Eight years ago, I was eighteen. I was in my first year in college, living away from my parents for the first time, and thinking that I had finally escaped the chains of the asian parent household. Then came an insane 4 years of saving up all my money to bleach my hair blonde, sharing a 2 bedroom apartment with 3 other girls, working at Starbucks and making my pillows smell like caramel and coffee even after showering, wearing shirts as dresses, cramming for midterms and finals late into the night, making friends that would last a lifetime (and some that wouldn't) and well, having the best time of my late adolescent life.
Four years ago, I was twenty two. Graduated, sure that I had a bright future ahead of me, and fresh into a new and first full time job. I told myself that I'd do it for awhile but was still so unsure about myself and what I REALLY wanted to do for the rest of my life. (Because you know, the wide eyed college grad always believes they'll stay in their first full time job forever, right?!) Years passed as I lived just like I was in college and enjoyed the flexibility of my job but still was unsure about my future and what I wanted to do.
Tomorrow, I'm twenty six. I don't really know what it's like to be out past 10pm (besides an occasional mexican food run), how I bared through the cold nights running from bar to bar, how my friends and I would drive home in the wee hours of the morning after playing in LA, how I could go for weeks without talking to or seeing my parents. What? Who was that girl?
I am in love with my job, hear this- the same job I started four years ago (with a couple of changes) and am so blessed to be surrounded by ambitious, creative, and successful people day after day. I have learned so much about maturing as a professional, caring for my work and the people involved in it, and how important it is to learn how to be passionate about what you're doing.
I've learned that you really truly are, who you hang out with (and what you eat, but I'll save that for another entry). I attribute so much of my growth to the people around me. The close friends, my parents and my boyfriend have allowed me to finally feel comfortable in my own skin. I don't need to have some wild hair cut and color to be cool. It's okay to have braces when you're 24, they make your teeth straight, and your friends and boyfriend will think of you the same with or without them. The 80's should be left in my closet for themed parties. Going out on a Wednesday night is cool only sometimes. Being a hermit is not such a bad thing (and a money saver). It is never too late to find one's inner arts and crafts/DIY obsession. It's OK to be working for the man, what's more important is gaining life and professional experiences. Your parents should be thanked, told and shown that they are loved everyday. Dogs are to be treated as part of the family (or in my case my only precious protected child). Peace comes from your relationship with God. Love is unconditional and kindness and compassion should be shown daily.
It is inevitable that life continues in seconds, minutes, hours, days, and then before you know it, years. I may be more anti-social, have larger bags under my eyes, wear looser clothing, and not know what the biggest rap artist is at the moment, but, I am only 26 (in 2 hours). I've got quite a bit of life ahead of me.
I am so thankful that I have the next chapter of life to step into. Here's to another year!