These Happy Golden Years

 

Photo credit: ccfa.org
Nov. 11: Always a golden birthday!

Ok, so the title of this blog post is also the title of one of my favorite books in the Laura Ingalls Wilder “Little House” series, but it’s also supposed to be the theme of this period of my life right now, right?

 

I’m young, I’m single, I’ve got a job I enjoy, I’m in a city I love, I’m financially stable. All good, happy, golden things right?

One year ago, as I was preparing my 25 birthdays post before I left on a trip to Germany, I wasn’t quite thinking that my life would be what it is right now. Not that I had grand plans or anything. Or maybe I did. One year ago, I thought I was going to be engaged by now, living with my boyfriend (fiance?), perhaps here in DC, perhaps somewhere else – where I wouldn’t be happy and golden. I remember at this time last year, I was convincing myself that it would work out, that things would all come together, that life was good. I remember talking to my dad on the phone in the airport lounge before my flight to Frankfurt, being reminded to take the time on my trip to reflect about what I wanted for myself in the next year.

I came back from that trip not much more sure about things, and in the end, it did work out, just not the way I expected. One year later, I’m single. One year later, I don’t have the same BFF to call and cry to either. One year later, my beloved dog Casey is gone, but an adorable puppy named McGee has joined our family. One year later, I’ve been promoted and I’m working on a campaign I truly care about, two bosses have left and I have an entire new team. One year later, I’ve run three races, finally visited Central Park, and am going to see my first LSU game this weekend. One year later, I’m not sure what’s next at all.

One year later, I feel much more happy and golden than I did before. More happy and golden than I did six months ago even.

One year later, I know that life can take me anywhere at this point. I can move to Chicago, or to California when my parents head there, or to England or Austin or Boston. I can renew friendships that had fallen behind, and make new friends, ones that empower me and support me and get me — and don’t ridicule me. I can continue to challenge myself at work and look for opportunities that provide that. I can date who I want, if I want, or not date at all.

These are the happy, golden years. These are the years where I’m free to be me, on my terms.

Penny for your thoughts?

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