Today "The Year Spent PC" now becomes "The Years Spent PC." Happy birthday to my little blogging adventure!
Ironically, I came across this article from The New York Times today (actually, I found it on Facebook and a friend found it in the NYT) that seems fitting for the occasion of my blog's birthday. The article? "What Is It About 20-Somethings?"
It goes on to talk about the concept of a new developmental stage in life, at a point in life that I am smack dab in the middle of. We're talking the 20s, the years that are supposed to be some of the best of your life.
Instead, we 20-somethings are moving back home at least once during this decade of our life, or at least forty percent of us do. On average, we will change jobs seven times and change addresses about once a year. We will put off getting married to an age later in life than any generation before us, live with our significant others without being married, and take unpaid internships and service opportunities within the United States and abroad for little to no paycheck at all.
Some may say that we're putting off "becoming adults." Others may say that we're slackers, or that we think we're entitled to everything that the previous generation worked hard to attain - and more. Or some may sit back on their heels and call us lazy, unmotivated, and unwilling to accept responsibility.
I beg to differ. Some of my closest friends are currently juggling jobs, spouses and the anticipated arrival of children, graduate school, and all of those "benchmarks" we're supposed to meet in order to be socially acceptable by the time we've turned 30. While I am still trying to get into graduate school and I'm working two jobs - not by choice, but instead because I have financial responsibilities to fulfill - and I don't plan on getting married within the next week (or month...or year...unless someone knows something I don't know,) I can see the concept of "emerging adulthood." But then again, I've always ran with the over achiever crowd, the up and comings, but I still see it in bits and pieces of my friend's and my's lives. I actually sat and read all ten pages of the article and could identify with what was being said, all the while wondering just how much space this piece took up in print.
We aren't intentionally putting off adulthood. Almost all of my friends from college lived on our own in dorms paid for by tuition that we took student loans out in our own names in order to pay for our communal living style. From day one of college, we paid for our books and tuition and entertainment; we even scraped and saved to buy our own clothes and sorority and fraternity dues. We shouldered our responsibilities and did what we had to to get to the next step in our lives - "emerging adulthood," somewhere between being completely dependent and completely independent that can be misinterpreted in so many different ways.
But there is one thing I can identify with. It's the concept of a new adventure into self-discovery and identity formation. I've learned a lot this past year that I've spent PC. I've had to grow a tougher skin when facing rejection, learn that dreams are great but the road to achieving them may change at moment's notice, and that sometimes you have to learn to say good bye before you may be ready to let go. I've learned to stand up for myself and my writing in ways that I never had to face in college writing workshops, to dig deeper within myself to find strength, and that sometimes happily forever afters don't always last forever, but they will ever leave an impact on those around when the Glinda the Good Witch bubble pops.
So, instead of this being a final good bye, let this be a chance to raise a glass - or can, mug, cup, or bottle - to the prospect of self discovery and emerging adulthood. After all, you're only a 20-something once, and we all have to make the most of those ten years while they're here.
Because who knows who you may find there; just possibly, you might find your self.