What does 28 mean?
I recently read a blog post that was all about age, and what age means, or doesn’t mean. When I lived in Chicago, it seemed as though age mattered. At 22, I was living it up in the big city, wondering when or where I would meet Mr. Right, and wondering if I would ever make enough money to travel the world, and live a life full of stories and adventures, trying delicious new food, seeing musicals, and signing up and racing in any race I dreamed of, etc. It seemed like I had my whole life ahead of me, and I had only begun to grow as a person.
Who knew that at 26, a month before my 27th birthday, I would pack up all my things, and head out west with no job, no friends, and nowhere to live. If I were going to do something crazy, it was then! I had just broken up with my boyfriend of 4 years, and well it was time to see where the world would take me. It’s funny, because I swear at 22, I thought I would be married and pregnant with my first kid by 26. Wow, did life have different plans for me.
My dad has often said, that the meaning of life (in his opinion) is to overcome our fears. I think about this often. I’m the baby in my family, and my mom loves to tell me about the time I told her I wanted to go to Cardinal Stritch (which is a community college 5 blocks from where I grew up), because I never wanted to leave home. I had a serious high school boyfriend, and even then, I was considering going to Marquette, because he went to Marquette, and I wanted to stay close to home. But, if I hadn’t left, and gone to good ol’ DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, I don’t think I would have grown as a person as much as I have. That was my path, that was just part of my journey. I can’t even explain what I learned at DePauw, about myself, about friendships, and relationships, and being a part of a team, and a sorority, and a campus that felt like family. To be around like-minded individuals, yet open-minded individuals. DePauw was a bubble, a safe bubble, but full of people who stimulated me intellectually, and challenged me, and helped me become the person I am today.
I was afraid to travel far from home, even though I would go to camp for three weeks every summer, or go to foreign countries as an exchange student, I always knew I was going to come home. My family means everything to me, and the friends I made in high school, as well as college became like family. But, I learned that there’s nothing to be afraid of, and that my family will always be there. My friends will always be there. So, at 26, when I realized the guy I was dating, wasn’t the guy I was supposed to end up with, I MOVED. I took a leap of faith, and followed a dream I had had for a long time….San Diego. It was SCARY to start all over. I no longer had that safety net within driving range. But, I can’t even imagine what my life would be like, if I had gone down the path that I was on.
Age is just a number.
Since, moving to San Diego (almost two years ago), age truly is just a number. Out here, being 26, I was a baby. Once again, I had my whole life ahead of me. I started to dream. What kind of job would I get, and where would I live? Did I make the right decision leaving? Will I find someone else?
It’s funny how not once in the last two years, have I thought about life check points. Or that I NEED to be at a certain point in my life. I don’t have the NEED to get married, have kids, and buy a house by a certain age, because really no one can control that. Maybe that’s because out here, it seems that it’s not about time, but about the right time, and the right person, or the right job, or the right house. Maybe it’s not even out here in California, but maybe our generation is changing what age means. I’m two months away from my 29th birthday, and surprisingly 30 doesn’t scare me. I don’t feel like I have to be at a certain point in my life. Maybe it’s because the guys I meet out here are almost 40, and therefore I feel young at 28. ha! But, no matter what, I always want to live my life FREELY. NO FEAR.
I want to dance as if no one is watching, love as if I’ve never been hurt before, sing as though no one can hear me, and live as though heaven is on earth. (Souza). Because truly what is life, if we aren’t living in the moment, and dreaming about our future. There are no right or wrong ages to have your dream job, get married, have kids, retire, do an Ironman ;), etc.
Just be you. And when the time is right, each puzzle piece will fall into place.
P.S I put sunset pics in because when I see a sunset there’s no where else I’d rather be. It inspires me to dream, and be in the present.