Dear 23-Year Old Version of Myself,
Look at you! You're all grown up - living in a hip, super expensive apartment in Washington, D.C. with a pretty sweet job your first year out of college. As you slave away through the summer and try to convince yourself working 24/7 is part of paying your dues as an entry-level employee - I'd like to give you a heads' up on a few things that are going to come down the pike over the next five years of your life:
- For reasons you can't explain, you are determined to only work for non-profits that have an impact on the community; so prepare to live paycheck to paycheck, enjoying PB&J sandwiches.
- You'll find out that you have problems with authority. Or authority seems to have issues with you. While you attempt to adjust to the micro-management, age-ist views and overbearing demands from your superiors; you will find yourself in 4 jobs within a 6-year time span. Don't sweat it though...the job you get in 2012 is awesome and worth all the ridiculousness you had to deal with in the others. Including the boss that clipped his toenails during staff meetings. Yes - this happens.
- You will move into an adorable little house with your sisters in Northern Virginia and it will be like childhood all over again - except you all can drink and drive now (not together and responsibly, of course).
- After job #2 in D.C. doesn't work out, you strongly consider selling your personal possessions, quitting your job and going to volunteer in foreign lands like you've always wanted to do.
- Thanks to pesky things like student loans, etc...your volunteer/backpacking trip doesn't work out.
- In about 3 years, you'll begin to wear more dresses and high heels...voluntarily. Do not freak out! You still hold firmly to your tomboy ways and retreat to jeans and your Converses every chance you get.
- After years of looking, you will find an amazing church home and begin to grow a strong relationship with God. This is highly important in the years to come. Trust me. You're also fortunate to have your sisters and father (who is stationed at the Pentagon when you first move to D.C.) attend the church too.
This will be your date's face
- It's probably not a good idea to have a blind date at your 26th birthday party. Meeting a guy for the first time at a dinner with 12 of your close friends is going to be awkward.
- Prepare to spend about 60% of your life in an airplane and to travel to over half of the 50 U.S. states in less than 3 years. You will travel so frequently for work that your life will look a lot like George Clooney's in Up in the Air - minus the steamy affair. But you will be asked out on dates in a few of the cities you travel to.
- Do not go out on dates while traveling. You will regret it. Except for maybe the dinner and dancing in Nashville this one time...
- Much to the dismay of your German grandmother ("Oma") - you are still single. She refuses to step foot on U.S. soil until you "have a man." You continue to disappoint her for the next 5 years.
- In Washington DC, you will have the most amazing circle of friends; which will make leaving the area much harder.
- Did I mention you leave D.C.? I know it's hard to believe you would leave that glorious city. And no, not to go to California like you always dreamed. You are close to moving to SoCal the winter of your 28th birthday; but a job opportunity springs up out of nowhere and you end up relocating to ((drum roll)) - Dallas, Texas! Didn't see that one coming did you?
In conclusion, Self, you aren't doing half bad. Yes, you will go through many ups and downs. A dear, dear friend of yours will pass away when she is only 28-years old and her death will shake your life beyond anything you could have known. You will view "living" in a whole new light; as you realize that life is so very fleeting. Her fearless and ebullient personality will leave such an impact on your life, that you will find yourself taking a huge leap of faith and moving halfway across the country. Fortunately, in five years, because of that leap - you will finally be in a job you love in a city that immediately wins you over. Actually, you'll be pretty happy. Maybe you'll even make your Oma proud and find a man in Texas?
Only time will tell...
Yourself in Five Years Time
This post is submitted as a part of the 20SB 5th Birthday Blog Carnival, sponsored by GlassesUSA.com. Submit your own post here.