This week was an eventful one. On Wednesday Long Island received 13 inches of rain in some places, leaving many residents with water in their basements and finding their normal commute to work replaced by a 3-hour one. After Thursday’s cool temperatures this week felt more like fall than mid-August. Either way, the weekend is creeping up and I’m sure we’re all ready to let loose and relax. If you find yourself with time on your hands, I read a great article that really resonated with me and I thought I would share it.
How to Grow Old with Yourself from The Everygirl is a must-read for every 20- and 30 – something-year-old woman. I appreciated the advice offered of accepting your failures, learning to forgive yourself and others, and doing what makes you happy. The notion of having a “road map” after college hit home for me. I always thought I had my life figured out: When I was in high school I was set on the idea of becoming a veterinarian. I loved animals and grew up with horses and cats. It wasn’t until I acknowledged that years of math and science classes were not for me that I shifted my focus. After two years of college and a major in political science, I began researching law schools. For my remaining college years, I studied for the LSATs and took as many pre-law classes as I could. Then came graduation and I felt completely lost. I wasn’t sure where I was going to live, what kind of job I wanted, or even how to start answering these questions. I felt scattered and the only thing I knew for certain was that time off from school was best for me.
Five years out, the future is still a bit hazy, but for the first time I can begin to see the picture a little clearer. I no longer obsess over trying to connect the dots on the map. I concentrate more on learning something new everyday, finding my passions in life and being content with the life I have. So I didn’t go back and pursue my masters like I had thought I would. So I’m not adjuncting political science classes at a community college. I’m okay with all of that. The longer I am out of school, the easier it has become to see that I don’t need to have all the answers in the first few years of life in the real world. A lot of what I have learned about life and careers has been obtained through trial and error. Upon graduation I took a position in fundraising and quickly realized that this was not the field for me. Even though this was not the career I was looking for, I learned invaluable lessons about raising money, networking and making connections. Learning from my mistakes has had beneficial consequences as well. After beginning a new job that I thought was a better opportunity, it proved not to be. I had left a stable job to take a risk and found myself unhappy and with nothing to fall back on. This experience taught me the importance of saving money for a rainy day and having a back-up plan. I always looked at my twenties as the time to make mistakes, learn from them, try new and different things and establish myself.
If I could offer advice to my younger self, I would say forget about the road map and just live your life. I think the best moments in life are the ones that aren’t planned, but just come naturally.