On Turning 23

October 6, 2008 § Leave a comment

Yesterday I turned 23.

As a 22 year-old I galavanted around Europe, passionately pursued a long-distance relationship everyone told me was foolish, struggled through a difficult masters program, and generally felt like I couldn’t wait to get on with the next chapter of my life.

At 23, I have moved back into my parents’ basement.  Having survived long-distance, I find myself in a serious, and blissfully short-distance relationship.  I have completed a difficult masters program, and have entered the next chapter in my life: unemployment.  Also, I have absolutely no idea what I want to do with myself.

I feel like 23 is a particularly bizarre age.  22 is only a year past 21, and still fits comfortable with the college crowd.  23, on the other hand, is uncomfortably close to your “mid-twenties.”

What does “mid-twenties” mean?  Let’s do some free association.  I think of, “young professional,” “serious relationship,” “career,” “financial independence,” “business casual,” and “bridesmaid.”

I have always been my mom calls a “late bloomer,” and I just don’t feel ready to enter this next phase.  While I spent this past year living the student lifestyle in Europe, my friends at home all transitioned smoothly into this phase.  Now they all have full time jobs, apartments, and pay their own bills.  They also all live in the big city while I am living back home in the small town where I grew up.

Now that the dissertation is finished, that grad school is over, that I am TWENTY THREE, it’s time to figure out what I want to do with my life, and get a job.   So far I’ve been surviving off of odd jobs, birthday money, and my parents.  Pretty soon I’ll need to take that first step towards a career.

If only I knew which career.  Sigh.

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