Tomorrow is my birthday, and I'll be turning 29. 29, as in the year before 30. Despite this, I'm pretty excited. This year my birthday is on a Friday, which is nice, and as always, my birthday is a mere five days after the first day of the new year, making it easy to talk about each year and my current age in a nice, neat package. For instance, In 2000, when I was 22 for almost the entire year, I graduated college and moved to North Carolina. Pretty big year, 2000 and 22-years-old. In 2006, when I was 28, some major, if perhaps less major than graduating and starting a new life, things happened. Some were annoying and made me feel old and that my health was failing. Like when I noticed a burst capillary on the end of my nose. Or when I hurt my hip, like a grandma. Or, you know, when I became convinced I had cancer allowed myself to fall into a downward spiral of self-indulgent insanity.
Mostly, of course, a lot of great things happened in 2006. Some, good but sad, like making the decision to leave my job at The Chatham News, and some simply mind-blowingly awesome and relaxing, like spending a month in Maine with some of my best friends, my little brother and his rock band.
I think the most notable thing about this age, not just for me, but probably for many people, was all the contrast. Being willing, and able, to leave a job just because I wanted to do something crazy, but also seriously concerned about the consequences. Wanting to stay out late drinking with all my friends but being honestly angry at myself in the morning if I felt even the trace of a hangover. Starting to think very hard, and get excited, about having a family, but loving me and J's alone time as a married couple, just the two of us. Enjoying the uncertainty, not knowing where we'll move when J is done with grad school, but also wanting it set it stone so I can be ready to move on, or settle. Perfectly content that I'm in limbo, career-wise, but starting to worry that I'm getting too old to be without a definite plan.
But besides all the philosophy regarding the yearly changing of ages, I'm looking forward to 29. And 2007. It just might be the year I figure it all out. And if not, it will, by definition, be my last year as a twenty-something, and I'm pretty sure that's going to come in handy as an excuse for any number of situations.