Now that I am nearing the end of my twenties, I find myself reflecting over the past five years and reveling at how different my life is than anything I ever expected. Many of my friends talk about being scared to make a change in their life whether small or big, afraid of the unknown. The unknown has been the best part of the journey thus far! If you had met Bernadette five years ago and told her what her life would be like now, she would tell you that you were crazy if you told her she would:
- Move to a city I only knew about through basketball. The only thing I knew about Charlotte were the Hornets because I loved Mugsy Bogues and Larry Johnson. I also really liked teal and purple. I had no clue where Charlotte was. Now that I think of it, I don’t think it even occurred to me that Charlotte was actually a place. I think I thought they were “Charlotte’s Hornets,” kind of like a sequel to “Charlotte’s Web.” Anyhow, I had full expectation of living and dying in New York City. I think it’s a sign that the Hornets are coming back this year.
- Become a wife. If you asked me who I thought would get married first of all my friends, I always said that I would be last. I had no intent of getting married at all, let alone at age 26 when the rest of my friends were happily living up the single life. But you can’t time who you fall for and how quickly you fall. Now coming up on our three year anniversary, I can say that getting married to an amazing man was the best thing that happened to me. Yes, that’s right – I am okay with saying that above my career, my education and my own ambitions, getting married was the best decision I’ve made. It’s an easy decision when you know it’s right.
- Exchange shots and late night cab rides for gardening and thrift shops. I had big plans for myself living in New York City: working crazy hours at an investment bank and blowing my paychecks on kamikazes and martinis into the morning hours. Now, I spend my free time waiting for my garden tomatoes to ripen or for that vintage wooden chest to get marked down 20%. And I absolutely love it. The only thing that I don’t love is admitting I have turned into my mom, 40 years prematurely.
- Have six different jobs in less than a year. Quitting the HR job I hated was the second best decision I made. That is, until I chickened out and went back to another HR job that I hated even more than the last one. Then I really quit. I worked at three different retail stores in Charlotte making less than I did when I was 19 years old. Then I landed a pretty sweet gig last month working from home doing HR recruiting. All the fear turned out for the best! I love my job and I love how much closer I am getting to “the 4-hour work week.”
- Spend more time with family + friends than ever before. Ironically enough, I probably see this little girl (my two year old niece) more now that I live in Charlotte than I did when I was living in New York City. Something about getting out of the crazy pace made me realize how much I was missing out on the important people in my life. Now, I take extra efforts to spend time with my family and friends and feel even more involved with them than ever before. I wouldn’t trade these relationships for anything else.
What are the amazing things that you never would have predicted five years ago? What crazy things are you hoping for in the next five years? Isn’t it fun to guess?