10 ways life is different than I would have expected 10 years ago

10 year challenge

A few weeks ago, I was rummaging through my belongings. Pottering, you could call it. And among these belongings was an old diary I had kept at age 15. Full of delight I read back what my 10-year younger self thought of life and the future. One thing stood out to me. The life I had imagined for myself as a woman in her mid-twenties is completely different from the life I am currently living. Let us take a trip down memory lane and see how wrong my younger self was about her predictions about her future life.

1. I don’t live in New York

At age 15, I was obsessed with Gossip Girl. So it goes without saying that I wanted to live in New York after I graduating from secondary school. What made the place even more alluring is that the headquarters of the United Nations are located in New York. I saw myself living in this metropolitan city, saving the world by day and sipping cocktails by night. However, when I visited New York a few years later, I absolutely hated it. The smell and noise were so overwhelming that I quickly changed my mind about ever living there.

2. I am not saving the world

Younger me was very keen to make a positive impact on the world. I wanted to work for a charity and help those in need. Then I moved to Leeds, fell in love and settled down here. And Leeds is not known for its groundbreaking non-profits. So for now, I am more than happy to work in the world of marketing, but I am not ruling out that if I ever move to another city that I would pick up this dream again.

3. I have a boyfriend

15-year old me must have definitely watched too much Gossip Girl because I was adamant about not having a boyfriend in my twenties. I saw the world as my oyster and thought that at 25 years old I would be enjoying single life to the max. Then I fell in love and well… We know the rest.

4. I want children

Completely unrelated to Gossip Girl, I always thought I didn’t want children. So my vision for my twenties definitely did not include thinking about the possibility of having children one day. I guess it is true what they say. The biological clock truly starts ticking when you get older (for some women!).

5. I don’t drink a litre of milk anymore

I was addicted to milk as a teenager and I could easily go through a litre of milk a day. Trust me when I say I had it with everything. In my cereal in the morning, as an afternoon snack and as a nightcap before bed. I could not get enough. Little did I know that 5 years later, I would go vegan and never touch a glass of milk again.

6. I do yoga and meditation (that weird spiritual stuff)

I thought yogi’s and zen masters were really weird at 15. Thanks to a crush I was introduced to the world of spirituality. I have just completed the 30 day yoga challenge with Adriene and am once more reminded how much I enjoy yoga and meditation.

7. I am no longer friends with my best friend

At age 15, I had a close friend I shared everything with. We went on holidays together, mused about boys together and envisioned our futures together. We even thought we would conquer the world together. Then we both went off to different universities and somehow lost touch. Nothing bad happened but it was just a friendship that didn’t stand the test of time.

8. I don’t go out on ‘school nights’

Younger me thought that being a grownup automatically meant staying up late. As a teenager, I always went to bed quite early (unless I had a party). But I thought that at 25 I would spend every night either in bar or a fitness studio or at a friend’s house. Although I do go out on school nights occasionally now, I still go to bed at around 10 PM most days.

9. I haven’t been to Patagonia

I have mentioned before that I really want to go to Patagonia. Somehow, I never made it. And older self is a little bummed about that. I favoured other destinations in Asia and North America, because they were easier to plan and pay for. Yet, I had so much free time as a student that I could have easily made Patagonia a priority.

10. I don’t have it all figured out

This one is perhaps the funniest one to me. I used to think that once I was an adult I would have it all figured out. That I would know what I want and know how to adult properly. Well, it is safe to say that I don’t. Sure, I know how to pay bills by now and can feed myself on a regular basis. But I have learned by now that nobody has it truly figured out. We are all just tumbling through this thing called life and giving it our best shot. Whether at age 15, 25 or 50.

How is you life different from what you expected as a teen?


  1. February 7, 2019 / 11:46 am

    Ik vind dit echt een leuk idee! Bij mij precies hetzelfde, denk dat bijna niets zo is zoals ik het zelf had uitgedacht in mijn jongere jaren. Misschien dat ik hier ook nog iets mee ga doen, toch leuk om eens bij stil te staan 🙂
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    • Lizzyfied
      February 8, 2019 / 7:04 am

      Grappige he, hoe het leven altijd zo onverwachte wendingen neemt. Ik ben er zeker van dat mijn leven in 10 jaar ook weee heel anders is dan ik had kunnen voorspellen. Het lijkt me leuk om ook jouw versie te lezen! Xx

  2. February 10, 2019 / 9:18 am

    Wat een prachtig artikel en heel erg mooi om stil te staan bij wat er eigenlijk anders is dan je als 15-jarige dacht. Het leven heeft soms mooie verrassingen voor je in petto en het is juist zo leuk dat je nooit alles kunt voorspellen. Mijn leven is ook heel anders dan ik 10 jaar geleden dacht. Ik las laatst in mijn dagboek terug dat ik had verwacht nu drie kinderen, een man en een boerderij te hebben. Ik geloof dat realistisch inschatten (hallo, wie kan er als 25-jarige een hele boerderij kopen!) toen nog niet mijn sterkste kant was, haha. Wel heel leuk om zo terug te blikken op wat er anders is gelopen.
    Ik heb toevallig ook een artikel op de planning staan met een vergelijking van 10 jaar geleden en nu. Ik vind het vooral bijzonder om te merken wat een bescheiden dosis extra levenservaring met me heeft gedaan in vergelijking met toen 🙂
    Romy recently posted…Outfit | Een gele blouse & mijn allermooiste jasjeMy Profile

    • Lizzyfied
      February 11, 2019 / 9:13 pm

      Ja, ik denk dat iedereen een beetje naief is als tiener. Levenservaring is inderdaad iets heel waardevols om je verwachtingen mee bij te schaven. Super leuk dat je een dergelijk artikel in de planning hebt staan. Ik kijk ernaar uit om het te lezen! Liefs <3

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