Today's guest post is Kelli from Roaring Through my Twenties. I found Kelli from Andrea, and even though she roots for the wrong baseball team (kidding!), she's a pretty cool chick. And she spells her name like my Kelli did, so how bad could she be? Enjoy!
When Kim first emailed me about guest posting a few weeks ago, I jumped at the chance. For one, I like Kim. She’s kind and funny and sincere and possesses so much strength I’m not quite sure how to even begin to measure it. Normally I pour my thoughts and musings out over at my own site, Roaring Through My Twenties… but today, I am dwelling in Kim’s domain. And these are some pretty nice digs if you ask me.
When I was a freshman in college, I remember telling my roommate that I imagined I’d be married at age 25 and have my first baby at 28. Seeing as I’ll turn 29 in September, and have yet to be married, there’s no way either prediction is going to come true.
Of course, when you’re 18, 25 seems eons away. And 28? That’s light years beyond your current dorm room existence.
Since that afternoon, when my roommate and I planned out our future lives rather than study for that Psychics test, I have graduated from college and gone back to school for a master’s certificate. I have lived and traveled abroad, moved more times than I can remember, switched jobs almost as many times as I’ve moved, crushed on too many boys, fallen head over heels in love once, had my heart broken more than once, lost some people near to me, and gained other people I now couldn’t imagine life without. I’ve made some really great decisions just as I’ve made some pretty terrible ones.
One night, not too long after we’d all graduated from our respective undergraduate institutions, one of my friends and I sat nursing our beers at the lone bar in my hometown. We’d all moved home post college, were trying our best to figure out which end was up in the real world and all feeling nostalgic for something none of us could quite place. I remember Andy telling me I wouldn’t mind so much not knowing what the heck I’m doing with my life if I could just know that I’d end up happy. That’s all I want. To be able to get a quick snapshot of myself ten years down the road and know that whatever I’m doing, wherever I am, I’m happy.
I can’t lie to you. There’s a part of me that worries I will never fall in love again, will never marry, will never have my own children. Some days I see the clock running faster and faster in my life, tick, tick, ticking away. Silly as it may sound, I worry I am running out of time and one morning I’m going to wake up and realize it’s too late. My child-bearing time is up, everyone I know is married, and I will forever live in the one bedroom apartment I’m currently calling home. Maybe you think it’s irrational. Maybe it is. Still, it’s a fear that I keep buried deep within my brain, willing it to stay put. And to me, it’s very real.
I don’t want to settle – I won’t settle - for anything less than I deserve. I’m going to travel the world, have my fun, and learn all that my brain will allow. There are two sentences that I repeat over and over on those days when I can’t tell right from left or up from down. (You have those days too, right? Maybe I can share these lines and you can use them as your little mantra too if you feel the need. I find they work quite well, honestly.)
Here they are:
"Whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.”
“Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.”
As I type this, at 28, I’m sitting on my porch watching the sky turn a brilliant pink as the sun sets. I’ve got a glass of iced tea next to my chair and I can hear one of my cats crunching away, eating his cat food dinner in the kitchen. Once she walks away from her dish I can hear the cicadas, my favorite sound of the summer.
So, no. I’m not where I thought I’d be ten long years ago. But that’s really quite okay. That girl I was at 18? I think if she had the chance to get a quick glimpse into her future like my friend suggested? I’m thinking she’d find that the future her was pretty darn content and doing okay for herself after all. Seems maybe things really are unfolding just as they should.