Not all who wander are lost, but perhaps all who make a series of reckless decisions are.
I’ve always been the type to look before I leap, but I realize now that I spent the past year doing anything but. Somewhere around the time I turned 22, frustrated with the uncertainty of my post-collegiate future, I decided that my usual meticulous planning was holding me back. I tossed aside my color-coded planner and declared that now was the time to take chances. Instead of “look before you leap,” I decided to simply leap and see where it took me.
Since then, I’ve leapt into a new city, a series of temp jobs, and a relationship (and subsequent breakup).
As you know, 10 days before my college graduation, I impulsively made the decision to take an internship I’d barely researched in a city I’d never been to. (I’ve waxed enough on that topic, read about it here.)
A couple of months after that, I decided that I wanted to stay here and live on my own so much that I panic-applied to a bunch of local jobs and accepted the first offer I got. I was so enthralled with the idea of being an Independent Young Adult™ in a big city that I ignored how little I actually wanted the job. Who cares that it’s in the marketing department of an electronics warehouse out in Vernon? I thought, I’m making my own money and living in Los Angeles! I don’t wish to speak ill of a former employer, but nothing says “huh, maybe I should have thought this through” like spending several months in a work environment that really isn’t right for you. I have since left that position on polite terms and taken a temporary job elsewhere, about which I have no complaints.
**EDIT: as of Apr 20, 2017, my entire team was told our contract is ending early and that Apr 28 will be our last day, because clearly something else needed to go wrong.**
Somewhere between those two decisions, I met a boy and stumbled head over heels into a tumultuous relationship. A week and a half ago, we parted ways. I’ll spare you the gory details so this doesn’t turn into one of those whiny “Girl Has Deep Self-Reflections After A Breakup™” pieces, but I will say this: never get so wrapped up in someone else’s life that you forget to have your own. That being said, I should point out that I didn’t fall prey to that classic trope where people abandon everything else in their life because they’re in a relationship; we started dating so soon after I moved to town that there was nothing TO abandon. I hadn’t had time to properly establish a life of my own here, so it was easy to make it revolve around someone else. Finding myself single again, this is perhaps the hardest consequence to face. The wound is fresh, but significantly worsened by the fact I’m essentially starting over, while ruefully acknowledging the fact that 99% of my memories about the place I live in contain another person.
If the 22nd year of my life was all about taking chances, perhaps the 23rd will be about dealing with the consequences. I leapt, alright, but now I’m crashing and burning. All I have to show for my bravery is a series of temp jobs, a city where I (still) barely know anyone, and a broken heart.
Past Quinn spent the better part of a year flinging paint at a wall and seeing what stuck, and now Present Quinn is shaking her head, staring at the mishmash, and murmuring, “…now what?”