two roads diverged

by She Flies With Her Own Wings

Up until this point in my life, I feel like I’ve roughly been on the same/similar path as my friends and peers who are my age.  I use the terms roughly and similar because obviously no two lives are going to be exactly the same; factors such as location, socio-economic status, religion etc. all play into this same/similar path, so I’m just going to be speaking for myself and from my experiences.

I was born on November 7, 1990.  The first few years of my life were rather different, but come the fall of 1996, myself along with many other five and six-year-old kids started kindergarten…and without even really knowing or understanding, we set out on a long journey together.  This group and I went through every grade together for the next 13 years, and all of the changes that come with it.  For the most part, we all started having crushes and boyfriends/girlfriends around the same time, we went through puberty together, went to our first school dance, we went through our rebellious teenage years and learned to drive around the same time.  We shared in heartbreaks and disappointments, accomplishments and new dreams.  In 2009 we shared another milestone in life and graduated high school, and although some of our lives took us in different directions: college, the military, trade schools, and jobs…we could all still look at each other and feel as though we were roughly at similar places in our lives, going through similar things.

Then all of a sudden you’re 22/23 and you’re not sure where the past 17-ish years have gone.  I look around at this group of people who I started out going through life with, who I’ve been walking down the path with, and we’re all at very different places; some of those people are now married/getting married and starting families of their own, some who are furthering their education by earning their masters, others have paid internships in big cities while others have now started their careers working full-time jobs, and then there are those who are off traveling Europe  or have moved to Australia or some other far-off land.  Then there are those who still share similar shoes with me; we’ve moved back home to work odd-end jobs to save up money while applying for graduate school or are trying to figure out the next step in our lives.

There are days where I look at this group of people, all in different chapters now, and wonder if my love-life isn’t where it’s supposed to be, or if I should be out exploring the world or trying to become successful in a specific career.  I don’t know how many articles I’ve read about how your 20’s are supposed to be your years for traveling, or how you should be working and networking so you can be successful and wealthy someday, or how if you still haven’t had a very serious, long-term relationship at this point in your life you’re going to be forever alone.

The truth is, there is no “right” path, and although we may have been on a similar path for a good portion of our lives, doesn’t mean we’re always going to be.  Comparing myself to what others who are my age are doing and who I used to be on same path with, is going to make me feel very confused and unsure.  So good for them, and good for me too.  We’re all doing what’s best for us at this point in our lives, because we’re all unique individuals.

All I have to say is this: if you get chance to travel, do it, it’ll challenge you and expose you.  If you get offered a great job that you love, take it, how many people get to make money from doing what they love.  If you’re not satisfied with your degree, keep learning, education is something that no one will ever be able to take away from you.  If you meet an amazing person who brings out the best in you, treats you right, and makes you happy, hold onto them, true love is a rare thing these days.

Your 20’s are for whatever you choose to do with them.  They’re full of opportunity, and I don’t think opportunities should go to waste…whatever they might be.  So start your own path, take the “one less traveled by”.