The Difference a Year Makes
This Sunday marks exactly one year since my college graduation. It wouldn’t be proper for it to come and go without me reflecting on how much has changed in that time.
365 days may not seem like a big deal in the grand scheme of things but that particular stretch of time has been largely definitive in my life thus far.
In December 2009:
- I didn’t know what I was going to do after graduation.
- My favorite song on the radio was “Tik Tok” by Ke$ha (only God can judge me).
- I was living in New Tampa and going to Peabody’s like nobody’s business.
- My main concern was finding a “big-girl” job and myself.
- I worked at the mall and loathed being a slave to retail.
In December 2010:
- I’ve been in possession of my diploma for about four months and am still learning of its weight.
- My favorite song on the radio is “Only Prettier” by Miranda Lambert.
- I live in South Tampa and go to MacDinton’s, Hyde Park Cafe, Dubliner, etc. like nobody’s business.
- My main concern is what my next career move will be.
- I work at an ad agency and despite the craziness, am gaining more experience than I’d have ever imagined.
When I went home for Christmas last year, I was peppered incessantly by friends and family about just what I was going to do with my life. I had five or six options, none of which I was particularly sold on.
When I go home for Christmas this year, I can confidently speak about my life and the many blessings I’ve been granted. Nowhere on my list of options was “Find a job in my field, in Tampa” because I didn’t think that was possible.
Of course fundamentally, I’m the same old Wittyburg. I’m still unsure of myself, falling for the wrong guy and learning about life’s twists and turns on the daily.
The thing is, I continually strive to make each year better than the last. I never want to look back and say, “That was the best time of my life.” What’s the point if you’re not always at the best time of your life?
And Lord only knows where I’ll be a year from now. I just hope I don’t revert back to thinking Ke$ha’s “music” is good.
The Thing about Being a Twentysomething
I’m in my early 20s and am still learning new things about myself every day. I have fantasies, faults and fears that I discover as I move throughout life. And quite frankly, I don’t understand why it seems that so many of my baby-faced peers are so eager to rush down the aisle and raise kids of their own.
It’s my feeling that many of these people want the wedding, not the marriage. Listen — if you’re looking to spend a couple grand on some extravagant night, I can give you a laundry list of reasons to do so, besides the first boyfriend you’ve ever had just dropped to one knee and gave you a ring.
I’m sure this sounds crazy to those happily married or happily engaged couples who have stars in their eyes and are over the moon for one another. Take it from a girl who falls fast, and always for the wrong guy; there is no timeline for ANY of us on when it should happen.
There’s the saying that “if you want to hear God laugh, tell Him your plans,” and I couldn’t agree more. You can’t plan when you’ll get married, or who the bride or groom will be. You can’t draw out blueprints for a baby’s room before pregnancy, because the thing about life is, THERE IS NO PLAN. The second you try to plan, the second it falls to shit. And all that’s left is a giant chasm of disappointment.
And honestly, what’s the rush? So much life is ahead of you when you’re in your 20s. So many experiences await you. The world is wide open, and it may never be again.
I say all of this, of course, as someone who enjoys attending sorority sisters’ weddings. I’m excited to hear of a friend or relative who is pregnant. I’m not bitter toward the fact that those choices are made in the early dawn of their lives. I just don’t quite get it.
I think it freaks some people out to hear me say that I don’t know if I’ll ever get married, or if I’ll ever want children of my own. I am judged for not following what’s expected of me at the old age of 23, but I simply don’t have a plan for myself to “achieve” those things. Does that make me a failure at being a twentysomething?
Everyone has different priorities, so I suppose the point I’m trying to make is: At this stage in my life, is it so wrong that I first want to become successful in my professional and financial milestones, and worry about the husband and baby later?