Whether it’s reaching a certain point in your career, owning a home, buying a that designer bag you’ve wanted for forever, starting a family, or gaining more instagram followers, there’s always something we want or think we need in order to be happy. When these things don’t happen exactly when we think they should – which is often how that works out – we’re left feeling “less than” or incomplete.
The thing is, most of it doesn’t really matter because none of these things will actually complete you. You’ll always be adjusting to what’s new and working toward what’s next. The better job, more money, buying a home, or a big vacation. We live in a world where we always want and need to have and be more, which can be good or terrible, depending on the situation and what you make of it.
In an age where we can follow thousands of people we don’t know on social media, seeing how good we think everyone has it can be really damaging. The engagement and baby announcements, weddings, vacations, designer clothes and often curated moments are a small piece of the puzzle – a glimpse. I’ve styled a photo or two (understatement of the year) and have partnered with brands, but do everything I can to be honest about what’s going on, too. Please just remember that it’s not everything.
I love my job. Being my own boss, working with a team I love, and getting to create content that makes our readers happy is so rewarding. The Everygirl is a huge and very important part of my life, but it doesn’t define my identity.
Interior design is something that I love, too. As Type A as I am, am always cleaning and organizing, so having my home look the way it does works for me. But it isn’t everything.
Then I met Conor and pause for shock – we don’t complete each other, either. The right person will bring out the best in you, but they should be icing on the cake and not the entire cake. Relying on one person to be the thing that makes you happy will not work. We still have our struggles and can be there to support each other, but we can’t just fix it.
And the stuff. I used to have an overstuffed closet and dresser, and pared everything down by at least 50%. My four t-shirt piles are now one small pile, and I feel better owning fewer better things. I realize I post products pretty frequently, but I hope you know it’s all in fun, and that at the end of the day, none of that really matters. You don’t “need” any of it, but if you like picking up a few things for fall or decorating your home or just seeing inspiration, it is my hope I can provide a little inspiration. And I really enjoy doing it. But these posts – these are the ones that matter.
Whenever I tell someone I’m getting married in Paris, people have the strongest and post positive reactions to the news. We will be in Paris with the people we love most and in so many ways, it’s a dream come true. But putting the expectation of perfection on one day seems a little crazy to me. The reality is that my family won’t be there, and I’d give anything for that part of my story to be different than it is. But it’s not, and for the first time since getting engaged, I am starting to find peace in that.
I have chosen to focus more on our marriage than a party. On what kind of wife I want to be, the traditions we’ll start, and the things we hope to do in the next few years. And of course, on spending a few days in Paris with Conor’s immediate family and our closest friends.
So many women (myself included) struggle with self-imposed timelines. I just talked about why I’m glad things didn’t work out as planned on The Everygirl. Back in my 20s, I thought I had to be married and have kids by the time I turned 30 which is clearly not how things worked out for me. Looking at where I am now, I honestly wouldn’t change a thing. That said, I really struggled with the fact that my wedding might happen after my 35th birthday – my self-declared scary age. We’re getting married three weeks after my 35th birthday, and once again, I learned that those self-imposed timelines really don’t matter.
What I hope you’ll all take away from this is that we can’t control everything and it’s so important to take time to appreciate where we are now. Don’t give up on the things you want, but know that there is not one thing, person, or circumstance that will complete you. Can we find ourselves happier than ever in that new job and love our spouses and children more than we ever imagined? Yes, of course. But everything – even the good things that we’ve always dreamed about – come with their own set of struggles.
There’s no happily ever after without any issues and struggles because that’s just not how it works. Look to the future and dream of the things you hope to have someday, but don’t forget to appreciate where you are now.