My First Quarter-Century.

Something to put in perspective (one of those aha moments that make me thrilled) I have this ridiculous fear of ending up like my mother. That one day I will open my eyes and be standing in Farner, TN, with barely any electricity and a wall fortress of cars in my yard, and an abusive husband who smacks me around all the time.

 My mother was 25 when I was born, and in that same 25th year, she married my dad. She was 25, had three children, one divorce, two marriages, one of which she was 15 during and one of which she got married in a jail (thanks Dad, classy) and went from living in a nice area of Germany to this disgusting, dilapidated, Silent-Hill-esque shed-like house with no running water and a junkyard in the back with a husband who was literally incarcerated the day they were married. She went from being a waitress to being on welfare, selling drugs, and trading food stamps for pills, as her profession.

 I'm 25, have zero children, have worked as a teacher, baker, and Santa's helper, and now an international au-pair, I live in a great house with an amazing family and have my beloved, wonderful network of people in Tennessee, Utah, and Sweden. Really, the similarities aren't stacking up quite the way I imagined they were, and I may be coming to the realization that at least for the first quarter century...I'm doing okay, and I'm headed in a different direction than I thought I would be.

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