funny adventure …) 

Post # 33
9629 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2014 - Chicago, IL

Mostly yes. I pictured meeting the love of my life in college, marrying soon after, going to medical school, acquiring a French bulldog or five and living happily in the midwest suburbs as DINKs.

Instead I met the love of my life all the way back in middle school and just didn’t know it. We reconnected my senior year of high school and dated long distance all of college, so in a way I guess he could be my college sweetheart, although he did not attend my college…

Scrapped the idea of medical school after doing some clinical rotations and realizing 1) I don’t want to touch people and 2) I didn’t want to be a pathologist so my MD options were pretty … non-existant. Decided I still wanted to be in the healthcare field and make a big impact, so I went for my PhD in Bionegineering. Graduation brought me out to the east coast – I never imagined I’d be here, but I actually really love it!

Did end up with 3 French bulldogs, 4 if you count the sweet girl that passed away too early. And DINK life will probably end eventually as we’re thinking about starting a family. Nephews have a funny way of making you want to take them home with you and keep them forever. I think my younger self would be happy/proud of how my life turned out… I think it’s better than I expected!

Post # 34
1260 posts
Bumble bee

Admittedly I was not the most thoughtful child / teen. I never knew what to answer when people asked what I wanted to be when I grow up, the answer changes over time of course. But what I really wanted was just to be happy. I think people might have laughed if I said that? It felt like the wrong answer so I never said it.

Being an adult I realised that’s actually a pretty high goal to set and for many people it’s actually a struggle to be happy or stay happy. While there are ups and downs in life, sometimes sh**ty times, but by and large I would say I’ve achieved my goal and continue to achieve it. 

I would say I’m exactly where I wanted to be in life. Being happy with myself and with my life however it unfolds. And remembering to laugh at least a few times a day 🙂

Post # 35
1088 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2017 - A vineyard

Not really. I thought I would be married by 18 to 21 like many girls of my faith, have my one child young, and thought i would finish a doctoral degree in physical therapy lmao.

Spoilers! None of those happened. I stopped after my bachelors and didn’t manage to get married until 28. Not that the age is crazy old or anything. Just older than I thought I would be. Had my first child at 29 and I am a housewife. I am just grateful to have my husband and my baby. He was worth the wait and the things I had to go through to get to him and my baby is healthy. And i have an awesome cat and 2 more at my dad’s. What more can I ask for?

Post # 36
10664 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

sharpshooter :  

Both yes and no.

I am much further along on the whole linear time thing than most of you, so I have had many more opportunities to screw things up.

I’ll never be so cliched so as to say I took the road less traveled.  It’s more correct to say I am and always was the road less traveled.  No home, husband, kids, family; the whole schmear—that die was cast by the time I was nine.  I knew I never wanted that stuff.  It would have been completely wrong for me.  What was a source of joy and fulfillment to many of my contemporaries would have felt like a prison sentence to me.

CFBC—119% yes.  Exactly as I always knew it would be.

Education: always a very high priority and I put a lot off effort into obtaining advanced degrees.  At my elderly age, I’m chasing another.

Career vs partner:  career was always factor weighted more heavily. By comparison, it was always harder to take relationships as seriously.   Both ended up all over the boards.  I’m nowhere near done yet. My vision of my professional success always included a bit of a profile.  Until I started to experience that and discovered I hated it.  I learned I am a much more private person than I had ever realized.

Finances:  all over the boards again.  I never in a million years would have expected to be lacking in any degree of economic security at this age.

Spouse:  I was never especially marriage minded, and thus didn’t carry around a very clear vision of my ideal mate.  But, I would have expected him to be good looking, driven, successful, hardworking, professional, and financially stable. Something went haywire there.

Right now, there is a new metamorphosis happening, one more time.  It’s really never to late to relaunch.  


Post # 37
505 posts
Busy bee

LOL Uhhhh NOPE! Back in HS I thought I’d be married and have three kids by the time I was 30(I’m 32)…I didn’t know what the hell I wanted to do for my carreer and I worked a bunch of shitty jobs. I had two relationships that were five years each, and a total waste of my youth.

At least I went back to school at 28 and I ended up going for the same thing my mother does. I always knew I wanted to be in the medical field but I woud have never been able to afford nursing school, or med school. So, I settled for medical coding. It’s been good to me and I work from home 3 days a week now.

