The Problem With “You’ll See…”

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you'll see

Bonjour friends! Happy Friday! In anticipation of the WorldTowning launch (we are almost there folks) I will be sharing oldies, but goodies from the past several years of blogging.

I can’t wait to share our new adventure with you. If you want to get a jump on the WorldTowning launch you can sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of this post. Early newsletter subscribers will get a special pre-launch goodie. Let’s just say that there will be a drawing (after launch) that will involve time in a country outside the US. And those of you who sign up pre-launch get your name entered three extra times.

Published July 27, 2016

Hola, friends. Happy Wednesday, amigos! How is everyone today? I am sorry I’ve been a bit MIA again. You know how this goes when we are in the US… socializing, sleeping a little, adventuring, eating cheese, hanging with family/friends, and working. It’s not easy to balance these tasks, but we are managing. However, we do have a couple of extra added elements that seem to be slowing up my blog writing this week. We are planning to launch a new business in October (lots of prep work this week), we will be applying for our French visa on Monday (oh the paperwork), and we cannot seem to find anything in our massive amounts of luggage (going commando). Time to simplify again. Ha!

Inside A Traveler’s Walls will be here tomorrow! Get ready for your inspiration!

Thank you to the reader who shared her story about the “you’ll see” situation she had with her sister. You inspired this post. She wrote to me and told me that her older sister (4 years age difference) was always saying “you’ll see” to her and she believed it. Ultimately, it became a self-fulfilling prophecy and she gave up on her dreams because she thought she knew the path her life would take. It wasn’t until she said, “NO, I don’t choose this and you don’t get a vote,” that she was able to make changes in her path. Now she is years beyond that planned life, traveling the world and defying the you’ll see odds. I am proud of you, amiga!

Have I ever told you why I dislike the phrase you’ll see?

“You’ll see, when you go to college….”
“You’ll see, when you get a real job….”
“You’ll see, when you get married…”
“You’ll see, when you buy a house…”
“You’ll see, when you have kids…”
“You’ll see, when you have your next job…”
“You’ll see, when you are 70…

I’ve heard different versions of this phrase for as far back as I can remember, maybe age 11 or 12ish. Why do people say this ridiculous phrase? Complete strangers, as well as family and friends, will offer up their “you’ll see” as often as they’ll change their underwear. I find it so completely obnoxious and presumptuous to assume that one person’s path will be exactly the same as another’s. So far in my 43 years of life, the “you’ll see” statement has never come to fruition.

When I was a teenager, people would say this to me often. “You’ll see, you will look back on this part of your life and know you were in an experimental phase.” I’m still waiting for that prediction to come true. I’m starting to think that this might actually be me. Shocker. I’m perpetually in an experimental phase. When I would hear this statement in my teens it would always confuse me. How could a 30, 40, 50-year-old person know what my path would be in the future? How could they predict if I would regret my current teenage state? Why would they think that I would have the same thoughts they would have about their past or future? This you’ll see statement has always been a weird thing for me, even from a very young age. It makes the assumption that we will have regrets, that we will not live authentically as we grow older, that we will follow the path of the majority who has gone before us.

Well, I can sit here today and tell you one thing: the you’ll see crowd was WAY off base on me.

I remember when I went to live in London for four months and people would say, “Do it now, because when you have a family, career, kids, house, (fill in the blank) you won’t be able to live this freely, you’ll see.” Again, still waiting for this you’ll see to come true. After over 20 moves, five or more house purchases, two kids, two careers, and much more, I would say that we have never lived as freely as we do today and none of the above has ever held us back.

I remember when I got married and people would say, “You’ll see, everything will change, you will lose your freedom, life will become boring, you will have to give in to your man all the time and you will lose yourself.” Again, still waiting for this to happen. If anything, our marriage has become more fulfilling as time has gone on because we are both pursuing our passions, living authentically, removing tasks that don’t bring us joy, and spending copious amounts of time with our children.

I remember when we bought our first house and people said, “You’ll see, now you won’t have the money to travel, now you are locked into living in LA forever, now you are XYZ.” Again, still waiting for this to happen. Actually, the opposite has happened, the house made us think more outside the box. It taught us about equity, leverage, real estate, and living differently. That first house we bought in LA set us on a path of real estate investing that has given us many opportunities to think creatively. As a result, I am grateful for that purchase and the you’ll sees that never actually manifested.

I remember when I was pregnant and people (many times complete strangers) would say, “You’ll see, now you won’t be able to travel as much, you will be forced to live a certain life because of society and what people expect when you have children, you will need to look the part, etc.” I’m still waiting.

