A week before I turned 32 (end of May), I realized I had been out of college for ten years to the day. It was a realization that wouldn’t have bothered me, had I been anywhere near where I thought I would at this point in my life. What’s that saying, “life is what happens when you’re making other plans?”
When I was 22, my plan was to work for a hot-shot ad agency and rise to the ranks of creative director, where my brilliant ideas would one day be seen during a break in the Super Bowl (just like Jennifer Aniston in Picture Perfect, obvs), or I was going to be the Director of PR for an NFL team, One of the two. And then I’d get married and have kids at some point, SURELY BEFORE I TURNED 30. Instead, here is what happened:
2003: Move back home to NH, work three different jobs, one being for $8/hr as a receptionist for a radio station in my home town. Worst nightmare realized in record speed.
2004: Land media relations internship at Villanova. Work 32/8/465, but learn a ton and enjoy myself. Learn to love college basketball. Decide college sports is the way to go.
2005: End up in San Diego. Work two jobs instead of three. Am dead-ass broke. Too poor to do anything fun or live anywhere cool, and so, I just work and go to the TGIFriday’s in Carlsbad with my best gay friend.
2006: San Diego, continued. Turn 25. Have no idea what I want to do or where I want to be. Maybe Chicago, though. It’s a cool city.
2007: Get new job with same company I’ve worked at since 2005 in an advertising position AND they move me to Chicago. Things are starting to look up. And then I move to Chicago and meet John Doe. Initially, I think that he will be my husband. Instead, he becomes the opposite, whatever that means.
2008: Chicago rocks! But I hate my new job! But good news, they lay me off right before Thanksgiving!!
2009: Turn 28. Am not making nearly as much money as I expected at this point. But, I have a good job and good friends.
2010: Land what I assume is my dream job in October. Who cares if I’m single, I’m a career woman and that’s all that matters.
2011: The big 3-0. Go to Vegas to celebrate. LOVE IT. Love my friends. Sure, my dating life is one disaster after another, but I have the greatest friends, so who cares?
2012: Status quo.
2013: At the end of April I lost my job. And it has been a rough road. And now fear is starting to take over. Not that I won’t find a job, but that I will find my next opportunity outside of Chicago. Moving is not what scares me. Not finding what I have here is. My friends here have shown me the true meaning of “for better or worse.” They’ve seen me at my worst and are still friends with me. They have held my hand when I needed it most or taken me out when I needed to forget. Whether it was job woes or boy woes or life woes in general, they have been there and finding even one person like that is amazing, but for me to have many more of them is something I cannot take for granted.
I may not be where I thought I would be at 32, but when you have the right people in your life, it doesn’t really matter.