Today is my birthday, and I am now twenty-seven. I do not have any actual plans other than hopefully I get to go to Sugarberry, a frozen yogurt joint that has exciting flavored froyo (like taro) and toppings galore (my favorite being the mochi and fruity flavored bobas), with Jon tonight. Until then, I’m tidying up the apartment in between quests in Dragon Age II. I’ve also been feeling pretty introspective about the past 365 days. A lot has happened.
Twenty-six was a heck of a year. I did a lot of growing and a lot of adulting, like buying my first car, moving in with Jon, actually having to budget my money and pay my own bills, and re-establishing my savings account that I completely demolished right after graduating college. Not that my twenty-sixth year can only be measured in the amount of things I can cross off my “Finally Becoming an Adult” list. I was also a bridesmaid in a wedding, and I gave a speech in front of people without totally losing my cool (okay, I lost my cool. I forgot to actually raise my glass and toast the happy couple at the end of the speech.). I celebrated my 1 year anniversary with Jon. I actually had enough money in my piggy bank that I could splurge and buy Jon (and me) an Xbox One. I spent the year enjoying the company of friends and acquaintances over beer and BBQ sammies at Leo’s Pub after work or the occasional weekend cookout.
Perhaps the pinnacle of it all occurred about a month ago when I was offered a job in Tulsa. More responsibilities. A significant pay increase. The adventure of moving to a new city. And…I decided not to take it. I haven’t decided if I’m crazy for passing on the opportunity or not. It truly would have helped to establish my career, and when I say significant pay increase, I’m talking a $6,000 a year leap, which is a lot for someone who is a bookkeeper with an English degree. Moving would have been the easy choice because it’s what I’m used to; my whole childhood and adolescence was filled with saying “goodbye” just as soon as I started to fit in. So deciding not to move, not to take the job– that’s probably the scariest decision I’ve made in a really long time. Possibly ever.
I should probably mention, it was my mother who offered me the job. That doesn’t diminish the magnitude of the opportunity at all, but it was a major factor in my deciding to stay. Gosh, where would I be without my mom? She helped me get my foot in the door at my current place of work, she put a roof over my head off and on post-college, and she helped me rebuild myself this past year. But now, I have to navigate the rocky waters of adulthood on my own. I have to establish my own identity, and I don’t think I could have done that very well had I moved to Tulsa.
Even though I lived it, I still find it hard to believe that all of that could happen in the course of one year. How did I accomplish so much in such a short amount of time? Granted I’m not winning awards or changing lives (except my own), but they are accomplishments none-the-less, and I am proud of them.
So, I’ve been 27 for a few hours now, am I’m pretty excited to see what this next year will have in store. Of course I expect to re-read the Harry Potter series, and I hope to also spend way too much time playing Fallout 4 (’bout damn time!). I also need to stop thinking about my career path and start making progress on it. Am I satisfied in my current field? Am I satisfied with the organization I work for? Is this something I can see myself doing for the next five years? If not…then do something about it. Finally…I’m going to take a vacation this year. Not my typical “vacation”, where I work 40 hours in 4 days and take a three-day weekend to recuperate. I earned 64 hours of PTO last year, and I couldn’t figure out how to use it all. What a shame. But this year, I’m going to take a real vacation. Jon and I have been day dreaming a lot about Montana, and I hope to make it a reality for us.