It’s been over a year since I was pushed/shoved out of the comforting walls of the University of Nevada, a place that I found solace with so many other young souls just trying to get their footing in this crazy little world. Since then, I’ve experienced a myriad of different emotions, sometimes all at once and other times with a lot of space in between. I’ve felt on top of the world while finding myself smiling for no reason. I’ve felt blindly frustrated and frozen in time. I’ve felt very inspired with no idea what to do with it. I’ve spent a lot of time watching Scrubs lately and physically running to metaphorically get away from my problems.
I’ve always felt as if I knew what the next step in my life was going to be. I was in high school, and clearly my next step was to move to Reno and go to college. While I was working through my studies, I always had the assumption that I would find the somewhat-perfect job in the perfect city after I graduated. The universe, however, had a very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very different idea.
Little did I know that I would spend the first year out of college flopping around like a fish out of water. I found a good job and decided to stay in Reno for at least one year. I was finally independently stable in my finances, was happily in a relationship, and my job paid well enough to persuade me to stay.
And as we all know, a lot – and I mean A LOT – can happen in a year.
Much of it was fantastic. I graduated from college. I found a job where I work with lovely people. I adopted a furry best friend who is equally doofy and comforting. I took a trip by myself (to one of the most romantic places in the world, HOLLA – cocktail for one, please). I finally hit 35-pounds down from my heaviest weight. I spent a lot more time with my best friends – a group of people who have kept me standing and that I could gush about for hours.
But for some reason, the stability that kept me here slowly grew to be very shaky as time went on. The idea of what I wanted my life to be by 22 was haunting me. My friends all began to take the next AMAZING steps in their lives, leaving me to wonder if I took the right one. Health in my family took a bit of a dip, reminding me that I don’t call home enough. I stopped writing because I couldn’t really find words. Someone hit a switch, and I fell out of love with Reno but felt chained. I began wondering whether journalism was the best fit for me. I lost the one long-term thing in my life that I truly believed I would navigate the future with. It all became a very heavy weight that I didn’t know how to lift.
Now it’s July, and I am standing in front of many different decisions, and all I can keep thinking is “I’M ALMOST 23 AND I HAVEN’T DONE ANYTHING,” followed by the “I’M ONLY 23 AND I THINK THAT’S OKAY.” The fact that half of my friends are married with children while the other half are shotgunning beers while still successfully moving forward in life is highly disorienting for me. Am I behind in life? Should I be looking for something? Should I grow up? What is growing up? Am I too old for bottomless mimosas? Did I miss the class that was supposed to teach me to not overanalyze every single thing to the point of severe, crippling anxiety (shoutout to my mom for answering the phone and talking me through every time).
I have no idea. I don’t know what I’m doing, and I don’t know if that’s right or not. They say that your 20s are for “finding yourself” and “being selfish.” Well, I’m pretty sure that’s just what people tell you because they honestly not sure how they found their stability, and they’re just #BLESSED that they fell upon it.
I’ve made a few life-changing decisions these past few months, and I really couldn’t tell you if I’ve pointed myself in the right direction yet. I just know that the only way I can pretend that I am is by changing the not-so-right direction that I’m running in now.
This post doesn’t end with a definitive, positive self-reflection. This is just one of many ramblings that you’ve gotten tricked into reading in hopes that I do one day have a positive, self-reflective moment to share with you all. Maybe one of these days I will.