In high school, my girlfriends and I had a discussion about our futures, and one of the questions we asked ourselves was, ‘Who will be the first of the group to get married?’

We all swiveled our heads toward Kristen, who was and still is the obvious candidate; she agreed wholeheartedly. When we asked who the last to be married would be, we all looked at our resident PhD seeker, Katie, who said, “You’re damn right.” And the rest of us were somewhere in the middle. That was three years ago. We predicted 23 to be the year for Kristen, and now that we’re 21, we’re holding even more strongly to this bet than ever. I am so incredibly happy for her to take this step.

It’s astounding how time has flown since meeting her in the seventh grade, to having that discussion when we were seniors in high school, to last week when she was telling me over the phone her guess as to how and when the proposal will go down.

It’s so exciting to watch people’s paths unfold, even and especially when they are unlike your own. Through social media, I’ve seen a lot of people my age and younger having kids, and in some cases even completing their families. Some people feel very strongly that they are ready for those things, which is amazing. I’m pretty far down the opposite end of that Likert scale, personally, but again— that’s just me. I have no idea what my timeline looks like. I don’t know when I’ll want to get married (I just know it’s not going to be soon), and I have no clue when kids will be things that I actively want (and I hope they don’t read this sentence someday because how less maternal could I have just sounded— I do really want them, just… not now, please), but I do know that both of those points are plotted somewhere on the plane of my future.

It’s interesting for me to ponder how I’ll get from Point A to Point B, because life is so unpredictable.

I am a bit more of a planner.

I have this really bad, yet strangely calming habit of trying to figure out exactly how a situation of any kind is going to play out. Then I rehearse in my mind what I want to say, and how I’m going to effectively communicate in order to make my moves in life’s little chess game. I can think of five different instances off the top of my head when I have done this. I can think of zero instances when things have actually run the course that I predicted, which is not a bad thing; sometimes they turn out better than I could have hoped for, and how I got there was just different than expected. Other times, I’ve been completely stumped. I’ve learned over and over again that I’ll never be able to know exactly what’s going to happen, whether it’s in regards to a job interview, a confrontation, a confession; you name it. But this tactic does help me prepare myself at least a little bit for several possible outcomes.

I don’t know when I’ll want to get married, and I have no clue when kids will be things that I actively want, but I do know that both of those points are plotted somewhere on the plane of my future.

I’m very big on free will; I think that my decisions ultimately sculpt my own life, and I strongly disagree with the notion that everything is pre-destined. When I want something, I feel like I need to go make that sh-t happen and treat myself to life, rather than waiting around to see how life treats me. It motivates me to stick to my priorities, which are different from Kristen’s, and Katie’s; everyone’s walking a different path right now, and it’s incredible. I talk to both of them regularly, and I think we’ve collectively agreed that although this time in our lives is comprised of never-ending confusion, it’s just so damn fun trying to maneuver through it all. I think we felt it when SZA said,

“Hopin’ my 20 somethings won’t end… prayin’ the 20 somethings don’t kill me.”