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20 February 2015

musing about my unrealistic life goals

when i was a kid, i'd had my life planned out the way i thought it was 'supposed' to go; finish school, defer uni for a year, work hard in a job i loved, meet and marry a nice man, build our dream house, then top it off with a couple of kids and a dog or two, hey presto - life = done. except, in reality, i turned eighteen, rejected my uni offer (journalism. ain't life funny. turns out i just saved myself a $20k education and ended up writing for 'a living' anyway) and completely threw a spanner in the works by finding full-time employment, and learning - the hard way, that the life i thought i wanted, was just not the one for me.

here i am, more than ten years later, none of the things i thought i'd have by this age. i've had a ton of jobs - some i've even liked, and a handful of boyfriends i thought were 'the one'. i've owned cars, gadgets, had pets, and always been extremely proud of my overflowing wardrobe, however un-materialistic i thought i was. but, the one thing i have now that i never considered i'd want is life experience. 

i left home at 21 and moved abroad. my first flat out of home was in a new country, i was earning new money, and paying for things i'd not had to before; bills, groceries, a new shower head and bed frame - stuff that i'd taken for granted in the past were now being considered necessary to lead an adult life. i don't know that i hated it, as much as it was bloody scary at first. well, that was ten years ago, and i can assure you, it's no less scary. but i've done it twice more since then. start all over again, i mean.

it might even be scarier at this age than it was at 21. i now live in the most expensive town in the galaxy, making (what i'd say is) an ok wage, where i can afford to keep a credit card free of fees, a roof over my head, a fridge full of food that constantly goes bad before i can eat it, travel a couple of times a year, and still maintain a very healthy wardrobe. hell, i even have a couple pennies in saving for a rainy day. i think - all things considering, this is something you'd call a success. it might not be what you'd call ideal, but it's a hell of a lot more interesting that that house and kids scenario, as far as i'm concerned.

last year, i was sure i was saving for a house. my now-ex and i had plans to get onto the 'property ladder' (such a wanky term) in the next few years, with help from the rent-to-own government scheme that we're lucky to have available to some first-time buyers in the uk, and so we saved. or so i thought. well, some things aren't meant to be, and now that's certainly not going to happen on my single salary. and certainly not in london or its surrounds as i'd hoped. and while i can continue to rent, and travel, and eat out, and have fun with my friends, i can't do all of that and save for a deposit, so - who knows what's around the bend, but for the foreseeable future, it won't include a lovely first-home of my own.

it's probably a good thing then i'm i'm not super pathetic and spend my lunch breaks floating between real estate websites, comparing affordable counties to buy in, or idly hunting for property for sale in wiltshire (say), because if the search results on strutt & parker's website are anything to go by, i'd best be hunting for a millionaire husband instead, and not affordable housing; upwards of five million pounds for a nine bedroom, grade ii listed stately home? tell him he's dreamin'. if the great british news is anything to go by, i'm better off looking for property in the dregs of the north, where i'm told you can get on the ladder in stoke for a measly one of your great british pounds

hey, the dome at north greenwich only cost o2 a pound back in the day, and look at it now. 
please tell me how you've failed at goals but succeeded at life, like me!

*post written in collaboration with brand. all home-owning dreams are my own*

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