Counting Down to 30: Dear Karin

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If you read my Throwback Thursday Edition of my Counting Down to 30 blog series, you may remember me saying I was going to recap my 20s in a different manner. Well, I’m making good on my promise in this post! Here we go…

Dear Karin,

Here you are in your early 20s, ready to finally be able to go into a bar or concert venue without having the degrading “X” swiped on your hand with black Sharpie. You’re also ready to graduate, as you’re tired of attending classes and writing 20,000-word papers, but you’re also fearful because you don’t have a job better than your mall retail position and don’t really know where to apply or what you want to do. And you’re so burnt out, you don’t care right now.
Make sure you cherish every moment with your grandpa. Be prepared to never want to hear the MercyMe song “I Can Only Imagine” ever again.
I also know how you feel about that guy you fell in love with upon first meeting, but I hate to break it to you — some of his actions to come and lifestyle changes will cause you to grow apart, and eventually you’ll have to bring things to a close because he won’t have the balls to do it himself and be the bad guy. Don’t worry though, you’ll be able to get over him sooner than you thought possible.

Look, you’re going to feel stuck in life in your mid 20s. You’ll never hate a job quite like working for the state DMV, you’ll be broke and feel worthless, sending out application after application for a better job and receiving no response. BUT traveling abroad your first time will be an incredible experience. Your boyfriend will really pull out all the stops. You will never imagine the things you’ll see in England and Scotland, and it will fill you with a view of the world you never had before. That’s invaluable. However, I think you’ll know deep down that the relationship won’t work out long-term. You’ll end up in a toxic situation, feel trapped and become very depressed, desperate to get out. I wish you would go see a counselor.
Those years will be tough. Don’t worry though, when things are at their worst, a newspaper in a small town will take a chance on you.

Dear Karin

You’ll have a love/hate relationship with your first professional newspaper gig. It’s really good experience and you’ll enjoy your coworkers; though don’t be fooled by the pathetic wage that barely allows you to live and the conglomerate that pretends to care about you as an employee. Be wise to avoid the pessimistic black hole of an attitude which envelops the city. However, you will have a light in all of it from someone who will love you more deeply than you’ve been loved in the past, and who is dedicated, kind and willing to go to all lengths to make your life better in all ways. He’s also a genius with cars, which you’ll need. A lot. Continue to hate cars, for your family’s curse with them is still upon you.

The early stages of your late 20s will be happy. You’ll move onto your second newspaper with slightly better wages and in a better city, though it’s still not where you’d like to end up. And your relationship will create dreams of the future. Enjoy it and don’t take it for granted, because 2014 is set to be the worst complete year of your life. You and other people in your life will make mistakes, you’ll have regrets, loss, and you will suffer much emotional pain. You’ll also grow closer with some and fall away from others. You’ll watch Crohn’s Disease turn another’s life upside-down. But out of these trials and tribulations, you’ll carry on, like you always do, and be better for it. You’ll struggle with things for a while, but find peace.

Your 20s will pass by in a flash, but they will be the most important years of growth. Learn from each, improve, and never doubt yourself going forward.

Sincerely,

—K

Other posts in this series:

Introduction
Throwback Thursday Edition
Waiting for “The American Dream”
Learning to Love and Accept Yourself

-Photo and time clock graphic by Justin McKee

 

About Karin

Journalist, singer, reader, movie fanatic, photography buff, GVSU alum, wanna-be-Brit, Crohn's fighter, Coca-Cola addict, animal lover, not a kid person, hater of winter, Michigander
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2 Responses to Counting Down to 30: Dear Karin

  1. Nicole says:

    I love this!

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