I woke up this morning, wrapped around in my (lovely) hotel sheets, in a moderate panic. When the sun sets tonight, I will have lived my last day of 27.
I’d become familiar with this panic over the past few months—the kind anxiety that’s been bolstered by my general unease from feeling old and under-accomplished. I’d never felt anything other than right where I should be—starting a career, having an incredible amount of fun—and yet, and yet… this year, I’ve been feeling disappointed in myself.
How quickly that insecurity and doubt casts shadows on a year well-spent. I was almost punishing myself, questioning in the darkness: “What have you done in the past year? How have you changed your life from the year before? Are you getting stagnant, risk averse?”
The mind forgets yesterday when it falls into a psychological slump. Because I as I padded through the gray haze, I started thinking through the things I experienced last year. And as I began physically listing, it dawned these 12 months were, in fact, not a wasted, lost or stagnant year, but rather an incredible year. What was 27? The year that I:
- Broke my Chicago festival virginity
- Made some new lifelong friends
- Saw the craziness of Bermuda at Cup Match
- Survived Burning Man duststorms
- Completed the Guatemala/Belize circuit I’ve wanted to do since we skipped it in 2010 (Cyn)
- Drove a dodgy car through all of Central Patagonia
- Hiked for 2031282 hours in Patagonia
- Got serious about writing
- Started a business with my best friend
- Found out how deep that friendship ran
- Joined the +acumen board
- Had the best Groove Cruise ever
- Got promoted
- Launched a website
- Made it to the crazy Balkans
- Broke my Couchsurfing virginity
- Got closer to my parents
- Made it to WMC #3
- Got into Ultra for free
- Hopped four cities in China in close quarters with my parents (and lived)
- Became a travel expert and writer
- Became a paid blogger
- Saw two of my best friends get engaged
This year, I’ve feared that my spirit was turning older, and its flame for life slightly less bright. I felt like I was losing the fight, acquiescing to what a moderate and safe adulthood should look like, and it terrified me. I felt like perhaps the Second Law of Thermodynamics had taken over.
But no, as I actually look over the past year and relive the colors, tastes, smells, laughs and memories, I remember that it—like every other year—is an incredible year to be alive. And I’m only so lucky to embark on the next one. More surefooted. More secure. More ready to face the incredible opportunities that rise with tomorrow’s sun.