Guest Post: On Being Twenty-Three (And Adopting a New Life Philosophy)

Note: I first met Julie on Twitter, but also in person at our DC Jews Tweetup.  Julie is pretty cool because not only does she work in social media, but she eavesdrops on people speaking Russian because many times, they can’t tell that she speaks it. Julie was born in Moscow, Russia and moved to the United States with her mother shortly before the dissolution of the Soviet Union. She spent her formative years in Lexington, Massachusetts and attended the University of Maryland where she earned Bachelors degrees in both International Business and Marketing as well as a minor in French Studies.
In her blog, “The Misadventures of Julie”, she writes  about issues that touch her life daily. Personal reflections include thoughts on being twentysomething, dating and relationships, and life in DC. A marketing professional with more than six years of industry experience, Julie also provides insight into developments in her industry, social media, and iPhone technology.

277221852_476e8916f0Via hamed on flickr.

Most people think of spring as a time of renewal. But for me, it’s always been fall that signifies things beginning anew: fall brings with it the beginning of school years, the Jewish New Year and my birthday. This triumvirate has caused the end of August / beginning of September to be a period of much reflection of who I am, who I’ve been, who I’m trying to become. What was I able to accomplish in the last year? What things do I need to work on? You get the idea.</p>
This past year, the 23rd year of my life, was a rollercoaster filled with a lot of happiness but a lot of sadness as well. I made the hard decision to move away from my family, coworkers and roommates who were great friends, and I job I loved to see whether DC living would be as fun as I imagined. (And it has been!) I’ll always think of this past year as the year my world was rocked by the death of my grandmother. But it will also be remembered as the year I travelled, dated some great guys (and some not so great guys), and tried my hand at things like white water tubing and PHP coding all the while widening my support network and strengthening existing friendships…</p>

Through it all I’ve solicited and been given a lot of advice. And there’s one nugget of (overheard) wisdom that has stayed with me; in fact, I think about almost daily. This magical phrase has in some ways changed my whole outlook on who I aim to become:

Consider everything and nothing a date.

Take a minute to fully take that statement in. Reread it. Now, let me elaborate:

(Hint: the advice applies to everyone, whether you are in a relationship or not!)</p>

Consider everything a date. When we date, we take the time to put on a great outfit, make sure our hair/makeup looks great, etc. Before, during, and after, we are usually on our best behavior. Simply put, considering everything a date translates to an attempt to be at our best at all times.

Consider nothing a date. Dates are really fun – most of the time – but they do bring a certain level of anxiety. Some of the best dates are those that come together without pre-planning because there isn’t any pressure on the situation to be anything but what it is. Considering nothing a date means being in the moment and not worrying about things that are out of our control.

Achieving the attitudes I’ve described above is a lofty goal, I admit, thanks to a little thing called human nature, which tempts us to be lazy, jealous, obsessive, etc. But remembering The Date Principle has provided me with a framework through which I can strive to become a better person – which is how I measure the success of a given year. (Yes, I consider age 23 a success and hope I can say the same of age 24.)

However you define your “new year” – whether by calendar, age, academic level, or religion – may the next one bring only the best for all of us.