Lately I haven’t been fulfilling my New Year’s resolution of listening to TED talks in the morning while I get ready for the day. Instead, I’ve been listening to the “Today’s Happy Pop” station of Google Music. Maybe not quite as intelligent, but it definitely gets me energized for the day! As a result of this morning’s playlist, I have had Taylor Swift’s “22” stuck in my head most of today…
…except I don’t feel 22. I feel 32, or maybe even 42. (Obviously that’s because I AM SO OLD.) Since coming back to my client in Dallas, things have definitely changed. When I first started working here, way back in 2009, I was a very very junior “experienced associate”. I questioned some of the things that my bosses asked of me (at least in my head), and I fantasized about how when I was a manager, things would be totally different. I’d be able to do whatever I wanted!
However, fast forward half a decade, and now that I am a manager, I realize it’s not quite that simple. In fact, I think I put way more pressure on myself as a manager than my managers ever did on me! This morning, I was running late and knew while driving that I wouldn’t be in the office until a few minutes after 8am, and I was flipping out. Not because I had an 8am meeting where other people would notice my late arrival, but because I knew my responsibilities and how much I needed to get done. Yesterday, I came in at 7:30am – again, not because I had an early meeting, but because I wanted to try to get a bunch of stuff done before other people started showing up and putting more stuff on my plate. I’m not saying that 7:30am is crazy early, but 22 year old me certainly would not have believed I’d do it voluntarily! #Responsibility
When I listen to “22”, sure, it’s a fun catchy song. But a lot of what Taylor sings about sounds pretty terrible to me. Falling in love with strangers? I’ll pass – I’d much rather fall in love with my best friend. Breakfast at midnight? No thanks; my idea of a crazy awesome time is if I can go to bed early at 9pm. And forgetting about the deadlines is definitely a no-go. Beyond the responsibility factor, I take a lot of pride in my work and getting things done before I hit a deadline, even if no one knows about it but me.
I bet that if the song “22” had been around when I was 22, I would have been singing it with the best of them and dreading the day I turned 30. But from the other side, 30 feels phenomenal to me. I don’t understand the people who say the best days of their life were high school, or college, or their carefree early 20s. Responsibility and all, the best days of my life are right now, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.