I remember being 7 years old and laying in bed dreaming what life would be like when I “grew up”. I had my life planned out a T! I would get married by age 20 (the same age my parents married) have my nursing degree by 22 and start having children by age 24… Yes this was an intense game plan.

The day I turned 23 was such a disappointment. I had no degree or career in place, no boyfriend or even potentials, and no kids. I felt like I was failing in life.
I think I can say we have all experienced plans that have fallen through in our lives. We dream big dreams, we set expectations, we make goals. 
 Whether this is in our personal life (not being married by age ____), in a career (still being a waitress at age ___), health (why am I still struggling with this disease) and weight (my pants from high school won’t fit), these disappointments hit hard and make us feel like we are not up to par. 
I can safely say I have been there and still can be there depending on the day! So what can I do to justify this in my head? What can I do so I don’t get bitter at God or myself? Well I did some thinking and I thought I would share:
1) Do Not Compare: One of my favorite quotes is “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Taylor Swift and I are born one month apart. I have caught myself saying several times, “look at Taylor Swift, she has won like a million Grammies and here I am working on my rug hooking kit and watching Little House on the Prairie” (yes, I am an honorary Grandma). It is so easy to compare, feel inadequate, and almost compete with family, friends, and acquaintances especially in this Instagram pretty world where you only see people’s highlights in life. I now try to focus on my own journey and accomplishments while celebrating others milestones. I am just happier that way.
2) You are not a Failure: The best thing about this crazy life is that it’s an adventure. Yes I did not get married by age 20 but I had no business getting married then! In hindsight I had so many things I needed to work on before I could be a whole person and have a healthy marriage. In perfect timing I got married at age 24 and a half (exactly) and I could not imagine my life any other way. Just because it’s not what you planned doesn’t mean the scenic route won’t be just as beautiful! 
3) It’s Okay to Change Plans: You might know I didn’t become a nurse. I did one semester and really struggled with Statistics. But what I did find out is I LOVED my Native Studies Course. This was the start of my deep love for the Aboriginal community. I started heavily volunteering at the Inner City location of my church and even had two summer student positions there. Later when choosing my career path, I chose to work at a non profit homeless shelter. Yes I did not become a nurse but instead I was in a new area of helping people through while using dignity and respect.
I think unmet expectations are something I will struggle with my whole life! But keeping my eyes focused on my journey and celebrating others will keep the joy flowing. 
XOXO
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25 thoughts

  1. What a lovely post! My life definitely didn’t go as I’d planned it as a teenager. I suffered from serious depression for most of my early 20’s. But now I know that I needed those things in my life to happen so that I could become the person (and mother, wife, friend etc) that I am today. I wouldn’t wish what I have experienced at times on anybody but I know that I have to look back and see the positives and the strength I have gained from my experiences. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

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    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog! I absolutely humbled by your response. It sounds you yourself have had an amazing, beautiful, journey. It’s crazy how we have the ability to rise from the ashes..

      Again thank you for your support

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  2. Hi. You invited me to read your blog on Instagram (24seventhriftyhome). I looooove your blog. I wrote my very first time today. 😃 I love reading your blog today. I too had big dreams but after Cancer, chronic pain after Cancer, a failed marriage, moving 14 hours from my kids (they chose to stay there) and starting over I have really learned how to lean into God. Now I’ve remarried and we put God in the center of us and were foster/adoptive parents. Thank you again for the invite. Your blog is inspiring!!!

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    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on my blog. It truly is humbling to have other people relate to my thoughts. Your journey sounds hard and painful but you are an inspiration to me how you have arose from the situation. You motivate me in so many ways. Thank you again for the support

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  3. Hello Gwendolyn, thank you for introducing me to your blog! This is a wonderful recipe for a happy life.
    I remember an afternoon when I sat on a swing and planned out my life. Luckily at the end of it a thought did strike me that I have no way of guaranteeing things will go as I planned. For example, can’t be sure I’ll meet the right guy by the time I want to get married. That afternoon had put a stop to me making life long plans. And I’m certainly happier for it!

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    1. Hi Joanna, thank you so much for taking the time to read and respond to my blog! It sounds like you have been in my shoes at one point and I think that you are so wise for making that decision. I am constantly preparing for the next phase without meticulously planning (so hard for me.. I’m a planner). But life too has shown me that everything is beautiful in its perfect timing!

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    1. Hi Rachelle! Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog! It is very humbling to write down personal thoughts and have people respond so strongly! Thank you again for your support!

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  4. It’s so true life never goes as plans, but in most cases turns out better than you could have imagined. i feel life turns out best when it’s not so planned out. Have an idea of what you want but don’t force life to happen it will come when you are ready even if you don’t think you are. Happy blogging and always make time for fun (whatever that means to you) !

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read and respond Vanessa! You are so very very right! It sounds like you are coming from a place of real wisdom and experience! And don’t you worry.. I’m always having lots of fun (probably too much).

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  5. Wow what a GREAT post! I know exactly all about this. My life didn’t go as planned at all and yet even after all the failures, it ended up being BETTER than I had originally planned and still getting better. I think its so interesting how you found me right now, I literally just released a chapter in my audio series and its titled “unbothered”, it has to do with not letting people put you down because you didn’t quite get it right in your past and NEXT month’s chapter has a lot to do with dealing with the expectations that others have over your life. So I definitely think that we are on the same frequency here. Keep up the good work, I honestly think you have a lot going for yourself with this blog! If you ever need me you know where to find me! Keep it up!

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    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this blog! You sound like you come from such a place of wisdom and experience.. I really appreciate your kind words and encouragement! I will most definitely be checking out your audio series

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  6. This is beautiful. People are comfortable speaking of the positives in their life but put the negative experiences in the dark. Those negative experiences is what shapes us and strengthens us. I too was guilty of comparing myself with others and that only brought dispair, But I found comfort in God’s word and humbled myself. After feeling like I hit my low, I discovered my purpose in life and that is a joy that no one can take away from me. You are a beautiful writer and I am excited to follow you and read more from you.
    Xo- Aseky

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    1. Hi Ashley, thank you for taking the time to read this and respond with such kind and encouraging words. I am absolutely humbled by your response and that we can relate on this level even though we have never met! God is so wonderful, so faithful, and I love connecting with other people who feel the same! I also took a moment to read your blog and loved it (and followed of course!) thank you again for your support!

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  7. Love this! Had many, many plans in place but the best thing I have done up to this point was let God take control. Honestly, things have gotten so crazy at times and I looked up and said only You could author some like this. Real life is definitely stranger than fiction. Through it all though, my spiritual foundation is what kept me afloat. Awesome blog sis! Much love & encouragement from me to you!

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    1. Thank you so much for reading and responding! It is so humbling that we have related on this level! So glad to hear you cling to your foundation to keep you floating! Thank you so much for the love and support! Back at you ❤

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  8. I relate 100% to this post … My life has completely not gone the way i imagined or planned , but i’m slowly embracing my journey & learning to trust God
    Thankyou for such inspiration , can’t wait to read more on your blog

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read and respond! I love that you shared your journey as well (because isn’t life one big journey anyways??) thank you again by your support! I am humbled that we could relate in this way!

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  9. Hi there! This post is filled with so much truth! Thank you for sharing, and for your recent follow on my Instagram account. I hope you have a blessed day! Keep up the great writing! I’m truly enjoying what I’m seeing so far!!

    God Bless!

    Patricia

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