When I was younger, I used to wonder what my life would be like when I reached certain ages… I’m not sure I made it past about 20… But what I probably would have imagined, back in the day, is that I’d have some kind of career I was totally in love with, for one.

This is actually from my friend Mary’s most recent LJ post, but it sounds like something straight out of my own diary. As I child I dreamt about high school and especially college, but somehow my imagination never really got past that time frame. I’m not sure why. I am sure, however, that not having a good idea of what should or could or might come next had me terrified.

At first, I made up plans that I thought might work, or at least be really cool. Join the CIA. Travel around the world (and wash dishes or teach English to pay my bills). Go to grad school. And all of these were viable options (at least, I assume I wouldn’t need to know the native language to wash dishes in Portugal or Zimbabwe or Russia) but the closer I got to the deadline for making a decision — i.e., Graduation — the more I realized none of these things were right for me, not right now.

So I tried something else. I moved to Cincinnati to be with Andy, and I found a job at a good design firm. I adopted a puppy. I learned how to golf. And through it all, I’ve kept writing, because my passion for writing is one of the few things I have not lost or questioned since I was 10.

It’s not perfect, but it’s not supposed to be. Life is a learning experience, and I think I’m passing so far. Changes are coming, but that’s okay. Scary as all get out, but okay.

In short… In short, today is Mary’s birthday (Happy birthday, Mary!) so I’ll let her sum this one up, with two small tweaks.

I feel like I’ve accomplished something enormous, even though [others may not see it that way]. I have, in one year after finishing college, found a place that’s mine. Maybe I don’t always feel like I belong here, maybe I sometimes feel like a hopeless foreigner. But that feeling doesn’t come nearly as often as it used to. And here, I have people who like me just for me. I have a place that’s mine, I have a routine that’s mine. I have a wonderful boyfriend who helped me find all of this. I have wonderful family that has put up (and continues to put up) with [me].

So I guess what I’m saying is that whatever I could have dreamed up as a child… this is better.

This is better. If it weren’t, I wouldn’t be doing it. And the best part is that there’s only more to come.

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