The older you get, the more birthdays become a time of reflection. On the year that has gone by, the ones that came before it, and the ones hopefully yet to come. For as long as I can remember, I always set high expectations of where I might be in life.
“By 18, I’ll own my own business and by 21 I’ll be driving a Mercedes. By 30 I should be a Millionaire.” I can remember repeating those same words over and over again, mind you with no real path of how I would get there.
As I continued to grow up, reality began weighing on my lofty plans. At 18, I was still in school and certainly unable to run my own life let alone a business. By the time 21 rolled around, I was working several jobs. One of them was in fact my own business, a design company I still run today. I almost bought a beat up Mercedes that year just to stay on track, but was talked out of it by some much wiser folks than myself.
On my 24th birthday, I bought my Mercedes. It was two weeks before my wedding, a fact that likely unsettled some people close to us, mainly the ones helping to pay for the affair. Although it seemed like a rash decision, for me it was the right thing to do. I knew that getting married would change things financially. My goofy spending was now “our” spending and would need to be brought into check, at least until my imagined fortune caught up to it.
Friday, I turn 28. Instead of being wary of my 30th birthday looming around the bend, I am instead grateful for all that I already have. My wife Christine and I will celebrate our fourth year of marriage on June 21st and in November, will celebrate our 10th year together. We have an adorable, smart, handful of a son who I wouldn’t trade for the world. Being a parent certainly changes your priorities. I traded in my Mercedes a few weeks ago…for another Mercedes. I can only grow up so much, you know. I still plan to be a millionaire someday, but like most things in my life, it will come when it’s time.
I don’t know why I never imagined my life much past 30. I suppose I just assumed it would all be easy from there. However I’ve learned from some close friends that having money doesn’t always make things easier. Having friends and family you can count on is what makes you wealthy.
I’m lucky to have both and I’m sure the riches will come in time.
Let’s say mid 40’s… just to play it safe.