Word or phrase. A word that encapsulates your year. "2009 was _____.
I spent my early teenage years pitted against the world, in some sort of teen-angst filled rebellion. I didn't really know who I was or what I wanted from life, only that I wanted to go against the grain. I died my hair purple, lime green and array of other colors. I wore combat boots, fishnets and pleather skirts. I played bass guitar and talked like "one of the guys." I didn't want to be pretty. I denied my heritage. I quarreled with my mom, snuck out regularly and found myself explaining that "I didn't do it" to the authorities a number of times. That period of my life was about defiance.
Then, from about age 16 to 22, I just wanted to have fun, to love and be loved, to be a grown-up. I worked hard and played hard. My energy was limitless--I could go to class all day, waitress at night and party into the wee hours of the morning, all while keeping a 3.8 average. I didn't know how special a person I was. I trusted people who didn't deserve my trust. I assumed all people were like me, harmless, kind and looking for fun. My trusting nature led me to a lot of frightening situations (like the time I found myself with my hands behind my head at a busted warehouse party, or the time I had to sleep on the beach in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica), but my outgoing, and admittedly naive, nature also led me to a lot of good times. We'll call these my experimental years.
My mid-20s have been equally as adventurous, only in a different way. In my mid-20s, I became a professional, career woman, I bought my first house, and I started saving and planning for the future. At first, I did not recognize how exciting all this really was. These important steps in my life felt like little more than "doing what I was supposed to be doing. I found the humdrum of the 9-5, mature-and-responsible-adult life to be completely depressing, and I longed for my days backpacking through Latin America. I spent most of my mid-20s overwhelmed with the contradictions in my life.
In 2010, I will officially be in my late-20s. For me, 2009 has been a year for transition, for change, both tangible and emotional. Maybe that's what happens when you hit your late 20s. Or, maybe it's just a coincidence, but whatever the case, the word that best describes my 2009 is transformational.
I took a life-altering trip to Israel.
I got in touch with my geeky side and started a new career as a web content manager. I've already launched three web sites since taking the job! Designing and developing for the Web is a fun, new challenge new challenge for me. I have to admit; I've enjoyed poring over code and learning new programming languages. I'm (not so) secretly a big geek like that.
Jack graduated college and started a career as a teacher. It's wonderful to both have interesting, respectable, secure jobs and to be on the same schedule.
New people I'd met when I first moved into the new house have turned into real friends. I have regular hang-outs, where I see people I know and who know me. I can tell you where to get the best breakfast, the best chicken, the best Greek food, and the best canolis...or is "canoli" both singular and plural? Anyway.... I've gotten used to making small talk with strangers (damn southern kindness) and learned to stop for yellow. Baltimore has become more than the place I live, it's my home.
We demolished our basement (we're still working on rebuilding :), installed new handles on our kitchen cabinets, built a raised flower bed and installed a rain barrel, and I spent more money than I had ever spent at one time (well, except the down payment on the house) when I replaced my heating system.
And, I made a five-year plan and started saving for retirement. It doesn't get more adult than that.This past year, my outlook has begun to change, and I actually find that being an "adult" is fun. I love that I can dress up in a suit and be a professional for 40 hours a week, yet on the weekends, I can still strap on my sneakers, slab glitter on my eyelids and dance the night away. I know where I want to be in five, ten, fifteen years. I've gotten much better at reading people. I enjoy working on my house, and I find satisfaction in my career choice. I appreciate my home, my job, my man, and my family. I am confident in the decisions I've made and my plan for the future.
Here's to an equally fantastic 2010--Salud! Cheers! L'chiam!