So it’s someone special’s birthday today and as I wrote a birthday letter I got to thinking about being ok with where you are in life right this moment. I’m 25. Whenever I say that here people say, “jovencita!” or, “you’re still so young!” That puts things into perspective a little bit because I really don’t like having to say I’m another year older and really haven’t paid much attention to my birthday the last few years. But, that’s not the point. The point is that when I was in 9th grade, I knew EVERYTHING. I was so sure of myself and my plans and how you had to act that I bet you can just imagine what it was like to deal with me. In my English class, we were assigned a “research” paper but it was more like a “use MLA format to write about your dream life in 10 years from now” paper. I was 15 and this is some of what my 9th-grade self expected of the today Isabel:
1. Go to NYU and study music/music business to become a music supervisor
2. Study abroad in Australia
3. Meet the love of my life in Australia, Winston.
4. Get a great job as a music supervisor in Charlottesville, Virginia, where I become good friends with Dave Matthews.
5. Marry Winston (with green eyes) and have beautiful babies that our pal Dave Matthews’ twin daughters babysit.
So as you can see, I’ve pretty much failed according to the very demanding Isabel from 2001. She would be very disappointed that I studied abroad in Chile and not Australia and would never forgive me for not even applying to NYU. There is also no green-eyed Winston in my life and I’m not friends with Dave Matthews. See? Total failure.
All joking aside, when I think back to what I expected of myself even 4 years ago, I can’t say I’ve come through to make 2007 Isabel happy with it either. Isabel from 2007 was pretty sure she’d be married and working on her MA in Spanish Literature in the U.S. by now. I’m sure there were times when she also secretly hoped for a little baby by this time, too. But none of that has happened. I totally changed my mind about careers and I’m still living in Chile, and no longer in a relationship so the wedding is out. I suppose the baby’s not technically impossible this year but NO!!
This isn’t disappointing to think about even though it might seem like it. I’m Ok not being where I expected to be and I think almost no one is where they expected to be (except in the case of a very select few who just have their shit together, like my friend S. who is amazingly composed and together and brilliant and just knows what she wants all the time and then gets it).
I’m now working in an industry totally unrelated to what I studied and I have no idea where I’ll be living 6 months from now. In a lot of ways, I feel like my future is just as uncertain as it was when I was a freshman in high school dreaming up my ideal life and I love that. I guess I always assumed that after college, everything was decided and set in stone and, frankly, boring. I was struggling with feeling too old to “start over” before but now that I realize your life doesn’t instantly become predictable the minute you get a “real” job and settle down a little and that excites me. I know I’m not starting over right now, but I am building on a lot that I’ve worked on the past few years and I feel comfortable and happy that life has brought me here even though I don’t know what the next “here” will be.
So I’m going to try to make a more realistic list for the near future. Let’s say two years from now on July 13, 2013. This is where I hope I am:
1. Working a creative job that I love in the food & wine industry that allows me a more flexible schedule while also paying the bills.
2. Living in a new city, hopefully in the U.S., and close to a lot of people I love (Anyone who’s talked to me recently knows I’m dreaming of Philadelphia but I don’t want to limit myself too much).
3. Finished biking across Ireland with my dad like we’ve been hoping to do for a while now.
4. Out of credit card debt and saving a good chunk of money every month.
5. OK, let’s face it, obviously I hope I’m either married to, dating or about to meet the man of my dreams 🙂
6. Comfortable with where I am, reconnected with my friends and family I haven’t seen much since living in Chile but also still connected to Chile.
It’s a tall order but at least not like my first one.
What do you want for yourself in two years from today?