My birthday is in a couple of days — I am turning 27. I must say that if you asked me where I thought I would be today five years ago, it certainly wouldn’t be here. I was in a six year relationship at the time, with a dog that was actually more like our child. I worked a stable full-time job, and life was simple. I anticipated being married by now, and who knows, maybe even be having a kid or something? This “plan” I had seems completely insane to me now, given all of the twists and turns my life has taken. Goes to show how much things can change. Am I wrong or does life never really play out how you expect it to? Everything is so unpredictable — and I am actually pretty OK with that.
This is not to say that I think there is anything wrong with choosing the route I had thought I’d take five years ago…in fact, I have friends who did and are happy, and having a family and a more stable lifestyle is absolutely something I want one day. But looking back, I cannot help but think of how much living and learning I’d have missed out on. Everyone is different, and that is OK. Is there really a right or wrong way to live your 20’s? I see it as a time for being experimental, falling down, getting back up again, learning how to stand on your own two feet, and figuring out the person you really are.
I may not have expected to be single, working independently (aka hustling like crazy to get by in this expensive city), struggling with pretty serious anxiety, and partying like it’s 1999 on the regs. Some people may think there is something wrong with living this way at my age (not that I consider myself to be, by any means, old), and I sure as hell could make better decisions on occasion. But that said, I am so grateful that things have unfolded the way that they have…that I chose the rockier path. I now have the longest list of experiences, both good and bad, that I wouldn’t trade for the world. I may not be living the life I thought I’d be living yet, and maybe I never will. But I am living.
So happy fucking birthday to me, and here’s to rolling with whatever unforeseen madness life throws your way and making the most of it.
Photos by Maurice Sampson