Sunday, January 3, 2010

Embarking on a new decade

A childhood friend asked me recently, "What sorts of things do you want to do this year, our last year of our 20s, to make it memorable?" To be honest, the question took me aback. Not the fact that she asked me this question, which is, admittedly, a fair question, but the fact that I just had no real answer for her.

So here I go. What sorts of things can I do to make this year memorable in my last ten or so months of being in my twenties?

Five years ago, had someone asked me, "What do you want to accomplish by the time you're thirty?" I would have answered: Own my own condo. Be married.

I chuckle now at those goals. A mixture of naivety and lack of awareness, they were honest answers at the time, and goals that I believed I could fulfill. Unfortunately, there were certain conditions precedent that did not occur. I did not get a high-paying job right out of law school. Oh, and those loans to go to law school? I quickly discovered that I really did have to pay them back. And the marriage thing? Got that one wrong too. Turns out you should date someone that you really can imagine making you happy "'til death do us part."

It is not surprising that shortly after graduating law school, I quit making new years resolutions. Given my sad state of affairs on my "before thirty goals," I just was tired of feeling like a failure. Of course, I still look at the new year and hope that I will lose ten pounds (actually, more like twenty pounds this year). I still hope that I will budget better and save more money. However, those five or so years since I graduated law school, I have wised up. Resolutions aren't the way to go. Self-awareness is where it's at.

Therefore, it is on the third of January (and the eve of starting a new job) that I take stock at where I am in my life. I have made what I believe to be a terrific career move in quitting my private practice career and moving into the government sector. I am dating someone who makes me laugh and feel beautiful on a daily basis. I have family that might be far away, but I know they are always there when I need them. I have friends that truly are out-of-this-world fabulous.

So, in looking at 2010, the year I turn thirty, I vow to accomplish this: Be grateful every day for my life and know that no matter what life throws at me, I will learn something, and use it to be a better person.

And maybe lose ten pounds before the big 3-0 strikes. Hey, I'm only human.

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