My Quarter Life Crisis Changed Me For The Better

My Quarter Life Crisis Changed Me For The Better

Listen to "Quarter Life Crisis" by Olivia Lane while reading.

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Your twenties are hard, confusing, and one of the most difficult times of your life. Everyone seems to be on a different page: people are going to college/trade school, getting engaged, getting married, breaking up, having babies, moving, making career changes. No paths are the same, and it's okay to feel a little lost or confused for a while. You are supposed to make the wrong decisions.

Lately, this has been my future and what will make me the happiest. I thought it was being a teacher, but lately my heart and gut have been leading me in a different direction. When I decided to be an English major, teaching was the safe go-to in my mind, but I always wanted to work in publishing. Books have been in my life from the moment I was born, and I have always pictured myself working in a publishing house reading manuscripts, and that puts the biggest smile on my face. I always told myself to be safe and to make the safe choice, but what's life if you just stay safe? Life is messy, hard, and risky. If you don't take risks in life, you aren't living.

Big risk offers a big reward.

I'm on a different path and page than some of my friends, and that's okay. The finish line doesn't move; everyone goes at their own pace- and my pace right now has to be a little behind some of my friends. I'm making a change to my studies and trying to find out who I am as a person. My life seems to be falling apart, but falling together at the same time. I have the greatest friends and family who support me in everything I decide to do.

My dad has always told me to aim for the stars, and to never apologize for who I am. I am going to carve out the life I want for myself, filled with great people, great stories, and great adventures. I like having a plan, and that is why deciding to not be a teacher freaked me out. I know life kicks plans to the curb, but having a plan where I know my next step helps me remain calm.

My best friend smiled at me when I told her how I wasn't going to be a teacher and said, "I knew you'd be a great teacher, but I know you wouldn't have been happy doing it your whole life." Everyone I told about changing my concentration just smiled, like they knew it was going to happen.

My biggest fear was telling my parents. I didn't want them to be disappointed in me or disappointed that I wasn't sticking with a career I had decided on three years ago. But they weren't. My dad was hoping I was finally going to follow in my Mom's footsteps and be an RN. No Dad, blood and taking care of people is not for me. Either way, both of them just said, "do what makes you happy, and do your research, like you always do." I research everything I can before making a decision, and I know this is the career path I am meant to go down, and I look forward to working in the industry I have admired my whole life.

Life is difficult, beautiful, and messy, but it's one hell of a ride.

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The Truth About Young Marriage

Different doesn't mean wrong.
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When I was a kid, I had an exact picture in my mind of what my life was going to look like. I was definitely not the kind of girl who would get married young, before the age of 25, at least.

And let me tell you, I was just as judgmental as that sentence sounds.

I could not wrap my head around people making life-long commitments before they even had an established life. It’s not my fault that I thought this way, because the majority opinion about young marriage in today’s society is not a supportive one. Over the years, it has become the norm to put off marriage until you have an education and an established career. Basically, this means you put off marriage until you learn how to be an adult, instead of using marriage as a foundation to launch into adulthood.

When young couples get married, people will assume that you are having a baby, and they will say that you’re throwing your life away — it’s inevitable.

It’s safe to say that my perspective changed once I signed my marriage certificate at the age of 18. Although marriage is not always easy and getting married at such a young age definitely sets you up for some extra challenges, there is something to be said about entering into marriage and adulthood at the same time.

SEE ALSO: Finding A Husband In College

Getting married young does not mean giving up your dreams. It means having someone dream your dreams with you. When you get lost along the way, and your dreams and goals seem out of reach, it’s having someone there to point you in the right direction and show you the way back. Despite what people are going to tell you, it definitely doesn’t mean that you are going to miss out on all the experiences life has to offer. It simply means that you get to share all of these great adventures with the person you love most in the world.

And trust me, there is nothing better than that. It doesn’t mean that you are already grown up, it means that you have someone to grow with.

You have someone to stick with you through anything from college classes and changing bodies to negative bank account balances.

You have someone to sit on your used furniture with and talk about what you want to do and who you want to be someday.

Then, when someday comes, you get to look back on all of that and realize what a blessing it is to watch someone grow. Even after just one year of marriage, I look back and I am incredibly proud of my husband. I’m proud of the person he has become, and I’m proud of what we have accomplished together. I can’t wait to see what the rest of our lives have in store for us.

“You can drive at 16, go to war at 18, drink at 21, and retire at 65. So who can say what age you have to be to find your one true love?" — One Tree Hill
Cover Image Credit: Sara Donnelli Photography

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If Shonda Can Do A Year Of Yes, Then So Can I

Yes.

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A few years ago, Shonda Rimes decided to do a year of saying yes, after her sister told her she says "No" to everything. It ended up changing her life.

So, I've decided to embark on my own year of yes.

Sure, it may be easy to say yes to everything when you're a millionaire with a bunch of record-setting televisions shows, but the rest of us can do it too.

Say yes to treating yourself.

Say yes to taking care of yourself.

Say yes to saying no, don't stretch yourself too thin.

Say yes to new opportunities

The year of yes is about taking better care of yourself.

My year of yes starts right now.

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