I’ve moved sooo many times and my lifes been uprooted between two states. I had to move home briefly and  then my parents house got flooded out with 5 ft of sea water. Ended up living with a friend and now her and I don’t even really talk anymore and she never even told me why.  The town I live in now is really nice and I love it here, but I don’t like my roommate…I’m moving in with my SO in a few months and I finally feel like my life is going to be on track. We plan on staying in his apt for 2 years and then purchase a house. We want kids, and dogs, and all of the beautiful chaos that it’ll bring. Hopefully we will get married in about a year, but that’s TBD.

Post # 38
1449 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2021 - Kauai, HI

Ha! Not even close.  I thought I’d become a lawyer and a judge get married later in life. Have a couple kids.

I fell in love with my high school boyfriend.  We got married when I was 21.  I finished college but decided to have kids instead of go to law school.  Eventually we were so poor I decided to go back to nursing school.  He couldn’t take the pressure, we weren’t communicating well and he left me for a 19’y.o. Waitress he worked with.  While I was pregnant with our 3rd baby.  I loved him a lot and wanted to work it out but he didn’t.  He moved in with her and I filed for divorce.  

After all that trauma I managed to finish nursing school and get a job.  Now I’m the nurse supervisor. 

Unfortunately I had a rebound marriage.  Very nice fun guy, my kids loved him. We had a kid together.  It lasted 6 years but we parted as friends.  

I never thought I’d be happy again but even though I’m divorced twice, I have 4 amazing kids and a wonderful fiancé, a nice home, decent relationships with my exes. Don’t be fooled that took years.  Successful career. I think I’m a much better nurse than I would have been a lawyer!  I never thought I’d have so many kids! Can’t imagine my life without them. 

Post # 39
303 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

Ten years ago I was in a serious long term (5 year) relationship with an abusive covert narcissist. My life was always chaotic, so I had no plan for the future except to just push through and survive. He really messed with my identity and self worth. Somehow I ended up obtaining my bachelors in that time, by the skin of my teeth, and it wasn’t in anything useful but allowed me to apply to grad school for a professional medical degree.

5 years ago I met my now DH! I’m pretty happy now. When I was in school I set my head down and grinded it out as a full time grad student and full time worker. I just kept reminding myself “the end is near” and after school I would have a cushy 8-4 job and lots of time and money to explore hobbies and travel etc. Well, soon after I graduated and became gainfully employed Darling Husband decided he wanted to go back to school for a (thankfully less expensive/extensive) degree in the medical field as well. Though I supported him and did (and still do) think it was a very smart decision (and I’m very proud of him) I did have to spend some time grieving the life I thought I was going to have right after school. Instead I’ve still been grinding away, working two jobs, staying at a job that’s been burning me out way too long due to the pressure of being the breadwinner and the only income.

BUT, we do live fairly comfortably, we’ve been able to pay off some debts and start some savings, we were able to pay for most of our budget wedding (which was a dream come true!). I have found the courage to switch careers and am currently waiting for approval from my new position to put in my two month notice at my current position. Darling Husband will be graduating in December with his associates in radiologic technology and already seems to be networking for good job prospects. So, I do think that in the next several months-a year that life will be more like what I was envisioning and hoping for. I married a really great man who is supportive of me and everything I do, he truly makes me happy! 

Post # 40
569 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2017 - France

I’m alive so nope definitely not the way I envisioned my life going. I never thought I’d make it to my twenties let alone thirties on the account of my depression but I’m glad I did because I wouldn’t have let my husband had my son gotten married or travelled internationally. 

It’s a struggle still but not like it was when I was younger.

Post # 41
692 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2018 - UK

My whole childhood I wanted to be a vet, it was the only thing I ever imagined doing, then when I was 14 I realised that for medical reasons, that type of work would be impossible.

After that, until I was around 18/19, I wanted to be a screenwriter, until I realised that watching Tarantino movies on loop didn’t actually translate to me having any creative talent. I started a degree in film studies, and immediately dropped out of uni.

 I ended up completely accidentally falling into the IT industry. It wasn’t something I had a prior interest in and certainly not something I envisioned for my life.

