Saturday, April 19, 2014

Now that I'm 24...

I'm 24.... where should I be now?

Sitting in a coffee shop (Coffee Garden) with my BEFF (best effn friend forever) that I've had since practically birth, there couldn't be a better conversation than the one thing that seems to be taking over our everyday thoughts. (Side note: I do not drink coffee very often... but the Mexican Tuxedo Mocha there was bomb!! and now I'm wired and finishing this piece for all of you because I'm simply inspired! End note.)  So basically, a good talk over coffee about something we both related to lead to a constant flow of words where we basically told two different stories as one as we "interrupted"one another (more like finished each others sentences and made them into our own story...while totally saying what the other was saying/feeling... ya, you know that best friend vibe).  I feel like this girl is one of my "other halves/pieces" and it's just perfect the way we can share everything or nothing at all and we can just "fix" what the other is going through.  Pretty much a 24 year friendship... and plenty of ups and downs... yet we still have things to talk about and to push each other on.  As another year comes, we guide each other through them.  We experience so much of the same things and we go through so much that the other hasn't that it helps to teach the other a lesson.  Our current subject however has been something we talk about and both still seem to need answers for.  So no, I don't have the answer... but I do have some thoughts and experiences to share.

Being 24, what do we do now? Dedicated to my BEFF.  You know who you are... this is for you.



Is it just me or is 24 this awkward limbo stuck between being a student/graduate and wanting to be an adult?  I mean this in all seriousness. Is being grown up really this difficult?  Or is it just the transition?  Is there something beyond the uncertainty?  Beyond the wanting to break free?  But yet as independent as you want to be there is still this fear that holds you back and has you clinging on to the very bit of adolescence/dependence you may still have. 

I guess no one ever said life would get easier as you got older. Yet in my early ( well earlierrrr..) 20s I felt that once I graduated from college and was a working woman, independence would just smoothly wrap itself around my life. Blanket me in a warm embrace and from that point on... smooth sailing. 
Boy was I wrong!!

The want... need... and even fear of independence has definitely engulfed me. But in no way what so ever have I found it to be a smooth transition. 
A little older... Definitely. 
A little wiser... Probably. (This is arguable)
A little more independent... Well let's just say "a little more" is key in this. 

But in no way am I stress free. Singing and whistling while I work. Living on my own and cooking my own healthy and organic meals every day. Driving a beautiful car with a license plate that says "N D pndnt". Oh no my friends. That has not come for me yet. Maybe someday... in not so specific details as that of course... but I can at least say I see myself thinking more about these "symbols" of independence. 

As a matter of fact... I start realizing that people ask more about all these things that are supposedly to happen at about the age of 24. Are you going to apply for a graduate program to get your masters?  Are you going to get a job in a hospital? Are you still thinking of moving to San Diego? (who knows I love that city... maybe it's still in the cards) Do you still live at home? Are you applying to different jobs? (I at least can answer yes to that one!)  Do you have a boyfriend? (I'm hoping that's still in the cards at some point! Haha) 

But in all honesty... the only thing I want right now is to travel. So yes I want to move out and experience a little independence... or actually see if I can do it on my own. Yes there may be a new car in the works... but first things first... I need that new job. 

So maybe what I need to fix my "problems" is that new job. Right... more money... more travel, money for rent, money to feed myself, money for a bigger car payment. 

But all money and materialistic things aside. What has 24 brought to me so far. More time for me! I have lost about 15 lbs. and am ready to be fit (hopefully this fitness motivation kick actually sticks). I want to feel healthy. Not just physically. Mentally and spiritually as well. And I can admit that there was a time there where I felt lost and not myself. Guess what... I found me. The real me. The me I needed to be again. The girl who can smile and laugh more often. The girl who turns to God. The girl who is learning to control impulses and emotions and her mouth!  Now I'm not 100% Andrea 2.0. But I feel closer to being that "me". Maybe it's the age. Maybe it's just the circumstances. But it came at a mighty fine time in my life. Let me tell ya. And it didn't come when I wanted it to, even when I tried to force it. No, it came when He knew I was ready for it. And it just feels so right to be on this path. That "path" that I spoke about in my previous post, "Our Deepest Fear..." that is chosen for us by God.  Really though I'm not lying... I feel like all my ups and downs that I have gone through are leading me here... to where I have to be.  I have this renewed spiritual awakening.  This new desire for learning about everything and to experience so many new things.

Maybe being 24 had to be this way.  Maybe it had to feel scary because its the year for me to start lining up my future.  It's as if things are finally getting real for me.  I may still be thinking about what I want to do with my life.  But the truth is I'm feeling a lot more ambitious.  I want more in my life, I want to accomplish things I've always wanted to accomplish. (I may have to fill you all in on my "bucket list" soon)  I want to succeed and move up in my current profession... it may not be a career I want for myself but it's definately a program I believe in, and I guess I wouldn't mind being there for a while.  But I honestly have discovered something... I want to own my own business some day.  And I think what I have in mind I would be really good at!  I'm not quite ready to share that with you all. But maybe someday.

So yes, 24 has been rough, in the sense that I feel this pressure to do so much and to be in a certain place.  Yet I also feel like I'm at the perfect age to not have to stress out about it all because I have time!  Regardless of the fact that I freak out if the light hits my hair at a certain angle and I think I see a grey hair (thank God my vision is just getting bad...my hair is still "naturally" colored lol minus the old red dies that are still in it.), or the fact that the music I listened to in my adolescence is now being played on the local "old school" station, or that all my younger siblings and cousins are experiencing things in their life that feel like it happened centuries ago for me, I know I'm not REALLY that old yet.  I have time to accomplish so much.  And I'm realizing that not everyone has to be at the same place at the same age.  We all have been dealt a hand in life... and there are so many different combinations in which we get them.  So your life is different from my life, which is different from her life, which is different from his life, and that is a life different from theirs.  So I'm giving into the madness of being 24.  It's a journey... a year long journey that leads to a new one once it is over.  And you are all here to share it with me, to push me through it, and to hear all about it.  So thank you all.


And to you, my BEFF, your life is your life.  Not anyone else's.  Don't feel like you owe it to others to be where they want you to be.  Don't rush through things to "catch up" to everyone else.  None of us are on the same page... maybe the same chapter... but that's alright if it's written in a different order.  You have a path set specifically for you.  You have the power to do what you need to do to feel happy, independent, progressive, accomplished, and so many more things.  You are beautiful inside and out, and though you may feel lost and confused (as we all do) the real you is still there... I see her... I feel her when you are around.  So don't be afraid to own that self again.  Just because we get older it doesn't mean we have to become a certain person or a different person... we need to be ourselves and enhance that self to what we feel best in.  Shine in your own skin. Love you to pieces.  And thank you so much for always being there and for always trusting me to be there for you!

-Andrea

P.S.  It's past midnight...which means this post is being posted exactly 2 months after my 24th birthday. And even though it is not technically the same day, this is my second post within the last 10 hours! I guess I'm just really inspired lately.  And I'm loving it!! 

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