When Our Lives Look Different (and Why That’s OK)

“Be authentic” and “follow your gut” they say. Then you do and the hateful and negative comments appear.

Has anyone else had this happen?

I think it usually happens without the people doing it even realizing they’re doing it, but when those people are people close to you or people whose opinions are important to you, it can be tough.

There’s some BIG dreams and BIG goals that I’m currently working on. I’m not quite ready to put out more details in this space because you never quite know who will stumble upon it, but also because there are so many little intricate details that need to fall into place; it’s just too soon to share. But with that said, there are some friends and family who know and are excited and supportive, and there are some who know and their judgements and more so, their seemingly lack of confidence in me, are bubbling to the surface.

I was speaking with a friend about this over the weekend and she put it perfectly when she said how deflated I sounded when I talked about that and retold those stories, and when I shared the “how is THAT going to happen?” comments.

But then I talk more about WHY these things are so important to me, WHY they feel so built into my core, WHY I want to carry on these traditions, HOW I see my life looking once these things happen, HOW I feel every day, HOW this is a part of my “ideal life.” What does she say then? How excited and EMPOWERED I sound. And you know what? That’s because I am.

I have received criticism for as long as I can remember for the choices, decisions, and plans I’ve made for my life. From pursuing a career in the music industry, to changing paths, to moving all over the place, to starting the 50 States in a Year project,..the list could go on. And I should note that for each of those choices, I’ve also received equal praise and admiration for my courage.

But I am 30 and I “don’t have my life together.”

We’ve been over this before. We never really do. So why do people still think we need X to have Y?

Like I said, I am 30; I am single; I’ve moved apartments every year for the last 12 years; I’ve made significant cross-country moves every 2-3 years in that same time; I haven’t found a man who can keep up with me, and while I hope to find that man who fits in with my life, I’m not willing to settle or STOP living my life until our paths cross. I am choosing to not have kids; I am pretty darn adamant about that and don’t foresee my feelings changing; my friend’s kids are my nieces and nephews, I love them, want to spoil them, but still don’t want my own.

☕️Cheers to a morning run in my hometown, coffee with friends, time with family, and a totally full cup of gratitude. ✨

A post shared by Katie Arnold Lifestyle Blogger (@iamkatiearnold) on

These are my choices, my decisions and I find all of these things EMPOWERING. If you talk to me about it, you’ll hear it in my voice and in the way I speak.

It’s fine if you want to make your judgments because my life doesn’t look the way you think it “should,” but instead of saying things that are hurtful, rude, or questioning of my life choices, instead why don’t you keep your opinions to yourself and remember that I am on my own path. Plus, I’m not judging you.

Our lives can look different; they do look different; they will look different. Each of us are unique in our own ways and that’s part of what makes each of us such beautiful beings.

I empower you to live the life you dream of having; I empower you to visualize what your ideal life looks like and take the steps to get there; I empower you to own your story, your desires, and your journey and be okay with knowing that it’s likely going to look very different from mine.

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4 thoughts on “When Our Lives Look Different (and Why That’s OK)”

  1. Katie, I love, love, love this! It’s funny (well, not funny) how people think it’s ok to look at someone’s life and point out everything they think isn’t just as it should be. We all get to choose what our best life looks life and what that means. It sounds like you have a lot of big dreams and ideas so GOOD LUCK and make it happen!

  2. This is a great post!! I am married at 26 and starting to think about having kids in the next year or two and when my single friends compare their lives to mine I get annoyed because what works for me may not work for them! Just like you said we are all unique.

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