‘I’m in the future!’

As you’ve probably seen all over the Internet, today is the day we finally catch up with Doc, Marty and the time machine. If you’re like me, part of you thought this day would never come. I was born in 1986 and grew up watching this movie quite often. I recall thinking I would be “so old” in 2015.

Great Scott, I’m 29! This is heavy.

The future they depicted in the movie is quite different than what it is in reality. Our inflation isn’t nearly as extreme, we don’t rock double ties (but should we?), and many of us get the news from our phones and tablets instead of the printed newspaper.

But what about the everyday life you predicted for yourself when you imagined 2015? How does that compare to reality? Are you living the sort of life you thought you’d be living?

I’ll answer that last question first: No. I definitely did not envision myself living in my parents’ basement on Oct. 21, 2015. I didn’t imagine I would be a divorcée either. And I didn’t think I’d be unemployed.

“Granted, that’s a worse-case scenario.” — Doc

If at any point in the past I had traveled forward in time and glimpsed only this microcosm of my life, I would have been greatly disappointed in myself. However, the big picture is actually much better.

I’m unemployed because I quit my job to attend Type@Paris this summer. It’s a highly selective typeface design course; only 16 students across the world got accepted. My employer was so gracious to offer to save my position for me upon my return from the course, but I always knew that Atlanta was a short-term residence for me. I wanted to move and to settle down.

I live in my parents’ basement because I didn’t have a job lined up by the time the course ended. I knew this living situation was a possibility before I started. I’m incredibly lucky to have parents who supported me in that decision—and who opened up their home to me while I’m between jobs.

I have been divorced for six years now, because my ex-husband was emotionally abusive. I ended a relationship that I realized would never make me happy, as it once had, because it had grown into something totally unhealthy. I don’t regret it, because the whole experience shaped me into the person I am today. And I like who I am now! During that relationship, I didn’t. If nothing else, the experience taught me to stand up for myself, to fight for what I want in life, to never settle.

There are many other reasons that I could have looked into the mirror this morning and been disappointed in who I am today, but I’m an optimist. I choose to focus on the positive rather than to dwell on my shortcomings and what some people might view as “failures.”

Yes, right now I’m in a sort of limbo; but I know it’s temporary. I struggle sometimes, but if life were always easy, success wouldn’t mean that much.

Even if I never move, I am here because I wouldn’t settle for a city I couldn’t call home. Even if I never get another job, I still have talent. Even if I never get married again, I would rather be single than be in an unhappy and unhealthy relationship.

So, am I happy with who I am today? Yes. And that’s really all that matters.

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