A friend asked me what #quartercenturyliving means and why I always say it. At first I laughed, because I wasn’t really sure. But as time passed and stories arose I figured it out. To sum it up, #quartercenturyliving for me and my friends is a way of not getting caught up in time-sensitive goals that were set prematurely. Like being married with kids by 26 ( 😅aka in 2 weeks) or the attainment of career success in which I haven’t reached yet. It’s my way of telling myself to slow down and trust the process. Admittedly I’m overly obsessed with time and it’s correlation with age and success. I’m learning I don’t need to be. So, here’s to #quartercenturyliving :
How many times have you caught yourself searching for a “how-to” manual on navigating through your twenties? And how many times have you found yourself nearing bottom’s end just because something hadn’t gone as planned? No worries, I do too. I believe we’re all blindly walking this moment-to-moment journey squeezing lemons as they’re thrown. Let’s be honest: these #20somethings can cause tumultuous imbalances.
With the never-ending financial woes, emotional breakdowns (like crying in public at the absolute worst time ever… at work or while sitting in Starbucks), and generally failing your life expectations. I look forward to conversations with my sister-friends over how awkward and troubling our twenties have been so far because the comedic relief let’s me know I’m not a lone. In life–especially these #20somethings– all we really can do is take the good with the bad and grow from there.
Closing 2016, I sort of jokingly said that once my lease was up in July I was moving back in with my mother to pursue my acting and writing dreams wholeheartedly. You know, once I mustered the strength to swallow my pride. I had to get over the fact that I was going to be moving back home and started to align my intentions. Within a short few months I have knocked out three of my major goals for 2017: land a talent agent, publish my ebook, and secure an acting gig.
Just before all of this happened, I had almost given up. I remember talking to my grandmother telling her how frustrated I was because I kept submitting my headshot and resume to talent agencies and wasn’t getting any feedback. But she told me,
You know what, that’s okay. Just don’t give up. You keep trying and you’ll get it when it’s time. . .
Just days after resubmitting my resume, talking to my grandma gave me hope. In that moment it felt so easy to quit. I had said I was over it if I didn’t get a response, and what do you know, a couple of weeks later I did! I received an email from the agency saying they wanted to meet to discuss representing me. Once this happened I saw it as the time to really strive to succeed and accomplish goals. Now that my ducks are in a row, I owe it to myself to remain steadfast.
This 25th chapter has been unquestionably apprising. I currently have the highest outlook on life that I’ve had in a while and couldn’t be happier. In fact, just knowing that happiness is a choice, I make it an effort to choose to be happy. It isn’t always easy but I’m getting better at it. As someone who’s actively working on their mental health and formerly battled with closeted depression, I’m proud of myself and the leaps and bounds I’ve taken to get to where I am today.
As previously stated, I’ve got a sour obsession with time. The obvious result of this is impatience. I hate waiting on things to happen, and feel behind if I’ve missed a deadline I set for myself. But the ugly truth is that the only time we can control is the present. We can grow from the past and look forward to the future, but we can only master the moment we’re in. I wouldn’t be an honest woman if I didn’t attribute my maturation to counseling, moral support, and kinship.
So how did I get to where I am today?
Let’s talk about it: As you may, or may not know, I graduated college in December of 2015. Shortly after I found myself working full-time as a preschool assistant teacher for an area Head Start. Anyone who knows me knows I absolutely adore children, so this isn’t a “I hated the kids post“. Truthfully, working inside the classroom was something I strongly liked–but it wasn’t what I went to school for and it wasn’t “it“. Due to the nature of the work I was becoming tirelessly drained — both physically and emotionally. In hindsight I saw myself running from my dreams because the job provided a sense of stability.
I fault myself because I was running away from my truth. I knew my dream was to be an actress and writer–not a preschool teacher. But I was highly considering grad school in education because teachers are always needed, and it’s something that could pay the bills effortlessly (at least more so than the struggling artist’s pay.) This is what I told myself each day. This is how I attempted to sell myself a lie in order to compensate for the time and energy lost for my abandoned dreams. But dishonesty only breeds unhappiness. I realized that this wasn’t me being my best self.
Things changed when I landed an acting gig in the summer of 2016. I remember the day I got word of the audition from my sister-friend. I was sitting at a coffee shop, gazing out the window in a day dream of me on stage. #NoLie. She called and said she was at an audition and the director was seeking another actress. There was no time to think or second guess myself.
“I’m on the way,”
Saying yes to this audition was me choosing myself. Like, really choosing me. Saying yes was probably the most forthright thing I could do. Chapter 25 has been about me honing in on goals and getting things done. We all find ourselves doing things we dislike and wishing for the “better days”.
What’s important to address is that we also have the power to say this ain’t it and move on! Something we’re trained to do as educators is to teach the kids to set goals based on intentions. In doing this we are setting a foundation that achievement and success is based on personal goals and outlooks. Of the many experiences and life lessons learned inside the classroom, I think this has been the most helpful for me. What good is a goal or dream without an action plan?
For too long this was my problem. I had dreamt of so many things, but got so wrapped up in finding security in plan B’s and C’s to make it look like I had life under control for the appeasement of others. If this is you, STOP. You’ll only find yourself tired and unhappy. And tired some mo’. Duh, it’s not always easy to do. But the outcome of following your dreams is well worth it. Thankfully I found the strength and faith to choose me. I wouldn’t be able to do it without my support system. So, thank you!!!!
I know that this is only the beginning of my growth spurt and it’s looking pretty darn bright. How have your #20somethings been?