Highly unoriginal look-back on being a "twentysomething."

I'm so sick of being a walking cliche. Everyone talks so much about being a twentysomething, and how awesome it is, and how awful it is, and how tumultuous these years are. How you're simultaneously so young and "omg sooo old, you guys!" The ups and downs are getting me down lately, and I'm tired of it. 

Twentysomething life. I turn twenty-five in a little over three weeks, and weirdly, I'm excited to mark halfway through this decade. Here's a super-brief highlight of where things have taken me so far: 

Twenty: Sophomore spring and junior fall at Notre Dame. Unfortunate dating choice at the beginning of the year. Unfortunate living situation at the beginning of the year, to be frank. Lots of wonderful band friends, a great, relaxing summer of daycare and reading (a pervasive theme through the early twenties), and that terrifying feeling of being "halfway through college." Life in Candyland, my junior quad, was fantastic and fraught with such stereotypical college drama in all the best ways.Heading off to London in January--the most independent, terrifying, exhilarating thing I've ever done. 

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Twenty-one: Turned and celebrated in the most drunkenly forgettable/utterly memorable rager at O'Neills. Traveling Europe. Making poor financial/amazing life decisions (they ARE one and the same). Grew up so much and yet there's nothing quite like that feeling of totally naive invincibility that permeated that time in my life, and still makes those memories look so rose-colored (glasses optional). Summer spent seducing my Big 4 employer into giving me an offer, sans internship, a whole year before graduation--the security of starting senior year with a job was so. huge. Senior fall was rocky--I struggled with a lot of friendships, but fell 100% in friend-love with my roommate-soulmate Kaitlin, a relationship that has continued to grow and amaze and thrill me with its awesomeness. And we ushered out twenty-one with a horrid case of mono and a very lonely January of weekends spent in, sleeping...

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and turned...

Twenty-two: in which I lose all sense of self trying to stay friends with people who, in (almost) twenty-five year-old hindsight, really didn't deserve that much time or energy at all. Spent the spring revamping myself, whittling off 30 pounds of weight and a lot of self-blame and guilt along with them. Took fluffy courses, spent a lot of time with new friends and, of course, Kaitlin, and graduated, oh god, graduated from Notre Dame. How devastating...how amazing...how lucky I was. Jetted off to Brazil, petted some gators, swam with the Amazon fishies, and climbed to Christ the Redeemer. What a life experience. Started my job, moved into my big-girl apartment, partied hearty and made myself a charming little life in Minneapolis...and met this guy, Jon, at a New Year's rager......

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Twenty-three: Turns out it's NOT true that nobody likes you when you're twenty-three. In fact, a lot of people like you, as evidenced by my (still)hopping (in spite of busy season) social life and my budding relationship with said Jon who I met on New Year's. My first busy season kicked my ass and taught me how to suffer in silence...lessons that would serve and punish me later in my career. Kaitlin and I took a magical trip to London and Ireland to watch the Irish kick off a perfect undefeated season...oh, the hubris. I got in a fender bender, got into insurance at my company, and got into the most serious relationship of my adult life. 

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Twenty-four: My professional career started to spiral out of control fast in my second busy season. Long hours, bad attitudes, difficult colleagues and a huge dip in company-wide morale reflected my misery back every time I looked in the mirror. Thank god for a close, supportive family and a boyfriend who could sympathize (because he was going through it too). A summer of playing house turned into a fall of actually realizing the challenges of cohabiting, which was beautiful and difficult all in its own weird, I-like-to-think-sitcomesquely-charming way. We decided enough was enough in our public accounting hells, and respectively relocated to a new, better company. I had nearly a month off between said job change, and spent it bonding with my family, celebrating the holidays, and getting my head back on straight. 

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And that brings me here...to the eve (figuratively) of being twenty-five. I can look in the mirror and say a lot now about who I am and where I've been and where I'd like to go. The next five years will hopefully hold a lot of positive change in my life...a fulfilling, balanced professional career, a relationship that continues to grow despite kinks and quirks, more time spent connecting with and enjoying my amazing circle of friends, and continual improvement, reflection and self-discovery. Despite feeling old and mature, I'm still so young and so naive and so, so clueless. Here's hoping. Cheers, campers.