Today is my 27th birthday. I am officially entering my “late twenties,” as my brother (who is turning 30 this year) so often reminds me.
And I’m surprisingly ok with it.
Here’s the thing: I spent a good portion of my early twenties stuck in the comparison trap (aren’t we all?) It’s often hard to remember that you are your own person, living your own life on your own timeline. I spent a lot of time worrying about what I “should” be doing instead of enjoying what I was actually doing. I spent many conversations with friends, family, and myself about where I thought I would be by the time I was ___ years old and about how scary it was to realize that I wasn’t even close to that place yet.
This year, I finally realized that a lot of the anxiety I was feeling stemmed from a conception of adulthood that I had formed in high school. I was judging my own life’s progress based on an idea I dreamed up when I was sixteen. Either that, or I was comparing myself to friends and random acquaintances on Facebook who are living completely different lives than I am.
In other words, I was acting like an idiot.
These past few months, I’ve spent a lot of time focusing on what I have done instead of what I haven’t. I’ve done things that my sixteen-year-old self would have never expected:
I graduated from college with two bachelors degrees.
I moved to a new state to begin my career (no really, this was a huge deal).
I lived with strangers, and then I lived on my own.
I trained for and ran two half marathons.
I met the love of my life and sustained a ridiculously long-term long-distance relationship.
In other words, I’m doing ok for myself. I may not be married with two children, a puppy, and a house, but I do have a career that I love in a place that I love living. I have a partner who I want to spend the rest of my life with. I have good friends from my childhood, college, and my “new” home. I am healthy, happy, and independent. Not a bad track record, right?
While these past few years have been full of change and growth and new experiences, this upcoming year has the potential to be one of my biggest years yet. If all goes according to plan, this is the year I will graduate with my Master’s degree. It is the year my long-distance relationship will no longer be long-distance (!!) Besides these huge milestones, I have a ton of things up my sleeve, both personally and professionally.
In other words, I’m antsy with excitement for the year ahead. It’s going to be a year full of changes, and for the first time in a long time (maybe ever?) I’m ready and willing for the change to happen.
Look out, 27. I’m ready for you.