In terms of personal life, I veered between seeing myself ending up as a Miss Haversham-esque crazy cat lady, and being married with children. I never wanted children and I knew it from an early age, but everyone told me I’d change my mind when I got older, so I believed them. As it happened, I ended up as a married crazy cat lady (and it was not easy finding my crazy cat man!), so partway between the two. I also realised that I wasn’t going to change my mind on the kid thing.

 I certainly didn’t imagine my life being like this, I imagined much more glamour and success, but I’m very happy with how it turned out.

Post # 42
1097 posts
Bumble bee

Not going to lie, my life is not at all going the way I wanted it to.

I always thought I’d get married at 25 and have 2 or 3 kids at some point. Lol what a joke 

I’m currently 27 and while I have met the love of my life and I have a stable job and good friends and family, I’m not happy with how things are panning out in my life in general at the moment. Shit keeps getting in the way of my SO and I accomplishing the things we want to out of life.

As we were starting to look at engagement rings, he was unexpectedly laid off from his job. It has been months and he’s not getting anywhere with the job search despite applying for hours a day every day and networking with anyone and everyone. He wasn’t happy with the job he had before and is just feeling lost and overwhelmed with his career right now.

I, on the other hand, have a stable job, but it’s not what I want to do long term. My coworker unexpectedly got injured and they never replaced her so I have been doing double the work for months on end and staffing has been at its worst lately. I’m becoming increasingly unhappy with my job but I don’t know where to go from here, especially with my SO’s current unemployment. I’m overwhelmed with all the things I could do that I’m paralyzed.

All of this has impacted our lives in many ways. Not knowing when my coworker is coming back keeps me in limbo Hell at work where I’m underpaid and under appreciated for the unforeseeable future while a call person gets paid overtime to literally sleep the entire shift while I do the work of two people and have day shift audit my work on top of it,  and limbo in my personal life with my SO being unemployed indefinitely.

As far as getting married, we don’t want to spend money on a ring right now and don’t feel we can plan a wedding either since we don’t know what will happen, and we don’t want to just elope or go to the courthouse. We don’t want to give up yet on the vision that we both have.

So this has caused us a lot of “can’ts.” Can’t plan any future vacations (besides the one coming up that we booked over a year ago and would lose money on if we cancelled now) because that would be financially irresponsible right now. Can’t move in together because we had agreed on taking that step after getting engaged. Can’t have kids because we aren’t married yet. Can’t get a dog because we don’t live in the same house yet. Can’t buy a new house because of where we are right now. Lol this is the story of my life

We have considered just announcing we’re engaged, but it just wouldn’t feel the same to me. He knows I’d say yes if he proposed tomorrow, and he’s offered, but it wouldn’t be really engaged to me because we won’t be planning a wedding until he has a steady income. 

These are all first world problems, and we are choosing to wait to get married of our own free will. So I don’t feel like complaining about it does any good lol 

I’m hoping life gets better soon. 

Post # 43
290 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2020

I definitely thought my life would have turned out different.  I had myself marrying my high school sweetheart in my mid to late 20’s, having a couple kids and doing life.

Instead, I broke up with the high school sweetheart around 27, got into a shorter relationship that I thought would be the one but ended when I was 30, did a bunch of online dating but nothing stuck until I met my FH at age 35.  I’ll be getting married when I am 40.

I sometimes look at other people who married early and started their lives together early and wish I had gotten that head start, but I honestly wouldn’t trade my single years in my 30’s for anything.  I was able to buy my first house on my own and really feel what it was like to be independent.  I did a lot of fun traveling and built some amazing friendships.  And my FH is AMAZING and I’m so happy I found him when I did.  I’m looking forward to my next chapter!

Post # 44
9806 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

Kinda sorta. When I was a teenager I was convinced I was going to move to Hollywood and be famous and that I would never work a 9-5 job. 

Then I went to Hollywood, realized I hated it and 9-5 jobs are the best jobs. 

I’ve done a lot of things I never thought would happen. I’ve met all my famous teen idols, I’ve traveled the country following bands, I’ve become a part of something. I would have never expected that when I was a teen.

And I’ve pretty much accomplished my goals – married, I have a daughter, I have a successful career, own my own home, drive a brand new car. I still get to go to shows and meet people. What more could I need?

Post # 45
5564 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2017

slomotion :  I mean…. you’re famous in these parts so I deem your dream of being famous has been accomplished!!

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