Sometimes I really struggle with the idea that my life is suddenly somehow put-together. For so long, so much of my identity was wrapped up in the idea of going through a quarterlife crisis that to now have everything figured out is, well, really strange.
It feels disingenuous, like I’m a huge fraud. I spent most of – no, all of – my formative years just waiting for things to get better. My mantra for the year 2009 came from a Nada Surf song: maybe this weight was a gift, like I had to see what I could lift. Maybe this will all pay off someday; maybe I’ll be happy someday and it will have all been worth it.
And now, here I am. I’m starting a new job – an actual, first-time-ever ideal job. I’ve spent the past two years at a job I (mostly) loved. I got to spend forty hours a week with some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. I’ve been in a stable, healthy, fun relationship. I’ve made friends. I’ve gotten involved in the community. I’ve made peace with the past. I’ve dealt with (most of) my issues.
There’s nothing I would change.
I used to dream of the possibility of change because it was the only thing that would get me through. There would be tears and a knot in my stomach but I would always have just the tiniest bit of hope that things would change. And really? Things weren’t even that bad, but when you’re in your twenties and confused and things just aren’t working out how they were “supposed to,” it always seems that bad.
The past couple years have been a lesson in happiness. It was never my default; I used to think my emotional default state was somewhere between indifference and sadness. I never knew what it was like to be this content, this fulfilled. To be honest, I’m still learning to untangle who I am from who I was. Sometimes, being this happy – this normal – doesn’t feel like me. I feel like an impostor.
But it’s times like these when I realize I’m still the same person in a lot of ways. I’m still introspective enough to think about these things rather than just live them. I’m still anxious enough to be worried it’ll all fall apart. And I’m still hopeful enough to believe, deep down, that it won’t – or that, at the very least, I’ll be okay if it does.