Seven years ago tonight, I was helping run a boys swim meet. Six years ago, I was joining my sorority, Alpha Sigma Tau. Four years ago, I had just wrapped up working on a first place snow statue (if you don't know what I am referring to, google Michigan Tech Winter Carnival).....only to get raging drunk and eat too many pancakes. Today? Today I sat in bed cuddling my dogs with an ear infection. So what's the point of all of that, other than Facebook likes to remind me of things I've done with my life? Well, I'm getting there.
This April, I turn 25 years old. I have to keep reminding myself of that, because some days I definitely don't feel like an adult. An adult has everything figured out, they know where they are going, what they are doing, even what their ten year goals are. Me? I know what we are eating for dinner this week, so I have that going for me. If you had asked me seven years ago what my life would like at 25, it sure would NOT be what it is today.
Seven years ago, I was only 17 years old and dead set on attending Michigan State University for chemical engineering. I was dating the same boy I had been for the past two years, and we were convinced we were going to spend our lives together. My math and science nerdy friends and I said we were never going to grow apart after graduation, and nothing would change. Almost cute how wrong I was, right? I ended up going to Michigan Tech for chemical engineering, and switching my major after only one semester and several threats to drop out of college. The boyfriend? We broke up after only a month of long distance (which is a very good thing, he's a nice boy and all......but there's NO WAY he could handle my sailor mouth and blunt attitude I've developed over the years). My high school friends? We keep in touch from time to time, but we've all gone our separate ways as we make lives for ourselves.
If you had asked me at 17 if I would be a forester with the Michigan DNR, flying to another country to fight wildfire, living in Northern Michigan on a little hobby farm, and in love with a redneck? I would have laughed at you. This was NOT how I planned my life to be at all. I planned to be a successful engineer, in a cute little house in the suburbs, probably married by now with my whole life figured out. Instead, half my friends are still getting hammered every weekend.....and the other half are having kids. Life of a twenty something is full of well now what, followed by shit I'm actually an adult now, followed by can we just hang out in pajamas all day and watch Netflix? Its OKAY that you don't have your whole life figured out yet, in case nobody told you yet. It's okay that all of your friends are getting married, and you just want to wait for awhile longer. It's okay that you have more student loan payments than you know what to do with, that you don't have your dream career, and that the thought of taking care of another human being is terrifying. It's also okay to focus on yourself, your health, say no to binge drinking, and just try and eat a little bit healthier. Life of a twenty-somthing is just that, its confusing, its terrifying, its something. But guess what? You've made it this far, and I'm sure as hell rooting for you to keep chugging along, pretending you actually like kale, and sometimes have Taco Bell just because you can. Figuring out life is a hot mess, you might as well have a little bit of fun, and a dog or two, to help you in the process.