A decade is a long period of time. A lot can change in that time. Especially people. 10 years ago, I was not doing anything as exciting and ground-breaking as I was 20 years ago starting university.
But what was 27-year-old me like? Did she dream of FIRE? Had she started seriously investing? Was she happy? Sadly the answer to all three was no. 10 years ago I was lost in life.
Let me introduce 27-year-old me
Life wasn’t great. I had an ok job, a respectable yet average income of around £22k. A boyfriend I wasn’t sure I had a future with. My future plans as a whole were unclear. I was frustrated at work as a promised promotion kept getting delayed and never materialised. I was doing ok financially, but nothing special to write home about.
What do you get from that description? A whole lot of ok and mediocre? That lingering sense of disappointment, and wonders on what life could be? There is no doubt it was a dark time, with a cloud of disappointment hanging over my life.
And I write this to say, if you are there now don’t worry. Many of us have been there in our pasts. You can get through it. I know I did. The me of 10 years ago is unrecognisable – and bears little resemblance to present day me.
Comparing 27-year-old me vs 37-year-old me
As I detail in money vs happiness ponderings – today I feel so content and happy. My life is good and more importantly, I have much agency to change anything I want. But 10 years ago I was in a much different position – frustration and discontentment were much more common emotions than happiness. I was not great at articulating it, but life did not feel happy. And I truthfully had no real plan or path to get to happy.
27 year old me had no life plan. I was drifting through life, and unsure what steps to take next. Moreover, I desired a promotion and did not know how to get it.
I was getting comfortable in my ok job. The aspirations and enthusiasm the much younger me in my early twenties had were both fading. In reality, life was not going the way I wanted to and I had no purpose.
Compared to today when I have an on track plan to FIRE (retire early on my passive income) in 3 years before I hit 40. This plan is already a good few years old and has undergone a few tweaks and revisions. But the core content is the same – work a few more years until I hit my number. Then my time will truly be my own.
Fullness of Life
My life was not rich at 27. I worked, went home and partook in my hobby of the month. I did not have enduring interests and I discontentedly flicked through from one hobby to another. Nothing was sticking in life or making me happy. My life was very one dimensional, and the idea of doing new things was scary. The idea of studying and learning was even more alien. Yet I felt unfulfilled and knew deep down I had more to offer.
Contrasting that with my life today is easy. I have so many enriching interests and hobbies. I love running and do at last two marathons a year. And yes, I am accidentally doing three marathons this year – oops. I seek out hard things to study – I did an MA for fun. Yes, just for my own personal enrichment, it has no career or business benefits. Moreover, I now actively help others as well. I volunteer a lot and share my skills and experience with the causes I care about.
Finding Work Fulfilling
At 27 I was frustrated with a job and didn’t know how to take the next step. The frustration and stalled-ness were powerful feelings weighing me down. I didn’t know if it was me that was the failure – was there something wrong with me myself? Or was it my expectations, was I expecting too much from life? Perhaps I did not deserve a better job?
Now I’m happily working contract jobs, and really enjoying them. I have found inner peace with work, and will happily do whatever the client desires as long as they pay me. In reality, my jobs are much better and pay much more. Nonetheless what has facilitated this change is my attitude and a change to a happier disposition. Stoicism has well and truly been embraced here and brought me many benefits.
Money and Wealth
There is no doubt that 37-year-old me is now rich income wise. I bring in a good income and would be considered a high earner. Moreover, as well as cracking the income side, I’ve been working on the wealth side. My net worth is over £750k and increasing. I have my money invested and working for me. And I know how to manage it myself.
I don’t have accurate records, but 27-year-old me didn’t have a lot of wealth. She owned a house with equity and had a pension but was still carrying a student loan that she wasn’t really putting a dent into. She must have had a net worth must have been around £50k?
Why am writing this?
I’m sure no-one really cares about 27-year-old me. I know I don’t. But she has an important story to tell us all.
I get lots of messages suggesting I am lucky as I am doing well now and people comparing themselves to me. And you know what? Most of these come from people over 10 years younger than me.
Moreover, they are not in such dissimilar situations than I was at that time. I’ve outlined where I was 10 years ago and how I have changed dramatically.
You too can make changes
Where do you really want to be in 10 years? Not the rehearsed answer you’d give at a job interview. The actual true answer. How do you see your life in the future? Are you actively working towards it? Have you taken yourself out of your comfort zone? Do you want to start making more opportunities and luck for yourself in the future?
This is a call to action. Be bold.
If I can do it – why can’t you?
Over to you
- What are your thoughts?
- Where were you 10 years ago?
- Did you go through a period of life feeling lost?
- How did you get through dark times?