My Life in Short

Hello, readers, and welcome to my Quarter Life Crisis.

What is a Quarter Life Crisis? For me, it's reaching that point where I begin to wonder what I am doing with life and if my chosen path is the right one. It just so happens that this "Crisis" coincides with my mid-twenties, thus: My Quarter Life Crisis.

How did I get to this point, this Quarter Life Crisis? Well, this is my truncated life story, highlighting the events likely to be relevant to most of my posts. I originally had this in my About Me page, but it seemed appropriate to give it it's own space.

I am a 20-something girl, born and raised in Chicago. The first 24 years of my life were spent in the midwest: I stayed in Chicago until I was 18. I moved in a southward direction to Champaign for an amazing 4 years at college. From there, I kept moving south and wound up in St. Louis for 3 years while I finished grad school. Go ahead, do the math. That's 7 years of school. No surprise I'm burnt out at my relatively young age!

During my 3 years in grad school, I spent a collective 38 weeks away on internships. I travelled between St. Louis, Chicago, Phoenix, Northern Idaho and Orange County. Right before I embarked on my travels, I declared that I was not going to date anyone, since I will have to say goodbye to anyone I meet and I do NOT do the long-distance thing. Famous last words.

1 week before I was set to leave for Phoenix, I met R at a Jack's mannequin concert. I don't know if love at first sight exists, but this is about as close as it gets for me. He managed to get past my asinine introduction - apparently I thought I was being funny, but looking back I was just being a dork:

R: So, what's your name?
T: [Wearing a Nike track jacket] Nike.
R: [Over the music] What?
T: Nike!
R: Nikki?
T: No. NIKE!
R: [Confused look]
T: Because I'm wearing a Nike jacket? [Points to logo]
R: [Continues to look confused]
T: Never mind. I'm T.

I knew I was in trouble within a few minutes of talking to him. I was doing things completely out of character for me. I'm not much of a gushy, romantic, touchy-feely type of girl, but within 15 minutes, I had the uncontrollable urge to throw my arms around him and hug him. Man, was I embarrassed. He handled it like a champ. Then I upped the ante by telling him not to even bother asking for my phone number, since I will be going away and not coming back for a long time. Oh jeez, I definitely blew it this time. Well he asked for my number anyway, even though he claims it was I who asked for his number. Lies. 

I didn't think too much of it, because I was sure I'd never hear from him ever again. Well, we talked the next day, went on our "first date" a few days later on Independence Day and within a grand total of 9 days we were an official couple. Like BF/GF. Like going steady. And I don't usually just jump into relationships like that, but something was right about it.

So, I left for Phoenix and we started a long distance relationship for over a year. Fast forward to graduation day in St. Louis - I decided that I'd been going south for long enough, now it was time to move west. R agreed to take the risk and move across the country with me to Huntington Beach, CA. I had a job, which by coincidence brought me back to Chicago after 1 year in the OC, all the while dragging R across the country with me. We've been back in Chicago since April of 2009 and I don't know if I will ever leave again. They say there's no place like home, they're right.

So now here I am, approaching my late 20's and I run into a wall. My Quarter Life Crisis. Like I said, I have a job, and it's a very good job. But... it just doesn't do it for me. In fact, I'm not sure if my chosen profession is even the right one for me. Yeah, the very same profession that I spent 7 years (and well over 6 figures in student loans) to receive a specialized degree. 

Who decided 18 year olds should be allowed to pick their careers? I know that my 26 year old self is worlds different than my 21 year old self who was worlds different than my 18 year old self.

Despite being worlds and worlds apart, 18 year old self has chosen the path that brought me here. In college, you are supposed to pick a major. I didn't know what the heck I wanted to do, but I picked one anyway. I completed my Bachelor's degree in something specific enough that you can't hope to find a job in the field without a grad school education. Well, I never really questioned whether or not I'd want to do this job for the rest of my life, but being as rigid as I was I would never consider changing majors since I just HAD to graduate in 4 years.

How I wish that I'd just given myself time to slow down, and change directions if I wanted to. Well, I succeeded in graduating college in 4 years, and I immediately began graduate school the fall semester after graduation.

I had some doubts, but I didn't allow myself to think about them too much. First, with my Bachelor's being so specific, what else was I going to do with my life? This is my only option! Also? I've been in grad school for a year and I've taken out a lot of money so far, if I quit now I'll be in debt with nothing to show for it.

I spent 3 years in graduate school, subconsciously doubting my chosen path the entire time. But it was always "I've spent 2 years in school" "I've spent 3 years in school" "It will all be better when I'm out in the real world working." So I completed grad school and came out with my Doctorate degree and went out into the real world to work.

But it wasn't all better. I've been working for close to 2 years now, and I am completely burnt out. My heart just isn't in what I do. And thus began the QLC.

So, now I'm shouldering the task of trying to figure out what the heck to do with my life. It's kinda scary, but at the same time kind of fun. I feel like a compulsive overeater in a buffet line - I want to try everything. 

In the mean time, I've got this blog as a creative outlet. I write about things that happen on a day to day basis or whatever is on my mind at the time.

I also started this blog as an opportunity to share the thoughts, hopes, and dreams of my younger self. While at my parent's house on Christmas Day 2009, I located my old childhood diaries in a dusty box in the basement. They are hilarious, because the thoughts of my 9 year old self are so inane but at the same time it gives me great insight into who I am today. Wait... I think I just called myself inane. Maybe some things never change. 

My diaries span the years 1992 to 1999, or ages 9-16. I was a painfully shy kid and never spoke to anyone, but I had lots to say to my diary. I still have lots to say, I just have more outlets for it.

This is my attempt at bringing my past and present together in perfect harmony.

What happens when I run out of diary entries to post? Well, luckily I also found all the notes I passed to/from my friends in high school. And after that? Well I don't know, maybe I'll have to start scanning in some of my awesomely bad drawings.
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