Aging is a bittersweet thing. The closer I get to 30, the more a knot turns in my stomach, and all the same old thoughts come back.
Am I doing enough? Have I passed enough checkpoints? Am I keeping pace with the rest of my peers? Should I have kids, should I find a different job? Where the heck am I supposed to be at this point?
The list of questions goes on and on.
But lately I've been pushing those thoughts out of my head simply by trying to be the best version of myself. Sure, it sounds cheesy, but it's working.
Growing up, I wanted to be a writer. In a city. In a high rise office. In a small town, writing books. In a newsroom. In another country. The dreams changed, but they changed in a good way. The dreams developed and grew.
Then, once I was set on journalism (a way to actually get paid to write!) I put all of myself into it. Once I got the dream job and didn't enjoy it, I considered myself a complete failure. I went down a dark path. I thought since I had hit a wall (for the first time in my life, and a big wall at that,) that I was a goner. I was done. I really had myself believing that there was no future for me.
It took almost a year and a half for me to realize that my dream - the one I've had since I was a little girl - still lived in me. I still want to be a writer. I proofread by day and I'm no longer a journalist in a newsroom, but there are still so many possibilities for me to explore. Once that revelation hit me, I started attacking that dream again - ferociously, and from every angle possible.
I'm now freelancing for a brand new local newspaper. I'm also taking on some election day freelance work for another publication. I've been blogging here, and on another blog, where I can specifically write about my life in the Midwest.
And even bigger to me, I'm in the infancy stages of something I've dreamed about my entire life: writing a book. I'm nowhere near the finish line, in fact, I'm just hearing the starting gun, but it's exciting and it could be huge. The topic is close to my heart and I really feel that writing this story is the reason I was put on this earth, and is the reason I was meant to be a writer.
Dreams don't end. They change. And to keep up with the momentum, I'm pushing myself out of my comfort zone. It keeps me on my toes, and it keeps me inspired. I am learning more about photography. I joined a gym and I now exercise daily. These things are teaching me a lot about my soul. They're also improving my well being, inside and out.
People handle age in all kinds of ways. It used to intimidate me, but now I'm using it as a guide. I'm pushing myself to be the best version of myself, someone who can say that I try my hardest and I do things from the deepest parts of my soul. This life may not be what I imagined years ago, but it's changing and evolving right along with me. And that's a beautiful thing to endure.