About two weeks ago, I turned twenty-eight, also known as "almost thirty". I'd been absolutely dreading this birthday, but it passed rather uneventfully - producing nowhere near the emotional turmoil that birthday number twenty-seven did.
I put sincere effort into denying my twenty-seventh birthday. If no one acknowledged it, it'd be like it didn't happen and I could continue on being (a much younger-sounding) twenty-six for as long as I felt necessary. Logic! Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get my family or my boyfriend, Sean, on board with this line of reasoning and I was forced to become twenty-seven.
I'm not really sure what the difference between the two birthdays has been. Maybe at twenty-seven, I passed the threshold for caring about how much older I get. Maybe only odd-numbered birthdays have such an effect. Or maybe because I have a life that seems more appropriately adult-like for my age, creeping up on the undeniably adult age of Thirty Years Old, doesn't seem so horrifying.
Last year, my dog, my cat, and myself were cohabitating with my mom; I was living in her basement*. Sean and I had to drive about half an hour to see each other whenever we were so inclined, which included an extra-long drive to work extra-early in the morning for one or the other of us multiple times a week. I still had a lot of debt (car and credit cards). I felt like, no matter how much I tried, I was stuck, never making any forward progress. I was dealing with an intense amount of frustration.
This time around, I found myself sharing a small, but charming apartment with Sean, the cat, the dog, and a new addition to the family, our puppy. I managed to dig my way out of all of the debt, except for the new furniture purchased for the apartment**. I still enjoy my job, possibly more than ever, and I've started feeling much more comfortable in my managerial role. Most of the time I still don't think I feel like as much of an adult as I should. And no, life isn't what I thought it would be by this time, and it's not quite where I now hope it will go, but to be honest, life is pretty fucking fantastic.
* Granted, the house had been purchased in my name and legally, I am a Home Owner, but that's a story for another time.
** I realize this sounds like a poor choice from a personal finance perspective, but I'll elaborate in the future.