Friday, November 1, 2013

I'm Glad I Didn't Do That . . .

My birthday is coming up this month and it has me reflecting on my life. I see many bloggers making lists of what they want to do in the future, and what they have accomplished thus far; but I think it's important to celebrate some of the things in life we didn't do, and how it has made our lives great!

So, here is my list:

1) I'm glad I didn't move to NYC after college. I was offered a position with Teach For America but turned it down to stay in California and wait for my now-husband to graduate from college. It was incredibly hard to turn down a job for a man I had only been dating for three months, but it worked out in the end and I am so much happier to be with him.

2) I'm glad I didn't didn't get a tattoo. I went through phases of wanting tattoos; mainly trendy, over-done tattoos of things like butterflies on my lower back and "punk rock" stars on my shoulders -- these were never things that held any real value or sense of expression for me, just decorations. I'm not against tattoos, but I don't have the impetus to search for one either.

3) I'm glad I have never dyed my hair darker. . . ever. This is a strange one, but I just know that the universe doesn't want me to have dark hair. 

4) I'm glad I didn't move to Sweden for grad school. I studied abroad for a short time in Sweden and later was accepted to a masters program at Linnaeus University; but I knew it wasn't the place for me. Moving abroad (again) sounded exciting, but I am glad I chose not move to a country where the average temperature is 39 degrees.

5) I'm glad I didn't have a big wedding. I had the luxury of inviting around 200 people to my wedding knowing that both my husband and I have family living abroad and that they were not going to fly to Orlando to see us wed. Our wedding ended up being about 45 people, and I was able to interact with all of my guests and truly share the experience with everyone there. And it was still awesome enough to end up on Stye Me Pretty!

6) I'm glad I didn't stay in California. I was born and raised in Southern California, and it will always hold a special place in my heart, but I am glad that I took a big risk and moved cross country to go to grad school. Moving to Orlando has completely transformed my life for the better and I love it here!

7) I'm glad I didn't leave my study abroad trip when I hated it. At age twenty I moved to London for a year and studied at Queen Mary University. In the beginning,  I hated London and missed home; I used to cry to my mother via skype, but she assured me it would get better. My mother promised to buy me a plane ticket home if I agreed to stay one more month (knowing I would come around)-- and of course, within that month I fell in love with the city and ended up staying in Europe an extra semester!

8) I'm glad I've never had a credit card. No one has ever been saved by their credit cards; get an emergency fund and put a few thousand dollars in it. It can cover pretty much anything that comes up without 20% interest. I choose to live within my means and my husband and I may not have the newest stuff, but we also have fewer bills and better sleep at night.

9) I'm glad my parents didn't help pay for my college education. When I went to college my parents were in great financial shape (it was 2004 - I think everyone was riding high); and they promised to pay for whatever my scholarship didn't cover. Four years later, I graduated and the economy was in the toilet, and my parent's financial situation changed. So, I took charge of my bills. While this is an incredible hardship, it has made me a stronger person; and I know that my husband and I can make it through any amount of financial hardship. It has made us prioritize what is important in our lives and has kept us financially honest with each other.

10) I'm glad I didn't always trust the advice of my peers. My mother once told me "Don't ever take advice from someone your own age"; this has stuck with me and has led me to ask wiser, older people for advice in pressing matters. While I appreciate the opinions of my girlfriends, I think we all know that sometimes your friends give horrible advice.

What is on your list of things that you are glad you didn't do?

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