Over four years ago, I found myself at my then-boyfriend’s parents’ house, surrounded by five or six of his friends at the kitchen table talking about our J-O-B’s, reality television and life after college. Two of his friends were in town from Arizona, where one was getting her Master’s (with a girl who was on one of the first Bachelorette’s), and her boyfriend was a store manager for a popular health food store. (You probably know it.) I was still a paralegal at the time, and all of us were barely getting by on just above minimum wage. I had no idea what my future would hold. I wasn’t sure I was happy, but I was complacent.
Somewhere in that discussion the guy who managed that health food store was explaining why he didn’t mind working so much, even though he was only 24 (at the time) and had to miss out on so many weddings, holidays and other important events that are a given for most 20-somethings. In his words:
Your twenties are for working, thirties for making a family and forties for having fun. Then, you can retire and do what you love.
That quote has resonated with me every day, since that day. Shortly afterwards I ended up at Google – then unemployed – then waitressing – then teaching lawyers how to blog – then blogging myself – and now “here.” And “here” I work, billing between 80 and 100 a week to a handful of clients and also following up on my dreams to write a book. (Actually a few books. We’ll see which gets finished first.)
A friend said to me last night that it’s time I find some “balance.” But after having those J-O-B’s, and now blessed with such opportunities to not just work, but love what I do in my twenties, I strike that balance in what I do. My friends are part of my career. My “job” is fun. I am excited about writing, about developing strategy, about going to conferences – about (and this is really exciting) speaking at conferences.
I may not have time to watch football all weekend, or go to four different Halloween parties. But like that guy who was friends with my ex so wisely said – this is the time to work, to put in all my sweat and tears….so hopefully, in a few years (and maybe sooner than even when he said ), I’ll be able to kick back and find that balance…..assuming I even want to, of course.