I remember when we had Largo and people would say, “You’ll see, it’s all going to change, forget about having a life, two kids is so different….” Still waiting. Our life is more fulfilling with the kids and I cannot even imagine being on this journey without them. They push us to stay optimistic, live our dreams, and remain young at heart/mind/soul.

I remember when I got my first tattoo, then my second tattoo, then started my tattoo sleeve. I remember when I cut my hair, dyed it blue (then pink, then purple, then platinum) and when I let my hair go gray. “You’ll see, it will make you look older, people will treat you different, your husband will be turned off…” Well, I don’t have any trouble getting action (wink, wink) so I will say it again… I’m still waiting. My pink and gray hair has been very liberating, fulfilling, healthy and a choice I’m glad I embraced.

I remember when we decided to take off traveling. Everyone had an opinion. “You’ll see, your kids will miss out on so much, the American dream, team sports, pop culture….” They were right. FINALLY! Our kids are missing out on the American dream, but it is being substituted with the Global Dream. Our kids are missing out on team sports, but they have hiked the Andes mountains to Machu Picchu, gone swimming with sea lions in the Galapagos, walked for hours and hours in foreign cities, etc. They don’t know US pop culture, but they know cultural nuances. They know what the head bobble in India means, they know what countries cook their ceviche and which ones don’t, they enjoy music/movies/performances in three different languages and are able to understand it. So I am happy this you’ll see came true.

Funny thing, though: no one ever says you’ll see to Will and I anymore after two years of travel. Either they have given up because we don’t really listen or we just look too wild for people to even approach us anymore. Ha. Either way, it’s nice to have finally hit a point at which we don’t get that comment anymore.

Maybe more you’ll see moments will pop up, but I will not become that 75-year-old woman who believes she is so full of wisdom that she knows what the future holds for those younger than her. It’s not fair to make that assumption or presume that everyone is on the same path. And if you are reading this saying, “Well, she is only 43, she will see,” I say NO WAY! I am not saying I am not going to change. I will definitely change, but it is unlikely that my life will change to resemble exactly that of someone else’s. And how do I know this? Because of the aforementioned. The “you’ll see” has not proved its validity to this point in my (our) life, so why would I start believing it now?

Why did I write this post? I wrote it for those of you who are “you’ll see’ers” to show you another side of the life journey. We get one shot at this life (unless you believe in reincarnation) and it’s unfair to make this statement to anyone. It makes assumptions and it’s unfair to the person on the receiving end.

I also wrote this for those of you who are on the receiving end of the adamant you’ll see’er. Fight through it, ignore it, enlighten someone, but whatever you do, please DO NOT believe that this is your unavoidable path. I truly knew in my heart that my life would take a different path and it did. Follow your heart and your authentic self and it will set you free from the clenches of the you’ll see’ers who think the life path for everyone is the same.

And whatever you do, DO NOT BECOME A YOU’LL SEE’ER! Please. This younger generation needs our love, support, and encouragement to forge their own path. They don’t need our opinions, they need our commitment to stopping the you’ll see’ers. They need us to accept their path and not judge it. They need us on their team, not trying to take them down with the ship.

Do you have you’ll see’ers in your life? How have you handled it?



8 thoughts on “The Problem With “You’ll See…”

  1. LOVE this post Jessica! Just love it. We’ve had a lot of “you’ll see’s” throughout our life too. We’ve always done stuff differently (even though society made it hard sometimes) and are totally better people for it, I truly believe. We got married, but then didn’t have kids (what??). We have our own religious (or lack thereof) religious beliefs (what?). And as you know, quit our jobs and moved to a foreign country to live more simply (what? who lives more simply these days?). Now – preparing for our next adventure – to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail!! Who does these things? WE DO.

    1. LOVE IT JEN and your life! Thanks so much for commenting. It is so nice to hear the perspective of others who have experienced this and fought it. I am so excited to follow your next adventure. We will be right behind you on that one lady. Love you.

      1. I know you will! You guys rock – what you’re doing with your family is so awesome. Thanks for supporting us! xoxoxoxo

  2. Genius post Jessica! I’m writing one right now, about why I’ve left Facebook!! HA yes I have. And it’s not because the hot Latino doing his George Clooney was too much for my hot flashes. Anyway, yes, people give me that crap too. I ignore them, always have. Cheers!

  3. Brilliant Jess-I know a few people who should read this….think I’ll print it out and send it anonymously haha! The other day a woman told Georgina (my eldest with the blue hair) that it was awful that she’d done that to her hair……another shotgun moment. 😉

    1. Thanks. Yes, send it to them, maybe they don’t even realize they are doing it. Oh what a crazy lady, tell Georgina I have her back from one colored head to another. Besos.

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