“I’m living the life I wanted 10 years from now.”

One of my buddies, who works in finance for a major bank, told me he recently attended a small group with a few of his good friends from college. During the small group, one of the members began reflecting on his life. He has a good job. He and his wife bought a house in a nice part of Seattle. I think they have a dog. And my understanding is they both have relatively stable employment. They are living the dream. Or as my friend’s friend put it the night of their small group, they are living the life they want to have when they are 35, nearly ten years away.

Can I get an amen?

I know we don’t own a house and I know we don’t have any kids, but gosh darn it, sometimes I don’t want to play grown-up anymore. I only get to be in my twenties for three more years. Mortgages and diapers are not far off. Why then am I not living it up? One word…

Responsibility. 

Retirement isn’t going to pay for itself. My savings account only increases if I keep showing up for work. And Girl Ninja only gets to be a stay-at-home mom if we start planning for that lifestyle change now. The life I want in five, ten, and forty years, prevents me from living the life I want right now.

I don’t know about you, but that depresses me. 

If you’ve been following my blog for a while you know I love my job. That said, it is also the thing that is holding me back the most. If I got fired tomorrow, I wouldn’t go look for a similar position somewhere else. You wanna know what I would do?

I WOULD TAKE THREE MONTHS OFF!!!

Not only would I take three months off. I’d make (or at the very least beg) Girl Ninja to quit her job as well. We would become vagabonds for no less than ninety days. We would be challenged in ways our currently safe, secure, and predictable life can’t. We’d be sporadic. Spontaneous. Scared. And Excited. We’d be living the dream. A 25 year old’s dream.

As with anything, our journey will have to be about balance. We wont be quitting our jobs and sacrificing our long-term goals anytime soon, but I’ll be damned if I catch my 35-year-old self wondering what the hell happened to my twenties. (pardon my french)

I guess this is why phrases like Carpe Diem and YOLO exist. 

19 thoughts on ““I’m living the life I wanted 10 years from now.”

  1. I’m right there with you, I’ll be 29 this year (ugh, almost 30!) and sometimes I feel like I completely missed out on my 20’s and didn’t live it up like I could have. But then I think about my friends who are doing just that and what a sad state their finances are in and I’m concerned about what they will do when they reach retirement age! (I also have a friend in her 40’s that did just that, and she has paltry retirement savings and sometimes lives paycheck to paycheck and know that I don’t want to feel the way she feels about money in 15 years)

    If i were to be let go from my job, I think I would take some time off too. Maybe not 3 months, but at least a month. Do some traveling, be lazy for a few days. Enjoy the time I have!

  2. This is exactly how I feel as well. I just turned 23, yet this is how I imagined my 30s. If I got fired tomorrow, I would definitely take time off and do what I want to do.

  3. Yeah… my husband and I are moving to be closer to his job this fall, which means I’ll be quitting my job to look for another one in the city.

    I’ve started looking for a job, but I’m not looking *too* hard yet. That’s because, well, being unemployed for a month or two might not be so bad.

  4. Unfortunately fo rme, my 30s has been paying off my 20s and it stinks! And now that I am a year shy of 40 I am wondering where my 20s AND my 30s went…..

  5. I’m in my mid-50s. I’m glad I lived it up a little in my 20s, no regrets. Yeah, I’m saving like a madman now for retirement, cause I didn’t save a dime in my 20s. But I did start saving in my 30s so I wouldn’t change a thing. I have a co-worker who made a lot of money in his 20s and he retired for 20 years and started working again in his 50s. He says he will have to work the rest of his life now. I can’t decide if it was stupid or brilliant!

  6. I feel like I am doing a decent job of both saving for retirement and enjoying my twenties. Saving is definitely a priority for me. Deep down I am a saver and that will never change but section out money for vacations as well as for 40 years from now. In fact, I am leaving for a trip to Las Vegas with some friends from college tomorrow! Now if I could just get the guts to do some travel nursing I could really be living the 20 year old dream!

  7. I guess I’m confused as to what “living it up” would look like: jet-setting around the world (or at least continent)? Buying new clothes 24/7? Going out to a swanky dinner every night? Clubbing on the weekend?

    Aside from the travel (although 24/7 travel would get tiring) none of that sounds appealing to me, actually. I’m happy with the lame-o life that the BF and I lead. I think I’ve always “dreamed” of my twenties as being a stable time. I went to college; I did the party scene. It was exhausting. Occasionally I yearn to go out for drinks, but luckily I have some low-key friends who understand the bars I like have good beer and quiet music that allows for conversation.

