Confession: I’ve been dreading my 25th birthday for a few months now. I know what you’re thinking: it’s the whole “quarter-life crisis” thing. That may be partially true, but there’s one specific thing that’s been weighing on my mind as the hours count down: a list I created almost three years ago.
As a dutiful list-maker, I made a list of things I had hoped to accomplish by the time I was 25. And while I’ve accomplished a lot, I’m that annoying type that is never quite satisfied with my own success. Just ask my mom.
It’s a bad habit that part of me wants to break, and part of me doesn’t. Coming from a lower middle-class single family from “about an hour-north-of-Detroit” Michigan, I’ve always put an insane amount of pressure on myself. Growing up, I always wanted to be the “best:” the best student (unless it was math), the best athlete, the best dressed on picture day, etc. And in college, I continued the same trend with my athletics and academics, and as I was looking to enter my career.
I wish I could give myself more credit – and more importantly I SHOULD — but there’s always that small twinge of not feeling good enough, not being exactly where I want to be in life. And I think that is what defines the quarter-life crisis: thinking this isn’t really what I expected at 25.
So as a birthday present to myself, I’ve created a list of things I’m proud of professionally below. And to my fellow quarter-lifers, I hope you give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back as well.
- Discovered a different career path in college before I took one that wasn’t right for me.
- Left the comforts of the mitten state to pursue life in a strange (and HUGE) new city.
- Gained employment at top mid-sized agencies in one of the toughest regional markets.
- Survived “paying my dues” as an intern and learned the inner-workings of agency-life.
- Determined what I liked and what I didn’t in my career, and realized when I needed to bite the bullet and when I needed to make a change.
- Worked with a diverse roster of well-known clients.
- Continue to be a resource for my alma mater and a variety of PR students (and more importantly, enjoy answering their questions).
- Learned to frame things with a little more grace and tact.
- Haven’t given up on blogging even when I feel like it’s a waste of my time.
- Am constantly learning — and wanting to learn – something new.