“After that I never put another time line on anything in my life.” – Cameron Diaz
While I don’t necessarily consider Cameron Diaz to be a role model of mine, she’s absolutely correct. Your life is going to happen the way it happens, regardless of the way you design it to happen.
That said, upon reaching certain milestones, you start to gain some perspective on your life, and where it’s going. Where you want it to go.
Last year, in September, I went out to a gay dance bar that featured some beautiful male entertainers with a friend of mine who was turning 30. We had a blast. The question that she felt she was getting asked a lot, however, was, “Are you happy with how you spent your 20s?” And she would sort of grimace and turn away.
Which, whatever. She lived internationally, she wrote a lot, had many adventures, lots of ups and downs in relationships, and did a lot of the typical things, such as graduating college and the likes. In the year since then, she’s moved to Philadelphia and started law school, and incidentally began a relationship with another very close friend of ours (which, ha ha ha, happened during our wedding weekend ::stops to pat self on back::). He visited her just this past weekend.
But that question comes up to me. Quite a bit. Am I satisfied with how I spent my 20s?
Definitively, the answer is yes.
In regards to party, my husband and I are combining my birthday this year with tailgating for a football game (at our alma mater). Which essentially means it’s a picnic party, with lots of drinking and just hanging out all afternoon, playing cornhole and the likes. I am going to drink mimosas all day long and talk with my friends and grill avocado and have a fabulous day. And then go sing some karaoke after the game.
Today, while walking through the massive halls of a discount store with a friend of mine, I said, “I had wanted to go to my most frequented Orlando bar, which is where I also went when for my 23rd birthday…” I trailed off. Holy shit. Had I really been going to the same said bar for the past seven years!? I remember being 23, and it not being so terribly bad I guess, but when I think about it in terms of that being seven years ago, I feel like I was an infant then. Geez.
Lucky for me, many of the things in my life turned out the way I’d expected them to, even at the age of 19. If I were to take a checklist of the things I’ve done in my 20s, as per what I had wanted to accomplish, I think I’d have come out ahead.
- graduated from college
- began my masters degree
- started my career in my long-since chosen field
- published a really long and fancily bound academic paper, even if no one ever really reads it
- had a couple of very informative long-term(ish) relationships
- traveled overseas, and to the Pacific coast
- performed, a lot
- exposed myself to a lot of new things and people and ideas
- moved away away from home home
- got married to one awesome dude
- learned how to freaking cook (and how to bake)
- published some stuff in stuff
- have been kind of a big deal in quite a few kids’ lives
- loved & danced a lot
The last two may be uber-cliche, but they’re important to me.
I forsee some of this in the next decade of my life, and surely, the plans will change the specifics will vary. A lot. Just as they have in this decade. I don’t even know about writing down goals for the next one, just because I don’t like being one of those people who specifies so much, is so sure of what’s going to happen, only to see everything go to shit. Or to deny that I ever thought any of my previous goals would occur.
So yeah. Here’s to being lucky enough to come out ahead, and that luck continuing for the next decade of my existence upon this earth.