Sunday, May 12, 2013
A Note to a Young Friend
A note to a young friend, who seems to believe that everything is decided in life at age 19 - and thinks if you've not decided what you want to be yet by then, you're not being an adult.
Just so you know, I was out on my own when I was 18 - no military, not in college yet - out there, working, supporting myself. So yeah, been at it a while. But there is no need for everything to always stay exactly the same.
At 16, I wanted to run a daycare. at 19, I wanted to be a photojournalist - and actually did work on a small town newspaper as their photographer and darkroom(and layout, and occasional reporter). But in college, I found Sociology, and pursued that. Knowing a BA in that meant I could ask people if they wanted fries with that in a very smart way, I went back to college and got my teaching certification in Sociology and History. I was a teacher until we moved, and then I became a historical interpreter and taught non traditionally at a rather large museum. I've owned my own business since 2003, and have nannied and tutored and taught all kinds of classes since I was 19. Now I've combined it all - I still teach people how to do and make things, both in person and through my blog and FB page. I'm a photographer, and I write for an online news source on the subject of Colorado History. And I still run my own business as a milliner and textile artist.
Through all that I married at 21, had a child at 23, divorced and remarried at 26 and had a second child at 27. I've lived near the area where I live now, as well as the other side of the state, in Illinois and in Iowa. The children are raised, as you know - both smart and living their lives. Total of 27 years of marriage so, and I remain on very good terms with my first spouse.
Now, with my children grown - one in the Marines and one graduated from college - I get to reinvent my life again, focusing on homesteading projects and self sufficiency - growing our own food, raising chickens, all that good stuff - as well as sharing that journey with other people and learning from them as well. Someday, I may even be a grandma, and that's a whole new place in life as well.
The genetic makeup of my family is such that I likely have another 35- 40 years of life to go- and wouldn't it be boring to never do anything but that one thing I chose to do at 19?
The most interesting people I know have lived full lives and done and seen a great deal during that time. In a nutshell, what I'm saying - enjoy the ride. You don't have to take everything in life seriously. And you most certainly don't have to do the same thing, day in and day out, from the time you graduate high school to the time you retire.
So honey, in the future, when an older adult tells you they still haven't figured out what they want to do in life, know that while they may be a little serious, they are also joking with you. And they are also likely some of the happiest people you will ever know.