Growing Older: Reader Essay by Whitney Heber

From Minnesota Alumni Magazine Winter 2017

At 30, I’m on the old end of the millennial generation. I sometimes feel like an imposter in this group. Previously, I viewed 30 as the magic number when you should have your life together. And really, I do. I have a job, I’m married, I recently bought a house. I’ve checked some adult boxes. Yet, my millennial tendencies come through. Our new house is in the city, not the suburbs. We don’t have children—nor do we want to. I want to find purpose in my daily work, I sleep late, and sometimes I wonder if we made a mistake in buying a home when we have aspirations to live abroad someday. I especially have these thoughts when we’re spending more Saturday afternoons at Home Depot than at the local microbreweries. What have we done?

Growing up, I viewed aging as a prescribed and linear process: college, job, marriage, dog, house, kids, college fund, retirement fund. My path was fairly linear until I got past marriage. At that point I realized, with help from my husband, that the best version of myself was going to follow a more circuitous route. Friends and colleagues who have traveled a similar path have shown me that the detours, pit stops, and changes in destination are the things that enrich us and make us human. I’m thankful for their guidance. I have realized that 30 is a magical age where I have it all figured out—just not in the way I thought I would. Being a “real adult” isn’t about checking boxes in sequence. It’s about being comfortable with the notion that whatever path I take in life is the right one for me.

- Whitney Heber (B.S. ’08, M.B.A. ’15), Minneapolis

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