Thursday, August 8, 2013

On Being 23

A few weeks ago I was talking to one of my best friends Erica on the phone. She lives in L.A. and I live in Minneapolis and we hardly ever get to see each other. Our phone conversations are always long and rambling and they bring out all of the things we're enlightened by or frustrated by at the moment. In this particular conversation we were talking about our futures and our career aspirations. She had just been hired that very day at a job she was really excited about after a very long, very frustrating job search. I have been in the midst of that same frustrating search for a while now. And to complicate things even more, we're both way too ambitious, and we're big time dreamers. Ambitious dreamers on a job search. We get each other.

While we were talking, I was reminded of the very last question that is asked in every Everygirl career feature: "What advice would you give to your 23-year-old self?" I suppose when Alaina and Danielle were brainstorming all of the details of the site they decided that 23 was the year when the confusion really settles in. It's when many graduate from college. It's a year when most people are frustrated and confused and are in the process of searching for the career that will fulfill them for the rest of their lives. Everything that was stationary for the last four years is now uprooted. Friends are moving away, jobs are changing, and everything seems so very uncertain....yet exciting at the same time.

As 23-year-olds ourselves, my friend and I are feeling all of the effects of those changes and all of the pressure that comes with them. But who knows, maybe someday in the future everything will work out. Maybe all of the resumes we sent, the stress we felt, and the pressure we put on ourselves will lead to something really wonderful. Maybe it will all be worth it. Of course neither of us have any idea how everything will turn out, but we're hopeful, and despite the stress, we're certainly going to keep pushing forward in the direction of our dreams.

This is what 23 feels like. It's confusing and hopeful and stressful and fun. Hopefully someday I'll look back on this time and be thankful for the confusion I went through, and that I never stopped trying. Hopefully someday it will be worth it. I have a feeling it will.

Are any of you 23(ish) and going through the same confusing time? Or have you had a similar experience?


Here are some of my favorite quotes from those inspiring Everygirl ladies to their 23-year-old selves (with links to the features, in case you missed them):

"Oh I would tell her so much. But mostly I would tell her, it’s all going to be OK. To keep following your 
gut even when people think you might be a bit on the crazy side. The crazy side is good."
Abby Larson - Style Me Pretty

"Please know that you aren’t making a mistake and you aren’t failing. Every step you take is 
part of your path, good or bad, don’t be afraid to follow it."
Kendi Skeen - Kendi Everyday

"You’re not the kind of girl who settles. Keep not settling."
Joy Wilson - Joy the Baker

"Be bolder. Make more mistakes. Fail fast and move forward."
Lindsay Avner - Bright Pink

"Don’t be distracted by what you think other people are thinking. Stop getting ahead of yourself. 
And (this is a big one): it’s OK to ask for help."
Vanessa Holden - West Elm

"Everything can change in a year, a month, a day. So stop worrying if things aren’t going your way 
for a short time. Nothing ever is what you predict it will be."
Stacy Adimando - Every Day with Rachel Ray

"You are young and you are imperfect and that’s okay. No need to be frustrated that 
you’re not running the world just yet."
Jenna Britton - Digital Marketing Manager

Happy Thursday! So glad it's almost the weekend..


  1. Oh boy, can I relate! This post describes how I feel exactly. Thank you for writing this- it's really good to know that there are other people out there my age who are feeling the same way and like you said, we can continue to keep hoping that someday it will all be worth it.

    Also, Jackie- a coincidence: I have a best friend named Erica too who lives in San Diego! Conversations with her always make me happy :)

    star-crossed smile

  2. I definitely felt just as confused and directionless as you at 23, and still do most of the time. This is all such good advice! I'd add that it'll all work out, no matter how hopeless it seems at the moment, so just keep trying to do a little bit each day. It really does add up. Though, it may take much longer than you think. I'm still waiting for it all to work out, but things have certainly improved from 23 :) I hope you get that job soon!! Sending the best thoughts your way.

    <3 Josephine

  3. I'm right there with you! 23 and utterly confused and stressed about my future. I know we will look back soon enough and laugh!

  4. I'm 26 and still confused, hah. I love reading TEG articles, thanks for the mini-best of! Definitely brightened my day.

    <3 Becca

  5. Heyhey I just stumbled upon your blog and this post and it really hits close to home. I have to admit I'm 26 and I'm still not sure what I wan't to ultimately do with my life. ;) But I can tell you that your idea of the life you want to lead will get clearer through trial and error. :)
    This would be my favorite quote: "Be bolder. Make more mistakes. Fail fast and move forward."
    Lindsay Avner - Bright Pink
    Have a great day!!
    Hugs from Austria,

    PS: you have a lovely blog! :)