Thoughts on Turning 29

I usually don’t get all that weird about birthdays. They are typically just an excuse for me to plan a fun time that my friends are obligated to be a part of (well, more so than usual).

But for some reason, turning 29 is feeling a bit weird to me. But like, good weird.

It is kind of crazy to think about where my twenties have taken me. They started at St. John Fisher College back in Rochester, NY. I don’t even really remember how I celebrated, but I’m sure there was Coors Light and a good fake ID involved.

If you would have asked me where I would be on the other end of my twenties, I probably would have ventured to guess that I would be living in Rochester. I’d have a house and a car. A job as a newspaper reporter at the Democrat and Chronicle. I might even be married (or on my way there). Maybe even a kid. Definitely a dog. A boxer to be specific. I’d go to Wegmans every Sunday. I’d see my family at least once a week. Probably more. The Buffalo Bills would have made the playoffs (hey – a girl can dream).

But as we all know, that’s not what life had in store for me.

There’s nothing wrong with the aforementioned scenario. Sometimes I actually do wish that’s where life had taken me. I miss my family all the time. I miss being able to hop in a car and go wherever I wanted (even if everything was at least 20-30 minutes away). I FUCKING MISS WEGMANS SO MUCH. (At least there is one in Chestnut Hill so I can go every once in a while).

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how I got to where I am today. It’s actually a pretty simple series of events:

I went on alternative spring break in New Orleans my sophomore year of college and fell in love with service. This paired with the tanking economy led me to pursue an AmeriCorps experience.

I was given the choice between Providence, RI; Miami, FL; and San Jose, CA. For no other reason than it was the furthest away, I chose California.

In the middle of my first corps year I thought I wanted to come home once my service ended. I met with a college adviser at SUNY Brockport for their Non-Profit Admin MA program. While meeting with him he told me he’d accept me on the spot but that he didn’t believe I actually wanted to be there. Then the guy I was really interested in back home told me I was way more into it than he was. Back to California (for another year) I went.

A mentor of mine at City Year told me that Emerson College would be a good fit for me. I wanted to move to Boston with the hopes of working at City Year, so without even visiting the campus I signed my intent to attend. A few days before I was set to move to Boston, I learned that person was leaving City Year and that I would be replacing him rather than reporting to him. I had my first phone call with my future boss, who remains a very important figure in my life. I showed up on my first day awkwardly wearing business casual attire that I had purchased specifically for this and wrote my job description down.

After two incredible years at City Year, my friend Jess sent me a Facebook message telling me about a job that I just had to check out. It was for the role I’m in now. My heart sank when I read it because I knew it meant I would have to leave City Year. I knew that this was what I was destined to do for my next step and that it wasn’t a matter of if they would hire me, but if I was really ready for a new challenge.

Fast forward two and a half more years, and here I am in Boston. I’m working my dream job. I don’t have a car, but I have a cozy little apartment with two dudes and a dog who I care about very much.That guy who (thankfully) had the balls to tell me to not come home for him when I was 23 is actually getting married on my birthday this year – I wish him and his future wife well. I have a beautiful niece who I love dearly. I shop at Whole Foods. (Sorry, Wegmans). The Bills still haven’t made the god damn playoffs.

And you know what? I’m good with that.




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