December 2, 2019
Train from Portland to Seattle
When I was 18 I took a road trip with my three best friends downstate to Detroit. In the car during the 9 hour drive (technically 10 but we took the speed limit as a suggestion. I advise strongly against this) we decided that 27 is the worst age to be.
“If I’m still single at 27 I’m going to find the nearest cliff and jump,” I said, crying with laughter. I obviously was going to be married by 27. We all were. Well, I was mostly right. One by one, my three best friends found boyfriends and then husbands. I, well… didn’t.
This fact hasn’t bothered me (yeah, yeah, sounds defensive). It’s true, though. I’ve certainly been bothered by the change in relationships with my childhood friends as one by one they’ve walked the aisle. I was bothered when my old friends lost interest in girls’ trips and late nights. I was bothered when my roommates moved out of the house to get married.
But I found new friends, who I got to know as adults and love dearly. I found new people to travel with, and have traveled the world. I found new roommates, who taught me what a chosen family is. The loss of my original friends has been difficult, but at no point have I ever wished for marriage for myself. The only real draw has been to be able to hang out with them like I used to, but I also realize those days are past. Marriage usually isn’t the best way to make time for the girls.
I turned 24 this fall. Twenty-seven is suddenly feeling awfully close. Since I’m not feeling particularly suicidal and I don’t actually want to jump off the nearest cliff, instead I’ve decided that by the time I’m 27 I need to know what I want to be when I grow up.
Why the deadline? Well, because I know myself and I know that without a deadline I will spend the next three years exactly like I spent the last day. Hanging out having a good time, and doing jack shit to achieve anything. It doesn’t have to be much, even the faintest glimmer of clarity will help.
I don’t regret the last three years- they’ve been some of the best of my life. But I want to feel some kind of sense of who I am and what I want to be after the next three. I’ve spent the last year and a half at a job that is... fine. I don’t love the accounting nature of the work but I like and respect my boss. I don’t like working with stressed and irritated customers but I like that I can work remotely with flexible hours. I don’t mind the job for right now, but I don’t want to do it forever.
So I will spend the next 3 years—well 2 years and like now months now (Ack)—trying as many things and developing as many skills as I can, in the hopes that something will stick. I’m not limiting this goal to only professional development. Anything at all that seems interesting, I’m going to give it a try using this document as a way to stay accountable.