You know, I thought 2020 was a year of growth for me, and in many ways it was. I learned a lot. I feel like it has carried on into 2021.
In the last three months, I’ve put myself and my health as my number one priority instead of other things I was allowing to control my life (job, family, friends, anxiety). I didn’t realize how much I’ve grown until I went down to the Keys yesterday with a friend and we had the best conversation about how we’re closer to 30 and starting to figure out this “life” thing.
I wish this was a normal thing. If I could go back in time and tell my 18-year-old self one thing, it would be: have fun making mistakes and learning from them. Don’t pressure yourself to feel like you need to have everything figured out. You may be a legal adult who can drive, vote, and buy cigarettes but you’re truly still a big kid.
People find it crazy that the first major I declared in college was neuroscience. “But you’ve got a degree in English…?” is a question I hear a lot.
Yes, when I was 18 years old, I proudly declared my major as neuroscience because I wanted to be a neurosurgeon. Call me the She-McDreamy.
So what happened? The cold, hard truth is that I simply did not have life figured out. My 18-year-old self was attracted to success, as anyone would be; except to me, success meant having the coolest degree, the coolest job, the most money, a fancy car, and probably no family life.
Even a few years later, when I dropped out of college and enrolled in my personal training certification program, I thought that I had it figured out. I had it this time. I was a few years older but wiser. Personal training was perfect for me. I could see myself being a personal trainer for the rest of my life.
That was the belief for quite a while, even as I decided to get my Bachelor of Arts in English – not exercise science or anything related to my career.
Within the past year, I’ve once again realized that even at 28 years old, I am still blooming and figuring out what I want out of life.
Yesterday, as we were sitting next to a canal in Tavernier, Florida, eating breakfast, I said something I’ve been thinking about but haven’t said out loud, ever: “my personal training career has been very fulfilling. But I’m starting to realize that there are other things I want to do. Like… I think I want to publish a book.”
Now that I’m getting older, I am realizing exactly what I want out of life and what is important to me as an individual. As I’ve gained more life experience, I’ve learned that money and having the best things aren’t appealing to me. Instead, I’d rather be happy, be present in my family life, live in a place I love, and do something I love.
Throughout this blooming process, I’ve truly wondered… When and how did we get to a point in society where we expect our young adults to follow a specific timeline? Go to college at 18 and decide on a career you’re expected to do until you’re 65; stay on track to graduate at 22; either go to graduate school or get married right after; start popping out kids one year after marriage; live happily ever after.
I used to feel so negative about the timeline of my adult life. I went to college at 18; joined the military at 19; dropped out of college at 20; got my CPT at 21; got married at 22; earned my degree at 26, and we’ve been happily married for almost six years and don’t have kids.
In the last few months, I realized that there is nothing wrong with me. There’s something wrong with society. It is time to start normalizing NOT having everything figured out in our twenties.