Earlier this month, I celebrated a birthday and turned the big 25. I know the older crowd is smirking and saying that’s still young ... what does she know? To me, this age is a milestone.
During the last couple weeks, I’ve reflected back on the last few years of my life. It’s fun to compare my adult life today to the day when it started at age 18. Of course, so much has changed.
When I was 18, I used to sit and create big life dreams of where I would be and what I wanted in my future. Looking back, it wasn’t always absolutely clear what I would be doing, but it was always crystal clear what I wouldn’t be doing.
As a kid who hadn’t yet dipped a toe into the real world, it was easy to say what I wouldn’t be doing when I hadn’t even “lived life.”
I still have my list of things I said I wouldn’t be doing and guess what ... I’m doing all of them, and by golly, I’m happier than ever. Just for giggles, I’d like to share a few of those list items.
• I said I’d never move back in with my parents after college.
By the end of my college career, I needed time to recover inside the safe walls of my parents’ home. College life had taken its toll on me, and letting my mom do my laundry and cook dinner for me again was a gift from heaven. Lots of kids say they will never live with their parents after they move away to college, but it’s been a great experience for me. It’s allowed me to save money and get my feet on the ground with this real world stuff, as my wise dad is just a floor away from when I need an answer to that sticky question about medical insurance or new car payments. I’ve also gotten to reconnect with my mom, who is a best friend, and have witnessed my little sisters get their first jobs, first cars and diplomas from high school.
• I said I would never work in the newspaper business.
During college, I was filled with talk about how the newspaper business was dying; how reporters worked long hours with little pay; and the job was listed as most stressful in the United States. Ironically, just days after I got my hands on my college diploma, I accepted a reporter position at a newspaper. I guess, desperate calls called for desperate measures, but over the last few years, I’ve surprised myself with the love of this career. It is stressful at times, but every stressful second is completely worth it when I get that meaningful compliment or see that man reading my work. This career has helped me grow as a person, learn things I never thought I would and meet an abundance of interesting people. And just for the record, news will always be here, so I truly believe there will always be a need for journalists.
• I said I’d never live in a small town.
I graduated high school in a small town, and when I left, I thought I was kissing small town life goodbye. I had plans to move to Chicago, but of course, those fell through. I’m not really sure what I had against small towns. I think I created this romantic version of city life, which I eventually figured out wasn’t so romantic. Princeton is a small town, but I love my life here. The people are accepting, and there is growth here. I love to hop the train and visit Chicago, but I’m always so happy to return home to quite, quaint little Princeton.
• I said I would never fall for a farmer.
More than once growing up, I was told I should marry a farmer. My response was always, “Are you crazy?” There was no way I’d ever find common interests with a countryman. However, real life slapped me in the face when I met my current farmer sweetheart. I feel as if I’ve never shared so much in common with anyone else. Everything from books, music, food and travel — we share the same tastes. We only have a few differences, but that’s what makes our relationship interesting.
• I said I’d never feel or act old.
I know the older crowd is laughing again, but it’s for real. I thought I’d feel young forever. Today, I look at my two younger sisters dance around, stay up late and do spontaneous things with friends. My best friend from Michigan recently visited, and we talked up our weekend and said we were going to do this and that and stay up late. In reality, we went to bed early and watched movies at home on a Saturday night. So out of character for us. I think we’re getting old or something.
The theme for this column I want everyone to think about, especially the younger crowd, is never say never in life. Although you may think you’re never going to do this or that, just you wait and see. Within years, your whole perspective on life will do a complete spin and you’ll be left asking yourself, “What happened?”
BCR Staff Writer Goldie Currie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.