I vividly remember planning out my life in middle school. Become Miss Arizona, graduate college, start my broadcast television career, buy a house at 25-years-old, pay it off before I getting married at 30 and turn it into a rental property for passive income. I don’t know what kind of seventh grader thinks about passive income or decides it’s realistic to pay off a mortgage in less than five years (I’ll attribute this to 1990s home prices), but I was that kind of kid. Always curious, always researching, always trying to figure out the future.
Growing up, my dad’s home office was the place to ask all the questions. Mine mostly revolved around his small business, saving money, investing in the stock market and homeownership. I craved a sense of wanting to know how the world worked, how problems were solved, how people became successful and how the definition of success varied. Diving beyond the surface level to have deep, meaningful conversations was - and still is - my style. They make this old soul quite happy.
Through these complex conversations, my eagerness to know what my future would look like continued to grow. If I knew the end result, I could reverse engineer the steps to get there. I began to find joy in painting every detail of the picture in my mind, visualizing in the strongest sense of the word. As much as I wanted to know exactly how it would unfold, creating a plan was the next best thing.
But life doesn’t always go according to plan - especially the one you make as at 12.
I turned 30 last month and there have been more plot twists than I can count. When young Kate couldn’t fathom having a husband until 30, I’m now approaching it with five years of marriage and two sons. And spoiler alert - no talk show.
I’m grateful for the happenings that didn’t align with the original dream, that they didn’t fit in this rigid box that my young mind constructed, and that I took time to learn, grow and remained open to opportunities. The spark of curiosity and listening to my intuition has stayed true. While there have been points where the fire was dull and my inner voice was more mean girl than motivational speaker, I know young Kate would be proud.
I wouldn’t be where I am now if my vision remained the same and definitely wouldn’t be here if I lived like everyone else. Finding gratitude in the deviations, even when they are difficult, is key. I’m not referring to toxic positivity, just realize that some situations can have silver linings. I’m mostly thankful that my vision has changed because I have changed.
When we are young, many of us have this idea that when we become adults - or at least turn 30 - we’ll have it all figured out. We reach this point of making it, where all the puzzle pieces fit together. For me, I now think that “making it” isn’t a concrete plan, but a feeling.
It’s a feeling of fully embracing who I am, valuing my voice, having compassionate internal dialogue, believing in my power, trusting in my knowledge, striving to improve in all areas, confidently showing up every day and allowing myself to become who I am meant to be.
I hope you’ll join me in your own journey to that feeling.