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This past February I turned 30! Boy how time has passed. It’s weird thinking my 20s are officially over, but I’m interested to see where my 30s take me.
For some reason I’ve been delaying writing up this post. I think because when I was younger (& even now sometimes) I envisioned myself in a completely different place.
When I was in high school and college I saw myself married by 28 with my first kid on the way by 30. I was living in New York City & working for a magazine. This was my dream of dreams. But life obviously didn’t turn out that way.
I jumped into the first job I could find outside of college and it wasn’t in NYC as I wanted although my internship at Seventeen Magazine earlier that year had me questioning if that was really the place for me. I loved NYC and was hoping to find my way there eventually, but the magazine I interned for didn’t feel like a great fit for me—like I wasn’t up to par to work there. Lots of self-doubt clouded my judgment early in my career pursuits and still finds its way in even now.
After I stopped pursuing New York, I focused a lot on family. Family is a big priority for me in life and it came up quickly after I graduated how true that was for me as I refocused on helping take care of my grandmother. I also found a new dream to pursue: helping others after I found I wasn’t the best at working at a desk (although now that I’m older I can realize it wasn’t so much working at a desk, but working at a job that didn’t challenge me & was in a toxic environment).
This new dream lead me to Boston and graduate school for library & information science. I fell in love with Boston and would be living there in heartbeat if it was a bit less expensive and I didn’t have so much student loan debt. Needless to say being a public librarian doesn’t pay the big bucks lol.
But I found happiness in learning this new career, in helping my family and continuing to explore content creation/blogging.
Over the past 5 years I’ve been through a lot of ups and downs. I’ve been through a lot of grief, but also happy moments I wouldn’t trade away. While I never achieved my first dream, I’m learning that dreams can change & that everyone’s journeys are different. I may still be living with my parents paying off my student loans so I can buy a house, but I got to help them through losing three members of our family. I also got to buy a new car, travel with friends, & find a job I loved after spending my first library job in another toxic work environment. My parents have been incredibly supportive which has definitely been a privilege I know not everyone has.
Now that I’m entering in my 30s I’m learning how to be a bit more selfish. I know you’re supposed to do that in your 20s, but it’s not in my nature. I tend to put everyone first and now I’m looking at life through a new lens. I’m hoping to map out some 1, 3 & 5 year goals and really nail down how I want to pursue the rest of my life—how I want to leave my mark.
I’m getting comfortable with not being where other people are in this stage of their lives. I’m learning to stop comparing my journey with some else’s. I’m learning to focus on me & my dreams & wants & values. And I hope by sharing this glimpse into my self-doubt and my struggles so far you can also see that it’s okay to be on your own journey & that your journey may look different from others & from mine. Just know you’re not alone & you’ll get where you want to be one day.
Thank you for taking some of your time to read this & be a part of this community. I hope you come back to check in again.
xx Nicole Lynn