Wednesday, June 6, 2012

27

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?

5 comments:

  1. Happy birthday, dear!!

    This is a big one for me. Sometimes I look around in shock that I'm 25 and own a house in a tiny town in the MidWest. Where is traveling abroad, suffering, hangovers, wild groups of friends?

    And then I realize that some of those I don't actually want, and the ones that I do I can create.

    I guess I check if I'm happy, if I'm having fun, if I have the chance to do wild crazy things every now and then, etc.

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  2. I think living up your 20s is such an individual thing. For some of my friends that meant dating lots of guys and and going to lots of parties and chalking up experiences that they could look back on one day and shake their head at. Whenever I hear someone say "living the f*ck out of my 20s" that's what I think of, and there's nothing wrong with that, but it's not for everyone. It wasn't for me.

    I'm 35 today (birthday twins!), and can look back on my 20s fondly. I made a lot of mistakes (but don't we all) but I think the biggest thing was, I was true to myself, whoever *I* was at the time. I think that's all we can do. It sounds like, to me, you're doing great.

    One more thing. I am actually enjoying my 30s more than my 20s. For starters, I'm way less poor. All the things that would weigh on me, when I was younger, things like what other people thought of me or how I was measuring up against my peers is less important. I'm more comfortable with who I am than I've ever been. Getting older isn't all that bad.

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  3. At the age of 61 I have to say living the f*CK out of every single year of your life is the goal, not merely your 20s. I was 44 when I first went scuba diving. 37 years of marriage tells me that your spouse should be quite simply the most important person in your life. So make a home and enjoy life.

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  4. My thirties are the best. On you go.

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  5. I'm a lurker who is a few years ahead of you, and this question has moved me to comment. I think (and I think Meg would agree) that you are living the eff out of your life. You are engaged, you are active, you are paying attention. What she refers to does NOT have to mean horrible apartments and stumbling to your crap job on too little sleep, or crazy emotional drama, or any of those things. If anything, that could be the opposite (i.e. it leads to checking out, escaping reality, and letting life pass you by cause you can't get off the couch)

    I've dabbled a bit in both and I can say that working hard, getting educated, starting a blog, being fit and just paying attention is the way to go! And living in a foreign country counts extra :)

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