Journal #2: When you were 16, what did you think your life would look
like? Does it look like that? Is that a good thing?
When I was 16 I thought I would be moving to New York by 20, living a life similar to that of the main character from Breakfast at Tiffany's, Sex and the City or Coyote Ugly.
I would be strong, capable and independent. I would probably be an award-winning journalist for the New York Times or the National Geographic, depending on which type of writing I chose to excel at.
My sister and I would share an apartment that looked like Carrie's. We would wear outrageous outfits and feel that we knew exactly who we were without any question.
I also couldn't think past 24.
Some of my ideas about who I would be when I grew up are realistic, other ideas .... not so realistic.
When I really did turn 24, I had a mini midlife-crisis. I realized I had no idea what I wanted to be past 24. At 24 I was a Mother of a sweet two-year-old, I didn't have my college degree yet and was scraping by with a meager wage. I did find myself serving drinks, but it wasn't nearly as glamorous as what I had imagined! My career wasn't award-winning and I didn't have any option towards finding an award-winning career.
I then had to think about what type of human being I wanted to be. Could I emulate those characters I looked up to? What was it about those stories drew me to them?
Whew! It was intense.
Luckily, I have found a way to surround myself with positive role models. Strong, capable and independent women. Women with life-experience, young women with amazing drive and women who are creative trail-blazers. These role-models showed me that success is being true to yourself.
I was so worried that I was a failure for not becoming the New York journalist that I had imagined myself to be. But, in reality I was successful already. I was true to my core values when I became a mother at 22. I was true to my values when I found my way back to school to finish my degree. I was true to my values when I married my husband and settled into a more quiet life than a life slinging drinks at Coyote Ugly and wearing outrageous outfits down the New York City pavement.
I realize now that though I wouldn't mind living in New York or being an acclaimed journalist, those things don't measure how successful my life is.
Who did you think you would be when you were 16? What does being an adult feel like to you?