I started thinking about writing this column last week, when I decided that I really needed to start doing the things I've always promised myself, because honestly, I'm not getting any younger, and I'm OK with that fact.

Becky Novac
There comes a point I think when life just dawns on you. We've all been through the "Who am I?" phase, and I think the phase lasts longer then we all would like to believe. I took the time last summer to write each of my instructors thank-you cards because I couldn't think of any other way to repay them for everything I learned during the summer. My motto of my age-out process was to cry as little as possible, because in the end I knew everything was going to be OK. Writing my thank-you notes made my motto null and void -- I knew it would -- but I would have never been able to say the things I did face to face. I would have cried too much. I think my "Who am I?" phase started a long time ago, and honestly, I don't want it to end for quite sometime, because I am finally starting to accomplish small personal goals that I set for myself when I was 10 years old. When I was 10, maybe even younger, my goals were probably the following: 1.        Graduate high school.
2.        Go to college.
3.        Never get married.
4.        Move to New York City.
5.        Learn how to cook in my Easy Bake Oven.
That's right, when I was younger, I never wanted to get married, but I did want to move to the city. I don't really care about my Easy Bake Oven now, but I do love my real stove and kitchen. Maybe that stemmed from my Easy Bake Oven. I graduated high school and college. Items on my list have been crossed off and some are completely different. For my high school's yearbook, the seniors were asked to write down their ambition that was printed in the index. My ambition went something like this: To get married, be happy and successful, work in New York City, and rule the world of journalism. I think it was a little bit longer, but I know it said the corny comment of "ruling the world of journalism." While that ambition isn't far off, I no longer have any desire whatsoever to "rule the world of journalism." I'll leave that to my boyfriend, Rob, who is a sportswriter. My college finance professor, Professor Pierce, asked the class of 100 students to e-mail him our goals and how we were going to achieve them. Honestly, I think I lied in my e-mail. It was a simple task: Five goals and how we would strive to accomplish them. He then asked us if any of us had made a list of goals before. I have never actually made a list of goals, except for drum corps. Before our first show, the whole color guard gets together to list our season's goals. We list three goals. No one reads them; it's just for our personal use. We get them back at the end of the season to see what we wrote down and how we did accomplishing those goals. I did OK here. I wrote a few short phrases down and was done. One of my techs, Joe, asked that we write him a letter explaining our goals for the summer and anything else we wanted to tell him, it could be anything. Honestly, I was completely over that day in general, and was in no mood to sit there and write something heartfelt. The minimal goals I did manage to discover that day weren't anything profound or out of the ordinary. I think it went something like this: Dear Joe: I don't feel good. My whole body aches and I'm really over today. I slept on an incline last night and that wasn't fun. I don't want to practice a toss more that 50 times in a day and drop it in the run-through. I want to enjoy practice and perform more. I think if I perform more I will love practice. It was something like that, a little longer, of course. Looking back, it was lame. In fact, lame is probably a good word to sum up my whole goal-writing experience. To avoid being lame any longer I have decided to write a new list of things I want to do, seriously this time. While I don't know how valid this list will be five years from now, right now it seems right.
1.        Take ballet again. This is happening in April when an adult workshop begins. So I have this covered.
2.        Read more. I read "Tuesday's with Morrie" by Mitch Albom in two hours on Sunday. Unfortunately, that was the only book I had, thanks to my friend Jenn J. Books cost money. I've decided that I should join the library where books are free, but I have a feeling they won't have any books I like. I may just take some time and sit at Barnes and Nobles and read new books for free.
3.        Figure out if I could really handle getting my MBA. I've always wanted to pursue higher education beyond college, but the GMAT and GRE tests are the scariest abbreviations I can think of. I promised myself to seriously consider taking a course at New York University called "Discover if the MBA is right for you." Sounds like my calling, unfortunately the calling costs money. I don't have any more summers to discover and figure out who I am or instructors to make me sit down and think about what I seriously want to do. I know I don't need the sun, sweat, and tears to figure out what I'm doing with myself but it was a whole lot easier when the only things I thought about were the sun, sweat and tears. Becky Novac currently lives in Hoboken, N.J., and works for Universal McCann in New York City as an assistant media planner. She is 22 years old and a recent graduate from Penn State University where she majored in journalism and psychology. Becky marched with the Bluecoats in 2000, 2002 and 2004 as a member of the color guard.