My 29th birthday was last Sunday so I’m a little late here but here we are…a birthday post!
29 isn’t a “big” birthday like 21 or 30 but it does signify the last year of my twenties, which is exciting and scary all at the same time. It’s also a weird feeling. Either way I celebrated with my friends with a boozy brunch.
I’ve spent most of my twenties with this crazy idea in my head that I would be a lawyer. 28 was the year for that – I graduated law school, passed the bar exam, got admitted, and started working as a lawyer. Despite the big transitions I’ve been going through this past year, I’ve learned a few other life lessons.
28th year lesson #1
If learned anything about my 28th year, it’s that I need to stop obsessing about how my life is supposed to look. I had a vastly different idea of how my life would look like a year out of law school and the reality is completely different.
Exhibit A: this past fall was ridiculously fun. I had more freedom than I’ve ever had in the past three years to go out and meet people, to actually be able to spend money, and basically to do whatever I wanted. Despite all of this, I was disappointed I hadn’t lived up to the dream or plan I had in my head. Especially professionally (see Exhibit C).
Exhibit B: I didn’t think I’d be single at graduation. I had two very serious relationships in law school. As graduation was nearing all I kept thinking was I didn’t expect to finish this alone. All of this sounds insane as I write it but the reality was a lot better than the fantasy. The reality being that I didn’t have to plan my life around someone else (i.e. where I would get a job and where I would take the bar). All I have to worry about right now is me. Also, final point…dealing with two breakups in law school was rough but the timing was actually perfect (because who really wants to deal with a breakup in the middle of bar prep?)
Exhibit C: In law school, the goal was to practice criminal defense. A year later, I get to litigate but not criminal law. Oddly enough I’m pleasantly surprised by how much I do like it. Not only that, I’m really happy to be working for the organization I’ve interned with.
28th year lesson #2
“If you focus on yourself, everything will fall into place.” – Some article I once read.
Ever notice when you’re happy, things just fall into place? And when you’re miserable everything goes wrong? Like the saying goes, when it rains, it pours. This goes for everything. At one point this year, I found myself balancing different job offers. At other points this year, I found myself being asked on 3 different second dates (lol for the record – I didn’t go on all of them).
On the other hand, when I’ve been miserable, I’ve found myself…very alone and just miserable (coughcoughbarprepcough). Also, I’ve been around friends who hate their jobs/relationship status/etc. and let me tell you, it is not fun to be around for extended periods of time.
My point here is that people can pick up on good vibes. No one wants to hire the miserable person or go on a date with someone who hates their life. At the end of the day, being happy means focusing on yourself and what you want.
28th year lesson #3
“I think I just like to face fear…” – Alexa von Tobel on “How I Built This”
I heard this quote (above^) and loved it. The speaker was talking about how she hates heights even though she was a diver. To some degree I feel the same way about many things including climbing. I climb indoors all the time and outdoors sometimes. The height sort of freaks me out but I still love it.
This past year, I’ve found myself being more honest about things that other people may tip toe around. But most people regret not saying or not doing something. So I’ve pushed myself to get over the fear of failure (or whatever the fear is).
And to some degree, I might be addicted to the adrenaline rush that comes to facing a fear.
Looking forward -the 29th year
There aren’t any big plans for my 29th year other than having this insane idea about running the Boston Marathon next year on my 30th birthday (4/15/19).
I’m also trying to be more social (this might be a side effect of only hanging out with lawyers and law students while in school). So far I think I’m succeeding. Case in point: I tend to run into a few people every time I’m at the climbing gym and I’ve only been climbing for a few months. But I’ve signed up for a flag football team.
Either way, I’m excited to see what 29 has in store for me.