Today is my 27th birthday. This has actually been a good year. The first half of it was really hard - when I turned 26, I had just lost my job, I was just starting out, I had no idea where I wanted my career to go, and my marriage was really, really hard. I found a job with a solo practitioner who hired me even though I was technically overqualified, taking a risk that I would at least stay longer than six weeks (I stayed 8 months). I started job hunting and I interviewed for a lot of jobs. In February, I was interviewing with a private practice firm that didn't suit me at all. And then I got offered a job by somebody I had interviewed with before, and four months later, I am happier than I think I have ever been, careerwise and lifewise. It's not like my job is my dream job, or where I will be forever - but I do good work, I work with amazing people, I get to walk to work, and I have reasonable, stable hours.
There are other reasons things are good. Our marriage, which spent it's first year falling to one side or another as we tried desperately to keep it on course, is now sailing smooth and straight and we know how to work the ropes when things get rough. We are working to be a part of our community - we have a garden plot and are working to get to know our neighbors and the area. We are more active together in the summer, so it's nice - we bike, we run, and I finally belong to a pool so I can go swimming.
I wonder, as I edge closer to 30, whether the way we are living now counts as living "the f*ck out of my twenties". I highly, highly doubt it is what anyone would define as such, and yet, to me, it feels very much like I have taken advantage of my youth. I went after the career I wanted with both hands and made what might be viewed as some very sensible and/or very poor choices regarding it. I spent two years struggling to find a good job for me, getting generally taken advantage of by employers and making too little money, the way some people might make poor choices in relationships and get taken advantage of by a bad boyfriend. I gained weight, I lost weight, and I discovered yoga. I lived in a foreign country and another state. I feel like I've done a lot.
And yet, I remain obsessed with this idea of living life to it's fullest/knowing how to live, and I feel like I've always come up short. As if I should take this time to do a whole bunch of stupid stuff and live day to day in a horrible apartment with a leaky everything and a fuse box I have to hit and show up to work hungover. I kind of skipped that while I was going to law school and getting married. The closest I came to showing up for class hungover was the day after election day, in which I was running on about two hours of sleep.
So what are the other hallmarks of living the f*ck out of my twenties that I need to hit before I turn 30? What can I skip?