Hitting Trail Marker 28

An image of the author looking at the camera, hand on his chin and a somber expression on his face. I turned 28 today. Years old, not somehow transforming into the concept of 28 or anything awesome like that.

I feel like I should have some deep thoughts about it, but I’m not sure I do. It probably doesn’t help that it was just another work day. I’m of the opinion that everyone should get their birthday off to do whatever they want, but I didn’t think to orchestrate it this time around, so a normal day it was! Plus, almost all of my friends would have been at work.

Anyway, the main thing that’s stuck me is that I’m officially in my late 20s. I was probably in my late 20s when I turned 27, but it’s extra-undeniable now. A new mini-epoch! There’s definitely some feelings about where I am in life compared to where I thought I would be. I’m not a full-time author (not that, after I got more realistic about it years ago, I expected to be). I don’t particularly enjoy my job. I don’t have a house. A lot of those status markers haven’t happened for some reason or another. It can be frustrating, but I also know I’m far from the only one who’s missed out on those so far, and that if I keep hustling on the ones that are important to me, hopefully I can make a few of them happen over the next one to twenty years. While the road has definitely forked away from where I assumed it was going when I graduated college at twenty-three, this hasn’t been bad land to explore, and I’m still looking forward to pressing on and seeing what’s over the next hill.

After all, there have been a lot of good things. I have a wonderful boyfriend who is sweet and supportive and still very much his own independent person. I’ve got a bunch of goofy reptiles in my life, with a couple more on the way. (And if you’d told me 5 years ago that was something that would be happening, I would be very surprised as well as confused about why a time traveler would spend their time on that particular detail.) My apartment fits my needs, I’ve got a roof over my head, and I don’t have to worry about where my next meal is coming from. I’ve got some great friends, both in the writing community and outside of it. I’ve managed a few publication credits, and I’m finally getting (relatively) close to the finish line on the rewrites of my lil doorstop fantasy novel that have taken forever. I even have health insurance, though I have to pay for it out of pocket who knows how long it’ll last given the new administration. There’s a lot of privileges there, and I’m trying to stay aware of and be thankful for them as much as I can.

Autumn leaves along a sidewalk on an overcast day.So, yeah. 28. It’s just another year, just another tick on the chart. I may not be where I wanted to be, but I’m not in a bad place, either. I’ve got some stuff I want to work out, some stuff I want to change. But I think I can manage that. I certainly hope I can. And if it takes a little longer than I expect? That’s okay, too. (Goodness knows I have enough excellent, awesome friends who are older than me to not fear getting older in and of itself.)

Here’s to my year of being 28. I hope it’s awesome for me, and more important, I hope it’s awesome for all of you. Thanks for being there for me, and I hope I can be there for you when you need it, too. <3

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