Each month, Sloane’s funny frankness echoes the experiences of young people and their choices.
Where does time go? A year ago today I was stuck in Tallahassee, losing hair, losing sleep, losing my mind. It seemed like I would never, ever leave that place. And it sucked because I felt I had never been happy in any one place my entire life.
Ever since I can remember, I’ve always been on the move. I was born in Maryland, lived there until I was three; then moved to Boca Raton, lived in two different houses in seven years, until my parents split up and I became a time-share kid. A weekend in Boca, a weekend at my grandparents, when my mom needed a break from being a single parent with no career, then a weekend in Aventura living with my dad in a sad, unfurnished Bachelor pad. My mom remarried, we moved to a beautiful house in the Gables, then my dad remarried and he moved, too. My mother’s second marriage fell apart in four years and we bought a new, smaller house. I finished high school and she moved to Atlanta. My dad moved to California. I’ve been to three colleges in four years and none of them have worked out. So you see the pattern—I’m a bit of a nomad.
And there is my whole life summed up in one paragraph. I feel like I’m in a constant state of packing and unpacking, moving, relocating, making new friends.
And now that I’m almost 22, I feel like I’m at the stage in my life where I have to constantly be asking myself: “What is it that I really want?” I feel like yesterday I was five years old, and now I’m living with my boyfriend, about to start a nine-to-five job to make some Bank of America overdraft ends meet. I do worry that I’m moving too fast sometimes. But if I listened to the little voice in my head that always tells me “no” or “you won’t be any good at that” or “are you seriously considering a horizontal stripe t-shirt?” I wouldn’t be where I am or who I am today.
I guess the thing that scares me the most about my future is using fear as my motivation. Just because something is difficult doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try it, or should count it out all together. Life is nothing but one difficulty after another. The only way to get one thing right is to get ten things wrong. But what is the cutoff between fear and dislike? If, for example, I’m stuck in a job that’s too difficult, when should I accept the fact that maybe it’s not for me? When should I listen to the voice that tells me “no”?
Tomorrow I’ll wake up and I’ll be 45 years old. It’s years away, yet right around the corner. I’m excited to see how my life pans out now that I’ve decided to move back to Miami. Will I be happy? Will I be sad? Will I be fulfilled? Will I fail? Will I win? Will I stop asking questions and just enjoy the ride? I don’t know about the first five questions, but the voice in my head just answered the last question with a resounding “yes”.
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