So yesterday (June 11th) was my birthday. It feels so strange to say that I am 26, as it feels no different than 25, which felt no different than 24. Each year I feel no different, but when I look back at photos and read old notes I can see how much I’ve changed and grown.
Although I am drinking a hot chocolate at Starbucks writing a blog post, which is exactly what I did on my 25th birthday. So maybe not all things change.
My 25th birthday was the start of a brand new adventure. In the past year alone, I moved across the country (more than across the country. We spent 4 days driving through Canada to reach our new home), leaving behind a career I enjoyed to pursue personal life goals. It has been an amazing adventure so far, but I didn’t realize how much I loved my job in South Carolina until I couldn’t find the same fulfillment up here.
I still wouldn’t change anything though: living in Alaska is more than a dream come true. It had always been one of those ‘if I ever got the chance…’ places to me – more concept than obtainable reality. Being up here has fed my soul more than I ever though a place could. I will admit to missing Southern food though: anytime I see pictures of Chik-Fil-A or Soby’s, my stomach does a nostalgic grumble.
I can’t say that I feel like an adult yet. We have adult things: a house, two dogs, real jobs, bills to pay. Responsibility. But I still feel like we’re doing fun and childish things. I still annoy Matt with the clothes pile that builds at the bench at the base of our bed (because putting my things away is soo hard!), and we still do silly things like go to Flattop Mountain when it snows in May to throw snowballs, even though we literally just had snow in our backyard for months.
The past year has also brought new and amazing friends. We have met some of the greatest people living here. I felt incredibly special last night when Matt planned a Low Country Boil to celebrate my upcoming introduction to the AARP, and we got to introduce people to one of my favorite events from college: drinking beer while eating shrimp, potatoes, sausage, and corn with bare hands.
I was also super thrilled to have one of my best friends come up to spend a week with me in Anchorage for my special day. Megan flew for several hours to come up and see my Alaska – enduring some cold rain and not seeing a single moose. I can’t wait to share with y’all everything we did!
I got some really funny and sweet birthday cards from friends and family, many of them drinking themed, and some pretty great gifts. Matt got me a pair of Beats by Dr. Dre! He may have had a selfish motive – when I opened them he exclaimed “so you can watch videos on your phone in bed without waking me up! Oh, and you can use them when you fly.”
I guess the whole point of this post is that I’m hoping to make 26 as great as 25 was. I’m officially in my second quarter century (the Hunger Games fan in me wonders if I should have had a quarter quell party…) and am hoping to really start figuring out what I want out of my professional path. Maybe this will be the year I recognize my dream job. Or, maybe it’s the year I get to start making banks of money from online blogging and binge-watching Dawson’s Creek on Netflix. A girl can dream, right?