    Though I don’t have much money, I honestly don’t feel like I missing out on my 20s at all.

  8. I guess I’m 24 living up my 35 year old lifestyle then too 🙂 Funny enough, this conversation came up while hikin Rainier two weekends ago, and it really hit me that I’m right where I want to be: husband, awesome job, house, pets. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on my 20’s at all though – we have roommates so paying the mortgage isn’t very tight, and no kids yet to tie us down. Trip planned to visit family cross country later this summer, plus smaller trips planned at least every month. Guess that’s what buying within our means bought us – the ability to enjoy ourselves without having to be TOO frugal (never held a balance on our credit cards either).

    Why not save up vacation and live like a vagabond for 2-3 weeks in the summer while GN is on break? Then you’re still saving for your future life, but having fun now. You could get hit by a bus tomorrow, so it’s not worth putting off all enjoyment for “later” 😀

  9. Hah I am only 22 and definitely want to live the life now! I spent four years of college fitting all the classes I needed for my undergrad and grad degree…so yeah…
    So now, I want to both save the money, and live a little. The 20s is to do what I want to do. 🙂
    I have had a break between ending school and starting my full time job. It’s been nice, but I get bored easily. SO, I am ready to start the hecticness again!

  10. Money should give your choices in life. If you want to take three (3) months off, you should! Like any choice there are consequences to deal with, but it is your choice.

  11. This post really hit home for me. I’m 24, and @StephTheBlogger and I have been commiserating that it feels like every weekend this summer, I’ve logged onto facebook and found friends or friends of friends getting married. I’m definitely not ready for that – I feel that every time a friend gets married, it pulls me closer to the suburbs-house-kids-domesticity routine. That might be something I want a decade from now, but not now at all. The funny thing is, I am saving up tons for this life sometime in a vague future that I really don’t want right now, because I’m naturally a saver. And it dawned on me reading this that that’s not what I want to be doing.

    My boyfriend has been trying to convince me to go heli-skiing this winter. I’ve been balking at the cash, but, well… you only live once, right?

  12. This post actually made me very happy, but perhaps for nefarious reasons. I’ve thought for a while now that I’m not where I want to be. Just turned 31 on Wednesday and not married. But reading this, I realize I’ve traveled and had adventures many don’t have in a life time. Been to 26 countries and counting on 6 continents and all 50 states. I’ve met amazing people and done amazing things. I think I’m ready to settle down a bit and get more involved in my community. So maybe I’m right on schedule. 🙂

  13. Going to be 40 next month. I believe this is the true midlife crisis age. For the past two years we have been spending quite a bit of money traveling, doing massive home improvements, and buying toys. Prior to that we had been scrimping and saving like mad for about 8 years. The sad thing is right now we want more! Looking to get a bigger house and a luxury SUV. Good thing we have zero debt, a house, two cars and a beefy savings account.

  14. I feel ya man. It’s tough to decide how best to live sometimes. I’ll say this though. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. Maybe you don’t want a house and baby diapers now (I assume those come with a baby, I can’t think of why anyone would just want a bunch of baby diapers otherwise) and maybe you never will (??). Some peopel never own a house, some people only ever own an RV or a trailer or they rent an apt. their whole life and happily never have to deal with a mortgage or home repairs or anything like that. I know that a home and kiddies come normally in life (and I have both now), but I always think that that shouldn’t make anyone go that route though if theydon’t want. And maybe you do want that in 10 years, but ifyou don’t know, then don’t worry about it now. Sure, save soem for retirement and for a rainy day, but do enjoy your 20s. Tehy fly by all too soon.

  15. I too am like you and others who have commented on this post. I am young 22 year old, starting my first job and I’m already thinking about whether I want to be working 8 till 8 for the next 40 years. Why can’t you all just aim to take 3 month secondments to try to fulfil those dreams? It seems a shame that today’s society has taught us that we must remain in a stable job until you’ve made enough money to retire. That’s part of the reason I started my blog –> to get out of the rat race.

  16. At 26, I’m living exactly the life I want (I’m typing this from a hotel in Munich, Germany)

    I’m so glad I’m not married and/or have children right now, I feel like that would ruin everything way more than any job situation..

    I don’t let the life I want at 30, 40, 50, whatever hold me back from how I live today. I actually don’t spend that much time thinking about the future =\ I just try to make as much money as I can now and do whatever I want.

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