Wednesday, January 12, 2011

In retrospect...

I thought I would have life figured out by now. HA!

As I am getting ready to turn 29 again for the next 10 years, it’s a good time to take stock of my 20s.

When I was a little girl, I had a lot of expectations about my 20s.  To me, it was the decade of being an adult for the first time.  I would be free of those pesky teenage years when no one takes you seriously and you have no money to your name.

Anticipated wrinkles after another 10 years.

I always thought -back when I planned how my life was going to turn out- that

I would get married to a super-gorgeous, awesome, tall, dark, kind man, have a few perfect kids (preferably twin girls and a boy), 2 vacation homes (ski and beach), travel, travel, travel.

Be an astronaut, wait no I changed my mind! An archeologist ( after one too many Indiana Jones movies), no! no! I wanna be a singer (Mor Menekse by Nilufer and Papa Don't Preach by Madonna - my folks would dearly remember those dark days :-) ), oh I’m definitely going to be an IBanker (after passing all my advanced Finance classes with flying colors in college), have the corner office at a multinational organization that has a huge positive impact on the World. (World Peace, anyone?)

Then, as my 20s went on, I realized how fast the decade was disappearing without any of that actually happening.

I’m leaving my 20s behind after a lot has happened:

I went to school and got 2 degrees (Former in Business Management and Finance and latter in Fashion Merchandising Management) WOW! That could be a good thing depending how you look at it.

I speak 3.5 languages.

I survived a major earthquake, two car accidents, a crazy ski accident (still not sure how I pulled it off without breaking a leg or two).

I moved not once, not twice but thrice and the first one being a 5000+miles move from Istanbul to New York and did not lose a thing in the process.

I dated wonderfully inappropriate people.

I listened to an embarrassing amount of Celine and Mariah and Britney (please shoot me NOW ) before upgrading to Pink Floyd, NIN, Deftones, Tool, The National, Band of Horses, Radiohead, Muse, Killers, Gogol and lately The Black Keys to name a few ;)

And who would have thought my beloved chick lit and in the closet guilty pleasure U.S. Weekly would now be replaced with Kurt Vonnegut, Ayn Rand, Chuck Palahniuk, Hemingway, New York Times and Women's Wear Daily?

I lived off chocolate bars and Vitamin Water at times and grilled chicken and steamed vegetables at others (I won't even mention the amount of nights out and the volume of alcohol consumed in between :) )

I have held jobs in different industries from banking to finance to sports marketing to fashion merchandising and production to international transportation. Yes, I have had the corner office overlooking 5th Avenue for quite some time then traded it for the fashion degree. I guess that could be a good thing as well, depending how you look at it! 

I have often found myself trying to change the people and things in my life that will probably never change or can't be fixed. I did not know that in my 20s, NOW I know.

I have reached an understanding that you outgrow friendships and relationships as you become mature enough to know which friends and lovers are worth letting go and which ones are worth holding on to... 

And I am no longer trying to be this super-woman and please everyone because years pass by so quickly, and it's important to always surround yourself with people who respect your gifts and are in your life for the right reasons. 

Most importantly, the value of family has never been more crystal clear. Family is essential and worth cherishing and holding onto at all times no matter where yours is - even if it's thousands of miles away at most times.

I feel stronger, wiser and more at peace with myself and it can only get better from here.

...and last but not least, I learned that it's not so much about finding yourself but rather re-inventing yourself...

I will let you know if in my 30s, I finally get that darlin man, the vacation homes and 3 kids :-)

But until then, I am going to invest more in people who are ' like-hearted' and use whatever happens – whether challenging or pleasant – as a way to grow.

Here’s to uncharted territory, a new decade and new adventures !!!




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