Life is like a book and each new adventure– job, home, relationship– is a new chapter…at least if you use the saying, “I’m beginning a new chapter of my life.”
I’m one of those people, and I’m pretty confident in saying you are too.
Most of our books go as follows:
Preface: Born in [insert state], raised in [insert state, city]
Part I: Childhood & The Teen Years (The primary education years)
Chapter I: Elementary & Middle School (a.k.a. figuring out the most watered-down fundamentals of science, math, history and the human language)
Chapter II: High School (a.k.a. The start of trying to get your life together and figuring out the next part of life featuring help from Mom/Dad and Dad/Mom)
Part II: The Intermediate Years (The higher education years)
Chapter I: Making the Move (if needed) & Freshman year
Chapter II: Sophomore & Junior Year
Chapter III: Summers & Internships
Chapter IV: Senior Year & Job Hunting
Part III: Reality (The rest of your working life)
Chapters are self defined, but there’s some jobs/careers, relationships, housing decisions and probably a few life crises sprinkled in there.
It’s important to live/write the book in order for most of us. Part I provides us with all of the possibilities we’ll filter through in Part II. Sorry to break it to 6-year-old-you, but we can’t all be presidents, doctors or ballerinas when we grow up.
The closing of Part I filters through all of the noise and provides us with a loose outline of what we’ll do in the early chapters of Part II.
Part II settles our minds a little more and sets us up for Part III.
You really have to go through part III to get to the Epilogue.
I’m in Part II, Chapter III at the moment. Almost at the end of Part II. Heading into the summer before Chapter IV. Moving to New York City for a dream internship. Most likely draining my entire bank account doing said internship, but hey, experience, right?
City life and loss of money aside, this chapter is one of the most critical chapters of the book of life. It’s about really figuring out what you want to do for Part III. It’s about making enough of the right connections to help you navigate Part III. It’s about exploring as many places and opportunities as possible to help you understand where you want to be for Part III.
I would argue that Part II, Chapter III is one of the most critical chapters in anyone’s book (at least if you follow the format above).
Because of its importance, and the fact that everyone in the millennial generation is just trying to figure everything out by googling different ‘How-To’s,’ I’m opening up this chapter, turning it into one of those Chicken Soup for the Soul books.
Throughout the next 10 weeks, I’m going to physically write out a part of this chapter on this blog. I’m going to write about what it’s like to intern at Time Inc., live in Manhattan and figure out what I want to do around this time in one year. In between, I’ll be co-hosting a podcast about pop-culture, politics, food and music, vlogging weekends with my best friend who also happens to be headed to the Big Apple for a summer internship as well, and posting regular updates on social media (#journalism, right?).
I’m not Carrie Bradshaw with a glamorous column to figure things out, but I am Nina Ruhe with a blog. As I write this chapter, help me figure things out. Ask questions when you have them, give advice. Help me live and write this chapter.
Here’s to the next 10 weeks– the next chapter of the book of life.