I was walking on the beach with a friend this past Saturday and, of course, we got to talking about our lives. "Did you ever think that at our age we would be where we are?"
Nope, not at all.
When I was growing up and even when I was in college, I always thought my life would follow this successive timeline:
- long-term relationship stemming from high school or college
- graduate from college in 4 years
- work in my dream job, preferably in ATL or somewhere warm
- get engaged
- get married
- have kids
I did graduate from college in a long-term relationship, but it took me 5 years with me changing my degree from interior design to PR and with me taking on an additional semester to become the PRSSA National President. I have finally landed a dream job, though I didn't know how dream-like it was until I accepted.
Now that I'm 26 and I've just accomplished two of those things, I have finally figured out there is no way to really plan out your life and things you thought were going to happen in a certain way never will. I never thought that at 26 I would be on my fourth job and living in Connecticut. I thought right out of college I would land the perfect job and be so happy to be at such a reputable PR firm.
Reality set in and that firm was not for me, so I headed to another one. That one wasn't for me either. It took me a year and a half to figure out that working in NYC was not what I wanted and that it wasn't good for me. So I left to go join another agency and ultimately stayed there for a year. By this point, it had taken me 2.5 years (over 3 if you count my agency as an intern in ATL) to figure out I was not an agency girl.
When I turned 25, I found my first gray hair. I had found it before Jarrett got home and when he walked in the door I dramatically burst into tears at this thought of aging and being old. I now have at least 5 that I've counted recently and, while it does still bother me, I've just accepted it lately.
I never thought that at 26 I would still be questioning everything. I sincerely thought I would have it all figured out and I thought I would have experienced more. Unfortunately I didn't get to take my grand trip to Spain and many other countries this summer, due to many unforeseen circumstances and a few changes, but I still hope to make that trip and see those countries at some point.
I have also finally figured out that it's okay if things get quite messy along the way. Nothing is ever perfect. I used to so envy those that I knew who landed the job they wanted right out of college, are still in those jobs 3+ years later and don't plan to leave anytime soon.
That wasn't my journey and that's okay. Mine was completely different than anyone else's and that's okay too. Everyone is so different and our journeys are as well; don't try to compare yourselves to other because you'll only make yourself miserable and unsatisfied. You might even have to let go of an idea or a dream you had for so long to work on something else or go in a different direction.
I've learned from my mistakes and successes and though things didn't line up the way I thought or wanted, I'm continuing to roll on with what I have and what I can currently do. Some things are out of my control, but some are in my control and I'm doing the best I can with what I have.
Happiness isn't always 100% guaranteed right off the bat; it does take hard work and time sometimes! Keep going and keep moving. Don't let your past or struggles hold you down or keep you down!
Keep going. Keep working. Keep dreaming.