Tomorrow, I turn the ripe ole age of 26. I thought it would be appropriate to do a little reflection/introspection/self-assessment as I not-so-gracefully enter the last year of my mid-twenties. [FYI, I breakdown this ever-important decade as follows: 20-23 Early Twenties: still just a naive, young pup; 24-26 Mid-Twenties: a little confused and lost but still self-important, and lastly, 27-29 Late Twenties: the years (I hope to God) it all comes together.] So in my 25th year, here’s what went down….
1) I kicked things off with an awesome Mardi Gras birthday party – Miss H, Miss PoliSci, and Miss PR deserve all the credit. Plus, most of my favies were in attendance. All-in-all an excellent fete.
2) I spent 99% of my summer weekends at the lake. And it was glorious. I was tan & well-read & completely smitten. I took a 5-day Fourth of July weekend and loved every minute of it.
3) A. C. L. My first Austin City Limits experience, despite the completely shoddy weather, was incredible. I saw some major loves – Kings of Leon, Pearl Jam & DMB – and found plenty of new musical crushes – Citizen Cope, Phoenix, Girl Talk, & Zac Brown Band. Oh, and I had excellent traveling companions – Miss Dubs & Miss H. We faced the rain and the mud, brought our own toilet paper, and had an amazing time.
4) I started contributing to my 401(k) at work. I know it seems lame, by my girl Suze Orman would be proud and to be honest, I’m really proud of myself. I wanted to take more financial responsibility for myself and this was definitely a giant step in the right direction.
5) I’d call my 25th year the year of friends. There were so many moments where my heart just felt full of love for them, which was good because it warded off the lonely, dull ache that sometimes emerges when I’m feeling darky & twisty. But this year, it was all about my friends and we had some amazing times. After feeling emotionally disconnected to the human race pretty much throughout law school it was completely refreshing to reconnect with the people I love. [Pause for gagging on all that cheesy goodness]
1) Clearly, I’d be lying if I said all my friendships were perfect. I let a few slip away in the last year that I wish I hadn’t. And I tolerated behavior from others that I shouldn’t have. I struggle to find the right balance of keeping up with the people I care about and of maintaining high standards in those relationships.
2) Let’s say I fell back into an “Old Habit” that I just can’t seem to shake. When I feel lonely, Old Habit is all I want, even though I know it isn’t good for me. I have been known to joke that I’m an emotional cutter and most of the time when I say it, it’s exactly that — a morbid, slightly inappropriate joke. But when it comes to Old Habit, it is so painfully true. So this year, I re-tortured myself by letting Old Habit come back.
1) I was irresponsible with my money. Don’t worry, I didn’t do anything terrible but I didn’t really accomplish anything either (401(k) contributions excluded). My rainy day savings fund is embarrassingly small even though I had every intention of starting a cash nest-egg. So much for a new car or house down payment – clearly, I was more interested in other things than protecting my financial future.
2) I wore an eye patch. Seriously.
3) As a result of my highly social state of mind (the year of the friends, remember), I not only poured money down my throat, I also gained back all the weight I lost in year 24. Boo hiss. I’m not really sure how I so easily fell back into old bad habits. And I would guess that having an actual salary instead of living like a student made it easier to wine and dine myself back to a place where I’d rather not be. But really, no matter the influences or possible excuses, I am the only person to blame for the general malaise I felt towards my own health. I let sloth creep in and set up shop in my life.
Well, that list ended on a rather depressing note, but in a way that’s how last year felt. Don’t get me wrong, The Good outweighs The Bad & The Ugly (what can I say, I’m trying to be a glass half-full kind of girl). Miss Agnes & I have joked that 2009 was one big hangover because 2008 was one of the biggest years of our lives. That’s how I felt about year 25 compared to year 24. Fortunately for me, tomorrow I start year 26. And tomorrow I’ll tell you what year 26 (hopefully) will mean for me…