I’ve reached an awkward moment in my life. I’ve looked in the mirror every day for a week now and realized something. I’m happy. All the work I’ve put into myself and my life over the past few years has worked. My struggle with school landed me a lovely job. My struggle with friendships has left me with only good friends (and a good living arrangement). My struggle with words has led me to dedicate several hours a day to practice wrangling them. My struggle with relationships has led me to learn much about myself. I can see my 18-year-old self looking at me and saying, “Good Job.”
I know I have plenty left to work on. I’m glad. Life is an endless canvass to improve. If you are not working on bettering yourself in one way or another, you are not living. But the realization that I’m finding is slightly frightening. My years of struggling with one thing or another worked. I can look at most the moments in my life and be happy. I may wish certain things were different, yes, but that does not change the fact that I love where I stand right now.
I came across an article yesterday. I was looking at it to try to think of a memory I could write for the 50 Day Memory Challenge. Instead, I was taken aback by my own quotes. If you would like to read the whole article, you can find it here. The important quotes are these:
–“They might have to get used to his globetrotting since he’s also considering a stint in the Peace Corps.”
–“Reilly, 18, wants to write novels eventually, but he figures studying history is a good start.”
The article only talks about my future twice—in those two lines. So, five years ago, my dreams and aspirations could be explained simply: Go to College, Write Novels, Join the Peace Corp. Five years later, I am the embodiment my 18-year-old dreams. I went to college. I have written four novels and can feel my craft improving with every day. In a few short months…I will be in the Peace Corp.
I have a hard time explaining how complicated of an emotion this sparked within me. I may have forgotten what my dreams were, but I never strayed. I became the man I wanted to become. There is, however, another side to the coin. I’m thinking back and reading over everything about my youth. The only real question I have left is:
If I’ve already reached my life goals, where do I go from here?
So, yet again, I’ve reached a crossroads of sorts. With the life that I have created, there are many ways I can go from here. When I get back from the Peace Corp, I will be 26 years old. What do I want my life to be in my late twenties and early thirties? Well, my mathematical mind is screaming at me to make a list of possibilities.
- Find a way to get my written work out to people (doesn’t have to be a regular publishing route).
- Meet a girl. Fall in love. Start a family.
- Get out of Colorado
- Side note: If possible, live in London for a short period of time.
- You are allowed to settle down. There is only one stipulation. Make sure it is a job that allows time off and enough money for travel.
That’s a good start, I think. It builds off what I have already accomplished. I think I needed this. I need new goals that push me harder. I want to become the person I imagine in my head. I know I can get there. I know it will not be easy. I know it will be worth it. When I’m thirty, I want to look back and say—I did that.
Read previous personal story: Jaccob: Year Six
Rather impressive – it’s a rare person that meets their long-term goals (or doesn’t get side-tracked along the way). Congratulations, and luck be with you.