I wrote this as a note on Facebook June 4, 2009. It was right before my 25th birthday, and I was having a really hard time with where I was in my life.
So, in less than a month I will be turning 25. If you would have asked me 5 years ago, I would have told you there is no way I would live to see the day. I'm having quite the little quarter-life crisis. I'm pissed at myself for all the stupid things I've done and the things I didn't get done due to my love affair with the party scene. My boss noticed I haven't been as focused at work nor as much of a sarcastic asshole (which he loves, mind you) lately, and he asked me what was wrong. I went on like a five minute rant about my quarter-life crisis, and after I was done he put everything in perspective for me. It was something along these lines:
Jenna, I know you love football, so think of life like a giant football game. There are 4 quarters. In the first quarter you grow, make a lot of your big mistakes, learn, party, and play. In the second quarter, you build. This is when you build your career, your family, and yourself based on the lessons you learned in the first quarter. In the third quarter, if you played the first 2 right, you enjoy what you've built and learned. If you fucked those up, you have to keep building. In the fourth quarter, well, I doubt either of us will make it there! The way I see it, you did everything right in the first quarter, you've made more mistakes and partied more than anybody I know and actually learned along the way. Now, it's time to get your ass building! You don't want to have to make up for anything in the second half. Think of how stressed you are when Jake has to make up for 4 interceptions he threw the first half of a game. That's no way to live life or play football!
Now, here I sit almost 2 years later. I'm married, living in Germany, getting ready to move back to U.S., and I'm next to the most beautiful baby girl I've ever seen. I never would have guessed when I wrote that note that I would be sitting where I am now. I still think it is the best life advice. I'm in the second quarter. I'm building my life. I find it hard to believe that I went from being a lost child to a pretty responsible adult in 2 years. I love this reliable, responsible person I've become. I like knowing that my family can always count on me. It makes me proud. I also like that I was that other person that I've almost completely lost touch with. The only remnants left of that person are, "shitter was full", laughing when the baby toots, and my love for cheap beer. Even my air guitar has gotten rusty. I know I will never have any regrets about taking long shots down the field. I ran most of my crazy plays in the first quarter. Now, I'm hammering with the run game and making steady progress. It may seem boring, but I've always got a few trick plays up my sleeve to keep it interesting. Right now, I would have to say I'm WINNING.