A Decade of Adulthood Analyzed

Next month, I turn 28. Not an incredibly significant year, but what got me thinking was that according to cultural standards, I’ve technically been an adult for ten years. So I started to think about how my life as a technical adult has been so far. It seems that my twenties have been marked by a series of milestones every two years, all involving what’s most important = love, friends/family, travel and career.

18- I fall in love for the first time and think this will last forever. I start journalism school thinking I’ll one day have a glorious career as a writer. I love this girl for how wide eyed and optimistic she is, albeit ridiculously naive. No matter how hard we try to stay positive, we can’t help but eventually let life get the better of us. This year I will have my heart broken, and the ridiculously naive girl is gone for good.

20- I start to realize I don’t love the idea of journalism so much. After a handful of internships at newspapers and magazines, I start to look into other fields and take a summer internship in the marketing department of Newsday. I take a plane ride for the second time in my life and decide I need to do this more often, with my destinations getting increasingly more interesting. I fall in love for the second time, and I will stay happy and in love for the next half decade.

22- I am living in my first NYC apartment with a horrendous roommate. I can barely afford lunch and I eat microwaved hot dogs for dinner. I start working at a new PR firm on a new product launch that no one will ever hear about, and I have no time to see my friends, family or boyfriend because I work until 2 a.m. every single day. I doubt I’ll last at this PR firm more than three months, but end up working here for at least five more years (the hours get much better after the first month). On weekends I travel to a really crappy U.S. city that I will always hold a grudge against because of this period of my life. On the other hand, I’m taking lots of plane rides now.

24- I move to a beautiful new apartment with great roommates, a place where I will settle in and stay for the next five years. After much heated debate, I switch to the Tide team which at my agency is basically like taking on a new job, but provides the consistency and experience I’ve been looking for. I become single for the first time in my adult life and after the initial period of excitement and relief, the loneliness and confusion sets in. I go to Guatemala by myself to meet a woman who I’ve only spoken to via email, and meet some of the most amazing artists in the world. I start to run the NYC board of an incredible organization.

26- This is the year I realize how precious life is and vow to never take it for granted. My former roommate passes away and I have trouble coping with her death and the guilt over how I abandoned her in the last years of her life. Later that year, my sister’s boyfriend gets into a life threatening car accident that takes what feels like a lifetime to recover from. I go to Morocco with Nest and fall head over heels in love with this country. I start my blog directly after this trip so I can share the stories of the amazing people I met and the incredible experiences I have there. I learn what it’s like to date different types of people. I learn that age doesn’t matter – that a 33 year old man can have an apartment filled with stuffed teddy bears, but I can have the most honest, mature and wonderful relationship with someone several years younger than myself.

28 – I have just started a new role at the agency that has become my home, spending half my time on the Tide team and half on the creative team, working across all brands – and I am loving it. I had an amazing summer and started dating someone new – someone who will be taking me on my next adventure. In the past ten years, I’ve seen more of the world than I ever thought I would. I moved to the greatest city in the world. I had my heart broken. I broke a few hearts. I’ve seen people who live in poverty stricken countries. I’ve experienced great loss and had to be peeled off the bathroom floor in a fit of hysteria. Despite all I’ve seen and the years that tried to knock me down, there’s still so many amazing things all around me that need to be appreciated. There’s so much more of the world I need to see. So much more to experience. While that naive 18 year old may be gone forever, her optimism refuses to die. I can’t wait to meet my 28 year old self – to see where she’ll go, who she’ll meet, and what lessons she’ll learn. And what 38 year old Amy will have to say about her.

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