I am 24 years of age. Sometimes when I think about how old, or young, I am, I feel like I should be engaged or married, buying a house and maybe have kids by now. But then, I stop and think. Really think. Let’s take today - I just left my law school registrar’s office for a graduation application appointment because I am graduating with my Juris Doctor in just 7 months. I scheduled a call-back interview for a full-time attorney job. I also have an upcoming interview and I’ve been on a few others. I am applying to jobs all over the country and I have a family and partner who support me in all that I do.

Would I have been able to do this all if I was engaged/married to T and potentially a mother? Possibly. But it would be very difficult, if not impossible at this time. When T learned of his PCS to Hawaii, he threw the idea of me going with him up in the air. But as much as we both would have loved to be together, we both knew I could not give up or put on hold my lifelong dream of becoming an attorney. It just wouldn’t have made sense (I think his getting out relatively soon also made it an easier decision to make). And now, over a year after the discussion during which we decided I had to stay in school and he had to go to Hawaii, we are better than ever. (Sure, we have ups and downs, but what healthy couple doesn’t?)

Ultimately, I am so happy with my decisions and the way my life has panned out thus far. Sure, I may not be getting married at 25 and having kids at 26 like I had hoped when I was a little girl and I might still get a little down on myself when I think about it BUT (God willing) I could be married just a little later and be able to hopefully become a successful woman that my kids will be so proud to call their mom. I will be the first person in my family to cross the stage at a graduate school graduation ceremony. And I will be the first attorney in my family. And all of this makes me feel so empowered at the age of 24 and okay that my life isn’t turning out exactly how I planned… because, in many ways, it is actually turning out better.

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