We all seem to have ideas about how our lives are going to go and what we're going to achieve by certain points. We celebrate the good things but also feel a bit like we've missed out when we don't manage to achieve what we wanted by these imaginary milestones.
Previously, I have felt disappointed when I have failed to do certain things before a birthday, but this year, I am not in the same place. Here's why:
No, I'm not a mum yet
I'm a big believer in the idea that things happen when they are supposed to, so if I'm not a mum now, I'm not meant to be yet. Instead of settling down and growing and raising babies, I have spent seven years enjoying my relationship and seeing how the husband and I grow together. I have also worked hard to achieve two degrees and start creating a career that has meant we can move out of the south-west.
Yes, I have some fertility things going on, but I'm not losing hope and I am not letting the lack of children stress me out. Instead, I am working on myself so that when we do have children, I am as healthy - both physically and mentally - as I can be.
I don't think there's any reason to rush this and I'm actually glad that I didn't become a mum as early as I had originally planned to. If I had, we wouldn't live in Leeds, I wouldn't have learnt what I have at my job and I don't think my relationship would be as strong as it is.
I've travelled a lot
I truly believe that travelling helps to build character, especially if you brave new places alone. There are still so many places that I'd like to go, as well as old favourites I want to visit again, this time with my husband. I'll take as many of the opportunities to travel that are thrown my way as I possibly can, as I will never get bored of adventure.
While there are people out there who have seen more places than I have, I am really happy with the experiences I've had and the people I've met along the way.
My career isn't what I thought it would be
Instead, I did my Masters in Professional Writing and realised that I love writing and am happiest when I get to do it. I love writing poetry, screenplays, for the stage, novels and even for the internet. I can write in my sleep and see inspiration everywhere I go. I'm rarely happier than when I'm writing.
This meant I pushed to find a job where I can write every day. While my current career may not be perfect - is there any job that is? - I spend my days writing. It can make it harder to get the motivation going to write something for myself, but I push through it.
I can honestly say that I am not a teacher, I am a writer. This is one of the biggest realisations I've made so far and I feel very lucky that I made it as early as I did.
I'm proud of who I have become
I have survived bullies, fake friends, loss and a fair amount of heartache, all thrown in with a big dollop of self doubt. It sometimes seems that it has taken me longer than most to work out who I am, but I'm finally getting there and I'm not sorry that it has taken me this long.
Over the years, I have tried to be what I thought other people expected of me, but that just made me miserable. It has been the last few years - since I met my husband really - that I've started to work through everything in order to feel happy in myself. This meant that my style changed, my willingness to put up with crap reduced and I have become a lot happier.
This is definitely something that is going to continue developing, but I think I've done pretty well so far.
No more comparison
Plans never really work out and if I were to look back in five years time, I'll probably see that things are totally different to how I thought they would be. I'm okay with that.
I don't see the point in comparing my life to what I thought it would be or to other people's because we are all different and deal with totally different things. Right now, I have a short-term plan and am just going with it. I'll chance it if I have to and I'll enjoy the challenge.
I think this is a pretty healthy place to be at almost-28-years-old.