Age is really on my mind. Tomorrow’s my birthday. I’m turning 27 (it’s still my mid-twenties, right?). As I reflect on the last year…and two years…I realize I feel old and unaccomplished.
Maybe this is a theme in my life. Growing up, I was always ahead; I knew more than most of my classmates, I read at a much higher level, was exposed to many historical and cultural things, and traveled around quite a bit. Then I “mainstreamed” and met other people who were high-achievers and competitive.
Over time, my inner-drive diminished some. Then, I started college—early. Again, back to being ahead! I graduated at 20, flew to NYC for an intensive journalism program, and then began job hunting back home (I was willing to move almost anywhere). Truth be told, I don’t remember how many places I applied to prior to graduating. They didn’t really prep us for those things. In a way, I think colleges and universities didn’t realize how much the culture was shifting after the recession, which made getting hired way harder than it used to be. (I promise this isn’t a sob story.)
After several years of working numerous part-time and seasonal jobs, moving across the ocean, and then moving back, I finally landed a full-time job. It was rough at times, but it was employment. Though looking for something new and in the field I love (journalism), I determinedly started my second year. About a month into it, I found myself hospitalized and diagnosed with cancer. Not exactly soaring forward in the career world.
Truthfully, the gap on my resume that comes from my nearly two year long fight with cancer and recovery is a stress in my life. I often wonder how I will get hired without disclosing everything…and then they may not hire me anyway. But, that’s a spiraling thought process—don’t focus on that.
The flip side of these nearly two years without work is the time I’ve had to grow as a person. If I hadn’t fought it so much, I’d likely be much further along, but I do want there to be something to show at the end of this…more than a healthy body. I want a healthy mind and spirit. But, with all of that, I still feel behind—not as accomplished as other people my age.
Nevermind it all. I have goals, daily, weekly, monthly, and beyond. Now is the time to turn up the determination levels and dig in. If I want it, I must work. While I’ve been sick, I’ve simply felt like I could only survive. Beyond that was often too much. But, now I must push myself to increase my stamina as I continue to heal, recover, and regain normalcy. These things beyond basic health will take work, but I want them.
So, now I close. I’m only 26 for a little bit longer.
Who honestly knows what the new year will bring?
Only one way to find out!