If you had asked me on June 13th, 2010 (Graduation Day) where I thought I’d be at the beginning of 2012, the answer would not have likely been “working at a lobbying firm, splitting most of my time between my parents’ house and the apartment of my boyfriend who I met playing dodgeball.”
My answer would have probably been to the tune of, “going to grad school in Europe after a year of living in Washington DC working at a trendy nonprofit while doing freelance writing for a political website.”
But when life hands you lemons, you make lemonade, as they say. My lemons came in the form of graduating from college in the worst economic climate of my lifetime, moving home to Sacramento (one of the worst job markets in the state), and being forced to abandon those unrealistic dreams listed above.
However, dear readers, you’ll notice that the headline on my blog is not, “Searching for the coolest job in the coolest city as far away from home as possible.” My headline is, rather, “searching for work, love and adventure.” I found all three in 2011.
I had a very fulfilling (albeit unpaid) internship for 11 months that not only helped me find my way (and eventually, a job), but it also helped me rediscover my confidence. It led to a job that will without a doubt expand my network and open my eyes even more, not to mention fill my bank account.
I made new friends, both at my internship and in a social dodgeball league, of all places. We lose, we win, but most importantly, we’re all friends and hang out weekly. My most important teammate both on and off the court has turned out to be my boyfriend of five months, who shares my love of politics, traveling, and enjoying the ~finer things~. Most of the great things that happened last year came after I met Tristan, and having him to cheer me on makes my successes even more sweet. I’m lucky to have a boyfriend who is willing to stay in on a Friday night because I wanted to celebrate getting a job offer by drinking wine and watching Mean Girls.
While I may not be living in DC and studying in Europe, I had my fair share of adventure last year. Several trips to Santa Barbara helped satisfy the nostalgia I feel every time I see pictures of me and my friends from college. I spent most weekends this summer in the Bay Area, and traveled with Tristan to San Diego. And we rang in the New Year in a cabin on the Oregon coast, complete with champagne and fireworks.
Sometimes, it’s better not to have expectations. Sometimes, what you imagine you want out of life isn’t nearly as good as what you actually get. The best you can do is go with the flow, then look back and realize how much you have to be thankful for.