How I Feel About Turning 23

In less than three weeks I will turn 23 years old. That’s right; Connor Diddle Doherty, the official troll in the dungeon, has lived for almost a quarter of a century. It feels like just yesterday I was walking around in my mom’s dresses and lambasting my siblings for refusing to participate in my theatrical showcases, and now I’m a grown up about to graduate and venture into the real world. I’d be lying if I said the future didn’t terrify and bewilder me. To be honest, I never actually thought I’d make it to adulthood; I really thought I would have accidentally died or been murdered by now. But alas, I’m still here, and the show must go on.

Two days ago I accepted my first post-grad job as a junior copywriter for a company I’ve been working at for almost a year. It’s an incredible relief to know that I have a job, that I’ll remain in environment I truly enjoy, and that I can STOP WRITING COVER LETTERS!!!! For the first time in months, I feel like I can actually breathe, and maybe now I can enjoy my last few weeks of college. I mean I still have to figure out where I’m going to live, who I’m going to live with, and how to survive on my own, but those are all things I can panic over tomorrow. 

The reality is that I still have no clue what I’m doing. I don’t know what my long-term career plans are, nor do I know what ultimate life path will make me the happiest. As a perpetually nervous person, I’m a bit terrified of how unplanned my future is, and how unclear my desires are. What I’m trying to remind myself of though is that I don’t need to know where I’m going right now. I don’t have to look at these decisions I’m making as permanent or life-altering, and I don’t have to repeatedly ask myself if I’m living up to my potential, or chasing after my dreams. I’m turning 23 not 55; I’ve got plenty of time to figure out my life and what I want out of it. The most important thing is that I seek opportunities to grow as a human being- whether that be through work, relationships, art, or whatever makes me happy. I know now that being an adult doesn’t mean having all your shit together- it just means paying your own bills and resenting teenagers. 

I’m excited to graduate from college and start my career. I’m excited for after-work drinks, and using my employee discount to buy ottomans I don’t actually need. I’m excited to scrape by in Boston! I’ve decided to focus on all the exciting things about the future instead of all the grim uncertainties. I may not know where I’m going, or how I’m going to get there, but I’m just going to let myself enjoy the ride.

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