January is the usual time of self-reflection/self-doubt/reinvention. What am I happy with? What do I want to change? The time of Top 10 Lists.
2011 had a lot of good things. Like snow shoeing and going to natural hot springs in Montana. And laying on the beach in Puerto Rico, basking in the sun and 80-degree weather (in November) with a $10 margarita in one hand.
Going on a horse and buggy ride in South Dakota, where you can buy a dozen ears of sweet corn for $1, from the farmer’s wife. Receiving my great-grandfather’s pocket watch and a rotary phone as gifts from family members I love dearly. Spending Christmas with said family members.
Watching one of my best friends marry her boyfriend of 8 years.
Seeing Fleet Foxes play at the Paramount, and visiting the Purple Haze lavender farm in Seqim, Washington.
And getting a full-time job at a company that is doing pretty well financially.
The year had some not so great moments, too. The occasional day-long hangover. Breaking up with the guy I lived with, and consequentially moving for the third time in 10 months. (Pro Tip from moves #2 and #3: Hire movers. The efficiency & avoided heavy lifting/back pain were worth Every Single Penny.)
2011 was the first year I felt like I might have a few things figured out. And, simultaneously, I may have no idea about certain areas of my life. Isn’t that what being in your late twenties is for? The inconsistency of feeling 27, and simultaneously feeling 19? So it seems…
In more age-appropriate areas of my life, I started a 401(k) and for the first time, I am living alone. It’s freeing, and a little daunting at times. I can dance to old Talking Heads and MGMT songs in my kitchen, but no one else is going to do the dishes. Self reliance is a learned behavior, and it is something I didn’t think about very much when I was living with my then-boyfriend. Cohabitating was definitely a learning experience, with its own pros and cons.
After an eventful 2011, I am not making predictions for the new year. I just want to enjoy it. And travel.