Today I turn 28, an age that feels squarely Adult to me but many others assure me means I have plenty of time. Being 27 has been supremely excellent and I’m more than a little sorry to see it go.
On my 27th birthday, I woke up in a twin bed in a spare room of two wonderful people that spoke very little English. Yuri, my host dad, and I had been doing yoga each morning and then eating ice cream in our coffee. We did that again. I talked to my parents on skype even though it wasn’t technically my birthday yet in America and they shouted at the computer like their voices had to carry the whole distance.
The first few months of 27 were a bit crazy. Hey Liz, how many countries do you think you could reasonably hit in two months? Oh nine, you say, go for it: Turkey, Greece, Italy, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, one night in Belgium because you have trouble reading time tables, England, and France. What a time it was! It’s hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that I actually quit my job to travel. That is my actual, real life but it sure doesn’t feel real.
Over those two months, I saw more art than I ever thought possible, read voraciously, ate a lot of really great food (and some really crappy food), sat on a TON of trains, changed in front of more complete strangers than I’m comfortable thinking about, missed home and everyone in it, and never wanted it to stop.
Traveling by myself is one of my greatest prides. I did that. I made the decision and lived the fuck out of it. I regret nothing.
While I was gone, Leo was born. I got to “meet” Leo at my hostel in Greece. He slept through our first skype chat (ruuuuuuuuuuude). Now he’s walking and about to turn one and is just a proper human, it totally blows my mind. Dude, I knew you before you were born. I knew your dad when he was just a tow-headed stoner looking for jobs in his bathrobe. Your mom and I bonded by drinking too much wine and talking about sex.
Back in America, I got a job. That came relatively easily but eight months later I still don’t have a permanent position. I have co-workers I like, a program I feel I can contribute to, responsibilities, benefits, but an end date that maybewon’tbeprobablywill get extended. This uneasiness is uncomfortable.
Job in the bag, Kat and I hunted for an apartment. Ugh. What a process that was. The frantic gchatting about minutes-old Craig’s List posting, the rushing about all over town to look at tiny, overpriced apartments, the sitting in Kat’s car trying to talk ourselves in living in places we really just wanted more time to think about. Luckily, the universe gave us a break. We found a great apartment and moved in with the help of amazing, amazing people in our lives.
In December, I went to Chicago for a long weekend to visit my brother and get drunk with a bunch of my favorite people on the internet. Seriously. I voluntarily flew to a freezing cold part of the country to hang out on Cindy’s couch and play Cards Against Humanity and eat Jen’s killer guacamole. Despite waking up Friday morning more hungover than any previous point in my life it was the best weekend ever and our next meet-up is going to be epic (and in Palm Springs because bikinis > snowsuits).
I feel like I spent most of the winter drinking in dark bars and reading. Let’s be honest, that’s probably exactly what happened. It rained all winter long but I had no grounds to complain as we were one of the few parts of the country spared the Polar Vortex. Plus, the Seahawks won the Super Bowl. GO HAWKS. (Promise that’s the last one, Kat.)
In February, I went to DC on a business trip. I ate conference food while talking to doctors from all over the country and then scurried out at night to have fun with my real friends. I was a teensy, tiny bit disappointed that I didn’t run into Joe Biden. I have no love lost for Joe’s politics but he seems genuinely funny and I feel like it would be very amusing to laugh at him laughing at himself. Plus, Julia works down the hall from him and it just seems like she should share.
In March, I got to be a bridesmaid in Sparky’s wedding. What a rich and rewarding experience to stand next to one of your best friends as she says “yes, forever” to a great guy that thinks she hangs the moon. I cried the whole time I gave my toast. I cried because I’m a big baby that loves weddings and feels all the feels. But I also cried because I love Sparky so, so very much and get to invite Seth on to the team of people that love her and support her and generally just get to bask in the awesomeness that is spending time with her. And I’m really glad he’s here because dude has ninja skills.
27 was pretty special. It was all this and so much more. This is just the big stuff. The stuff that required credit card space or a ride to the airport. 27 seems hard to top but I’m sure 28 will have tricks and surprises of it’s own. I think I’ll fix a fresh drink and wait on the patio.