I have recently turned 25. I never found this to be a very “old” age or a very “young” age. In fact, I was quite excited tobe able to check off a new box under the “Select Your Age” category. It was not until I joined the military last year and found myself surrounded by 18-23 year olds who are already married that I began to feel less, well, young. It is not that I am necessarily in a hurry to get married or anything, I just began to reconsider my priorities and what I needed/hoped to accomplish at this point in my life. So far, I am quite pleased with what I have done:
College graduate, traveled the world, no college loans, (had a) meaningful job…
But I have learned, being a transplant from New Jersey to North Carolina, that these “accomplishments” are quite regional. When I was in the real world (Note: I call my life before the military the real world because my world, now, is FAR from real) all of my friends were unmarried and I do not know many of us that were even considering marriage until we were well established in our careers, out of our parents’ houses, and could financially support a family. That does not seem to be the path that my southern acquaintances follow. It seems that most of them marry while still searching for careers, struggle financially, and then just “make it work.” I also should point out that the military culture does seem to promote marrying at a young age and quick marriages (and, later, quick divorces) due to the uncertainty of war and deploying. I once got into a heated debate with my former roommate about, what he considered, my “snotty priorities” — according to him, finding a man on the same level or above, me was prejudicial because who is to say that an uneducated man working in an aluminum factory would not make me happy. But I cannot help it if I want a partner with the same (or similar) educational level, political thought and non-ethnocentric views. If that makes me an elitist, well then yes, I am.
In any case, all of this aging and cultural change and debate has made me re-establish some of my goals. Yes, I want to get a PhD and yes, I want to visit Antarctica, but those things are unrealistic right now — especially given my current service commitment. (22 Sep 2014 cannot come soon enough!!)
I have made a list of four goals, taken from my list of “Things to Do Before I Die” (which I wrote at age 16), that I would like to accomplish during my 25th year. Those goals, in no particular order, are:
1. Sing or act in public
2. Write something significant
3. Learn a foreign language
4. Visit a new foreign country
This blog is meant to keep me motivated and keep me on track. Hopefully, it works…
Wish me luck!!
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