My husband tells me I’m having a quarter life crisis.
I turn 24 in a week and a half. I haven’t bought a motorcycle or shaved all my hair off — both of those seem more fun. I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting. A lot of angsting. A lot of questioning all my life decisions.
24 has always been my favourite number, ever since I was a kid a struggling to master my times tables. It’s not a milestone to anyone else, but 24 to me has always been something to work towards, to dream of. I’d have life together at 24, I thought. I’d be a real adult. I might even have kids.
None of those things are true. The other I grow, the less together I feel. At 18 I thought I had it all figured out, and in some ways I did. I married the most amazing man in the world, the Jim to my Pam, and we are incredibly happy together, even five years on. People still mistake us for newlyweds on a regular basis.
At 18 I thought I would be an anthropologist or a journalist. Now, I’m a college drop-out who works in a detective agency while writing on nights and weekends.
At 18 I thought I’d be a published author. I’m closer than I was then, but it still seems so far out of reach. I’m contemplating starting over in a new genre, even.
At 18 I thought I was set. I had my whole life planned out. I didn’t anticipate diversions, like not graduating, or the constant struggle I have not to get a real job and give up on my dreams.
But at 18 I didn’t have a clue how amazing those diversions could be.
At 18 I didn’t think I’d ever travel overseas. I didn’t think I’d ever afford it, but my new husband and me, we saved and saved until we made it happen. And it’s going to happen again.
At 18 I thought I’d have a mortgage I’d never completely pay off. Instead, we bought a house with our best friends and at the rate we’re going, we’re going to pay it off in six years.
At 18, all I had were dreams. All I had were the glimpses of what life could be. And at nearly 24 I can say, life is harder than I ever thought it would be. But it’s also better, more satisfying and rewarding than those simple dreams ever were.
At 24, I’m not perfect. I’m still way too hard on myself. I still find myself putting my goals above my relationships. I still haven’t figured out how to keep the shower grout clean. But maybe that’s okay.
Because at nearly 24, what I’ve learned more than anything is I still have so far to go.