then and now, in transition
I don’t talk a whole lot about what’s going on in the bigger picture in my life, but lately I’ve been thinking about my future… and how uncertain I am about it. Maybe that’s natural? It probably is, but I thought I’d share a little about my thoughts lately with you.
Matt, my roommate and friend since we were 17, jokes that I’ve become pretentious. We both grew up in families that weren’t well off – with less than many of our peers and our current friends. He teases that I’ve started to lose touch with those roots with all my winery visits, love of charcuterie and use of words like “charcuterie.” Then I throw together some homemade fried chicken and dip my fries in a vat of ranch, and we’re back to golden.
I’m in transition. I’m in this place in my late 20s (eek! so strange to say that), where I’m trying to merge the “me” of my past with the “me” of my future. I don’t quite have a grasp on what my future looks like yet, so the result is murky. It’s unclear. As I wade through this time of transition, I’m trying to proactively pick and choose new activities, friends, relationships and jobs – finding what fits and what doesn’t.
As I keep getting days and weeks and months and years older, there are a few constants:
- Travel – I want to do things like hike 41-miles along part of the Brazilian coastline, and I want to hike to the tallest ruins in Mexico, and I want to live and be and explore in every corner of the world.
- My core friends – I can count them on two hands. We’re spread out around the world, but our friendships persist.
- Family – for better or worse, my mom and brother are a part of me, and I am a part of them.
(Edit: a commenter brought to my attention that I didn’t include Theo (the Bagle Hound) in this list! Jeez, I’m a bad puppy mom. He is constantly by my side and adorable to boot.)
That’s it. There are only three. Maybe 4, if I grant “hiking” its own category. Everything else – how blessedly happy I am in my still-young relationship, how drawn I am to the countryside, my lifelong need to write in different forms, my career – they all feel like unknowns, question marks. Where will I be in a year? Five? Ten? I just don’t know.
I do know for certain, though, that I like how far I’ve come in the last five years.
While visiting Fabbioli Cellars this past weekend, I realized I misspoke when I told Zan months ago that my first winery visit was with him in Virginia. I completely forgot that I visited some when I studied abroad in South Africa back in college. (How could I forget that?!) That conversation made me look at the last five years and how I’ve changed and how my life has changed. I asked him, “I wonder if my 21 year old self, the kid that visited that first winery, would be proud of where I am now, five years later?”
I think she would. In the last five years, I’ve lived abroad for a year (in Japan), traveled to more than half a dozen countries, been the first in my family to graduate college, managed my student debt as responsibly as I know how, worked as a news producer covering the State Department, found a job where I get paid to write, and made the transition from sliced cheeses to artisan ones. (Matt’s coughing right now, “Pretentious!”)
I can’t guess where I’ll be in five years, but I’m almost nearly positive who I am now will be proud of who I become. AT least I really hope so. Either way, I’m excited to meet her in five years.
I haven’t lost touch of my roots. I’m still hospitable, a Georgian at heart, a friend to all condiments, and I regard the values my mom taught me highly. But I’ve changed, too.
We are where we come from, but we’re also how we choose to evolve.
My actual first winery – Spier in Stellenbosch, South Africa
Where are you from? Where are you going? What are your constants in life – maybe God, a spouse, a sport? Where, if anywhere, do you see yourself in five years? I’d love to hear your stories.
ps – Can we all just agree to never mention that middle school band photo ever again?!
some posts you may have missed this week