Okay, I know what you’re probably thinking. I’m sure you’re rolling your eyes with the “PLEASE… 27 is still so YOUNG!” look on your face, but please, hear me out.
If I had a dollar for every time I said this, I’d be a millionaire. Really, though. This statement is always preceded by something that I assumed I would be doing by the age of “almost 30”, but still haven’t quite accomplished yet. Just to name a few:
“I’m “almost 30″ and I still haven’t…”
1. Saved money. How many times will a girl overdraft her account, max out credit cards, and have to hitch rides until payday before she figures her finances out??
2. Received my Masters Degree... in ANYTHING!
3. Been married or had any kids. …although the older I get the less appealing this sounds (Let’s be honest, I like to sleep in on the weekends). But no matter how comfortable I am without that ball and chain, I still secretly find myself feeling a little bit more lonely each time I am minus a “plus one” at a table full of lovey-dovey couples, while in return I spend the night making out with the open bar.
4. Moved out of state. I have been living in the same dull, boring state my ENTIRE LIFE. I complain continuously about wanting to move to a bigger, more exciting city, yet there is something so scary about leaving my security blanket at home to move when I don’t even have any money saved up TO move. Therefore, back to #1.
5. Figured out where I’m going with my career. This is an entire story in itself, but I have always wanted to be a teacher. I have been teaching now for 5 years, but for the first time in my life I am sadly realizing that I’m not able to help children and truly make a difference in their lives the way I once hoped to and to the extent that they need it. Education has turned into another political profession where your success relies solely on things like test scores, paperwork, and analyzing results. So do I keep teaching and hate my life because I can’t afford to go back to school, or do I add it to my pile of drowning debt and take out a loan? Following your dreams is quite expensive.
So here I am, one week before my 27th birthday and I have already begun the pre-birthday freakout about this giant list of “adult” things that I feel I SHOULD have done by now while worrying about where I will be in the next 5 years. I’m going to be 27, I still have maxed out credit cards and not a dime in my savings account…so how do I know I’ll fix this problem by the time I’m 30? What if I still don’t have my crap together then, and nobody will marry me because my life is such a mess?? WHEN DID I LET MY LIFE BECOME SUCH A MESS?!? … you get the idea. One thought leads to another and I can almost feel the ulcers growing inside of me.
This year, however, I feel different. The last two and a half years of my life have been the most trying, stressful, and yet completely wonderful years of my life. I survived my first major breakup and lived on my own for the first time. I had a job that I loved for the time being and got to know some very inspirational children. I backpacked through Europe and volunteered in Africa. Even though I still continue to screw up my finances, I was able to pay off two credit cards. (Hey… at least it’s a start, right??) I grew up a lot, learned valuable lessons, and “figured out who I really am” (I know, so cliche, but so true). I mean, at least I’m not 30 and living with my parents to support my fatherless children while I’m hittin’ up da club every weekend, right? It could always be worse, I suppose….
I guess the point I am trying to make is this: if you would have told my teenage-self that this is what my life would be like now, I would have curled up into the fetal position, fallen into a deep depression while mulling over my terrible fate. Okay, so my life isn’t what I expected it would be as a teenager….. but whose life REALLY turns out like they expected it to? Moreover, who really WANTS their life to turn out as you expected?? (If that were the case, I would have married my loser high school boyfriend, had kids by 21, lived in my hometown forever and had cats. GROSS.)
I may be growing older, but I am growing wiser. LIFE IS UNPREDICTABLE. We can plan it out how we want to and try to adhere to our original draft, but we so often forget that our destiny and journey is not 100% in our own hands. After all, wouldn’t that be a little boring and dull?
So as I enter into my “Almost 30” years and begin writing this blog (as one of my New Year’s resolutions to spend more time doing things that I love), I am saying CHEERS to my new goal of adulthood:
*Do my best, stop worrying about things that are not in my control, and enjoy every minute of NOW instead of wasting this precious time in the past or future. Because “now” is the only thing we can change, anyways.*