This is the first birthday I’ve had where the whole getting older thing feels weird and more real. Before you start rolling your eyes, I know, 25 is still really young. But for some reason it seems like I had some weird expectations of where I would be at this age. For the most part, I’m there. And for a lot of it, I did things I never thought I would.
I knew I would have a Bachelor’s Degree and be living out of the house with a full time job. Part of me knew I would probably be in graduate school getting my Master’s.
I didn’t think I would have lived in California for two years and then be in Boston. Growing up, the idea of leaving home was one I always toyed around with but I never actually thought it would happen. It’s funny, but I think the biggest reason I had the courage to leave was that the economy was in the toilet when I was graduating college so I figured I might as well choose to be poor and do it somewhere cool.
And now that I’ve left, I don’t think I can ever go back. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being in Rochester. A big part of me wishes I felt like I could stay there. I have a lot of great friends there, my family is there and I’m almost positive I could find a job that I loved.
The thing is I truly think that being a young person today is a totally different experience than it was when my parents were my age. Back then, people settled down early. They bought houses. They got a job and they stayed with that company for the entirety of their career and that was that.
While I love my job, I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t have a desire to go try something else for a while. To be honest, I think it would be awesome to move to Portland or Chicago or Philly and spend a year or two working in a microbrewery learning to brew and doing marketing. Or maybe move to Washington, D.C. and work on a political campaign or get back into political writing.
When I say these ideas in my head, they sound silly to me. But after a great conversation with a couple friends last night, I’m realizing that they aren’t silly and the only thing that would make it silly is that if I don’t even attempt to do them.
Turning 25 has made me realize that I spent the last 25 years figuring out who I am and what I really want to get out of life. The next 25 years are for taking these dreams and just living them. And to stop worrying about my debt from college and wallowing in self pity because I haven’t come anywhere close to finding “the one.”
In my immediate future, I’m going to focus on finishing school and being great at my job. I am going to be more content with being single, but not be scared to put myself out there at the same time. I’m going to travel. Get a dog. Search for those jobs that interest me, even if they seem like they could take me off my career path for a while. Start playing soccer again. Take more pictures, write more and communicate better.
Above all else, I’m going to be myself.