I feel like having a “quarter life” moment here because of some exciting news I heard last night from a dear friend of mine of over 18 years. First, she just got engaged to the man of her dreams, and second, that I’m going to be a bridesmaid! I also have a friend who has a baby on the way who is my age. I know everyone has these moments at one point, but I sat up last night just thinking…when did I wake up and become an adult?
Don’t get me wrong. I still have to mooch off my parents to survive in this city for the kind of money I’m making, but hopefully that will change sooner rather than later. I also have many friends who go to class, intern, drink at happy hours and go clubbing at night. But I’m finding myself standing with one foot in that world–the Sex in the City style, young professional/grad student world–and another in the world where my friends are starting families and thinking about buying homes.
Where am I in all of this? Well, I’m still a young professional trying to make ends meet here and pursue any opportunity I can. I still socialize (and yes, I know that doesn’t go away when you get married and ‘grow up'”) and I enjoy the occasional free food/beer event. On the other hand, I’m in a serious relationship, I stay in more often, I work longer hours and I’m thinking about where things are going and how I can possibly fund a family one day.
Who I was a year ago: The girl learning her way around a new city, meeting so many new people and drinking with fellow journalists. I was meeting an array of new friends, ending an undergrad relationship and learning to live alone for the first time. I was also interning, cramming term papers, learning new journalism skills, chasing after buses and planning my holidays in Indiana.
Right now: I’m the girl who just finished two stories for her new part-time job at the Houston Chronicle, is planning out her next move for another part-time job, and is finishing a contract job through a contact she made throughout the year. I’m also the girl who has had much luck this year getting published and meeting great mentors in my field, but still needs to find a way to earn a living. I’m the girl getting ready for a free food/networking party with my former internship site chatting with my friends about weekend plans and helping my engaged friend think of wedding venues. Also, I’m a girl in love, and missing him from thousands of miles away. I’m the girl who wants to blog (successfully), wants to learn Farsi, wants to get better at multimedia and wants to go abroad someday.
Who I want to be: I want to be the girl who gives advice to people my age on how to go after what they want. I want to be the girl who tells people about her experience in a foreign country working on stories in human rights or cultural issues that strike a cord with readers back home. I want to be in better shape, have a full time job, be married, and keep in touch with those who matter to me. I also want to get better at organizing, less overbooked, and less whiny.
Till then, I’m the girl at Starbucks, munching on pumpkin bread and hoping the Internet keeps working.