I'm pretty sure I did everything that I was supposed to do. I went to a prestigious University for undergrad, later got a Master's Degree, and then got a job in corporate America. I was somewhat stable, remained kid-less and all seemed right with the world. So now what?
Word on the street is there's a brief period during the mid 20's to early 30's where we momentarily ' flip out' regarding the progression of our lives both personally and professionally...the so-called "quarter-life crisis." Well, if you ever doubted that it existed, I'm here to tell you...it's so real.
I find myself sitting in my nice little cubical wondering "Is this really where I should be? Is this the life I was meant to live?Did I choose the right major? Did I make the best professional decisions? Shouldn't I be married by now?"
The questions have sent me on a crazy spiral of uncertainty and self-doubt. Let my mom tell it, I'm doing well for my age and I shouldn't be so hard on myself. It sounds good, but it's hard to believe when my inner circle is full of doctors, lawyers and others who are moving and shaking a bit more than I am. It would be completely different if I hung out with bums or a bunch of nobodies, but I don't. My crew is pretty top-notch, and I'm happy for their success! But it's hard not to compare myself.
I once had a coworker ask me how I liked my job. I told her "It's okay for now, but I want something different. I'm bored." Her response? "You're never satisfied, are you?" I paused, struggling to mask my bewilderment and repugnance. Is it really such a terrible thing if I crave new challenges alongside upward mobility? I wanted to remind her that I am not a baby boomer, and the days of 15 year tenure and company loyalty just don't fit my personal development plan.
Yet, I'm doing my best to stay grounded and positive. I believe there is someone greater than me who is really in control of the pages of my life. As I become older, I strive to make choices that I can be proud of. The people I surround myself with are intent on being successful. For us, life has been about our next great venture, service projects, professional degrees, and promotions. I know just like the next person that the young professional lifestyle can be stressful. There is a constant desire to achieve greatness and while everyone's definition of "greatness" is different, its a common goal that keeps me connected to those in my peer group who are managing the same set of challenges along the way. Though I sometimes struggle to remember that the grass is not always greener on the other side, I take solace in the fact that my peers that motivate me to be a better individual.
As a 29-year-old woman, I feel like I am operating on an imaginary stopwatch and running really close on time. Yet, this race that I am in is not a sprint; it's more like a half marathon, with people from all walks of life. Some of us are running faster than others. We have different motives for participating, but we all want to cross the finish line. There are going to be people that pass me by, and others who never catch up to my pace, but will also cross the finish line victoriously.
I just want to be the best person that I can be, and as I quietly sneak up on 30, I want to go in knowing that life from there can only get better.