A strange shift has happened to me. I feel like a young adult.
It took me a bit of time to wrap my head around how I was feeling, but I kind of can boil it down to this:
At 25, I still felt unsure of myself. A kid pretending to be an adult, like walking around in my mom’s shoes as kid. My feet were in there and I could scoot around okay, but they certainly didn’t fit and I definitely wasn’t walking with grace.
For those years right out of college, it was still pretty easy to compare my life to college life. Swap in work for classes and it didn’t feel that different. I could look at seniors in college and feel old, but not too far away. It felt more like a small gap. I also felt a lot of anxiety around the future. The path that was laid out for me as a kid and then a teenager was pretty clear: go to school, build a good resume, study for the SAT, go to college, graduate and get a job. But then, I found myself asking, “Now what?”
I diligently filed taxes and paid the rent. I did the grown up things without really feeling grown up. After some time, even though I didn’t feel old enough, I started to map out what I thought the next steps had to be. I had the career part under control, was dating someone I truly loved, and had a puppy who filled a void in my life I didn’t know was there.
As my Facebook feed filled with engagements and babies, it seemed like that was the next step for me. Did I feel ready? No, but I’m a girl who likes a plan and that felt like the next logical step. I should note here that I didn’t think that step would happen in a month… it was more a feeling of “nothing will matter in a significant way between now and that next step” even if it took five years to get there.
I actually thought that moving to Connecticut would put the pressure of this on even more. Of course, moving out of state together is a huge step, but it actually had a different effect on me. (I also turned 26 just two weeks after the move.)
Where at 25, I felt old compared to that stage of life. I now feel really young in relation to the stage I think I’m in now. Many of my friends are in their thirties and married and have started or are starting their families. While I know that I will eventually get there, I’m not in a hurry.
Before I got here I thought that what happened now wouldn’t matter or wouldn’t matter much. Again, I have found the opposite to be true. This is SUCH a fun period of life. Paying rent and filing taxes feels normal– nothing special, nothing scary. I’ve been loving all the travel we have done and prioritized. I love lazy Saturdays when I can lounge in leggings and a sweatshirt with nowhere to go. It’s just as fun to cook a delicious meal from scratch as it is to say “screw it” and order pizza. The days that are filled with exciting meetings make me feel like anything is possible, as do, surprisingly, the long drives, the long hikes and the long talks that accompany them. This stage is exciting and every minute of it is memorable and significant. (I can’t believe I thought it wouldn’t be!)
I feel so much more confident in just about every aspect of my life. From how I feel about my body to my amazing friendships; from my relationship with Garrett to how my work is going. I definitely have bad days and moments of self-doubt, but overall I feel so much more sure of myself.
It’s a relief to know that the future is out there and that there’s no rush to get there.