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In the Interim: Thoughts from a 20-Something Adult (?)

After graduating from physician assistant (PA) school in February of this year, and successfully landing myself a job at a relatively busy hospital, I find myself with an awkward amount of time that I need to fill before I start my permanent position. In the beginning, I reveled in having the ability to sleep in and catch up on the sleep that I had sorely missed during my schooling. I revisited old hobbies of mine, dusting off long-forgotten yarn projects and other crafts. When that became tedious, I turned to working on my physical fitness, since I have the stamina of an aged, wet noodle. This led to numerous walks with borrowed pooches and breath-taking views of Wollaston Beach at dusk.

 However, one thing that has been ominously hanging over my head for the past few months now is: what next? If I’m being completely honest, it’s been difficult watching my classmates begin their jobs while I wait for my credentials to be verified – after all, I DID just spend two years getting an education and I feel that I have to “use it before I lose it.” But aside from that, I’m still unsure of what is next for me in terms of my personal life, my finances, and all the rest of that “grown up” stuff.

So, what to do with all of my free time and mounting anxiety over what my future holds? An exotic vacation, perhaps? A full week (or longer) of treat yo’ self-style indulgence? Or maybe taking each day at a time, seizing upon the opportunities to reconnect with friends, family, and myself as they arise?… I hate to admit it, but I am not that type of spontaneous, and I was really going stir crazy. That, combined with a nagging sense of fiscal responsibility that my immigrant parents instilled in me (“Save that money! You can always use it later!”), led me to seek short-term employment.

Enter my brother-in-law, Will. Of all my brothers-in-law, he definitely ranks in the top two. I have known him since I was fifteen years old, and he has witnessed much of my erratic development into adulthood. He is one of the most consistent, driven individuals I have ever known, and on top of that, a really genuine person. Will never sugarcoats things, which I respect a lot. Anyway, Will had some availability at his real estate office for temporary office assistant work and called me up to mainly prevent me from knitting him a holiday sweater. 

Of course I took a huge liberty and decided to install myself as the Interim Office Manager, and for now, it works. But the title got me thinking that there are quite a few things that are “in the interim” for me: see above. And before I know it, I’ll be 65 and wondering why my kids never call to chat or why I can’t retire but instead have to look for other means of income. Luckily, working side by side with Will has given me the chance to really look at what my goals are for my financial security, and how I can work smarter, not harder.

I’ve decided to use this life interlude to find out as much as I can from him – and the people we meet through his work and professional networking group, the Boston Wealth Builders – from personal financial planning, to real estate investment, to apartment hunting/home buying (!), to design, to financing, and to all points in between. I’m nervous for the gaps in my knowledge that I’ve willfully ignored for so long (“Yeah I totally know how bonds work…”), but also excited to throw myself into a new project that will no doubt benefit me and maybe other young professionals in their 20s and 30s. So, come along with me as I try to figure out my next steps and hopefully gain a better understanding of “grown up” stuff.