Last week I turned 26. I don’t feel any older, I don’t feel any more “adult-like” but I realized that somehow, I’m on the other side of 20 and getting closer to 30. Early and mid 20’s are gone. At this point, if we were looking strictly at numbers and rounding, I would most definitely be rounded up to 30. Not quite sure how this happened. When I was in high school or college, visualizing where I would be in 5 to 10 years, I don’t suppose I imagined where I am now. I probably imagined that I would have found a fulfilling career that would somehow be enough to cover my bills. I probably thought I would be living in my own place- either renting or ideally looking into buying a small house with my partner. I believe I wanted something large and grandiose and I suspect I also thought I would be more outgoing- a bubbly socialite.
I would be an “adult”, living a big important “adult life”.
Instead, as an adult at 26, I find myself recently moved in with my mother, unemployed (with the exception of some part-time freelance work) and going to school part-time with the hopes of getting into a graduate school of choice in the next year.
Despite relatively minimal and inconsistent income however, I still find myself envisioning my dream home; now, much smaller, with a garden in the back and a kitchen with open shelves and large windows for plants. I’m still bubbly and outgoing, but certainly not a socialite. At some point, I became quite a bit of a homebody and would much rather spend an evening at home, than spend it out.
One thing that hasn’t changed however is my pursuit to find a job that I’m truly passionate about – one where I can also be my own boss. It’s probably one of the main reasons why I find myself where I currently am. Six months ago I was working, going to school and able to support myself but that was about it. I wasn’t working towards a future or the other goals I had dreamt of: saving for a house, having a garden, being my own boss with my own hours and I certainly didn’t feel fulfilled. I was catapulting myself in the wrong direction.
Hitting the stop button and taking a few steps back has been difficult, but I’m confident that with this time I’m repositioning myself down a different path towards the future I dreamed of.
My own happiness in the present- taking things slowly- has become a priority. While I try to organize myself each day and each week towards working on things for the future, I also make to take time to have moments each day that help relax and make me happy.
I’ve been purposefully spending more time each day away from computers and technology. Instead I see myself slowly turning into my mother, getting my hands dirty planting vegetables and other plants and digging up weeds. Sunday morning I went outside to check on the cats and found myself pulling weeds from the garden for 40 minutes. I’ve of course been doing lots of cooking and baking, but most things have been just been freehand, throwing together random veggies and ingredients into my skillet and making it into a meal- nothing recipe or post-worthy, I promise.
I’ve realized that no matter how hard you organize, plans change and life often goes in unexpected directions. It really is about the journey more than the endpoint. While I am still searching and still working towards a different future, all in all, I am happy in the present and I look forward to a year at being 26.