A few weeks ago, during a particularly stressful day at work, I took a minute to escape to the bathroom and have a moment of quiet. I was in there alone, so I dilly dallied at the mirror, getting really close to it and examining my face. I saw my cluster of chin hairs (that Kamel loves to pull out and torture me with), my parentheses around my mouth, my growing forehead lines – all of which are not really that big of a deal. And I whispered, “27,” at myself. I wanted to hear it out loud, I wanted to associate it with myself. It didn’t really work.
Last year on my birthday I was tagging along on Kamel’s business trip and sitting in the 4 Seasons in Santa Barbara. This year I’m at the Bellagio with my husband and my parents. How did I get from there to here?
In May I had the first wedding related event, my wedding shower. In June the girls threw my bachelorette, and the in July I got married. Though I have done lots of great, fulfilling things in my life (lived in different states, epic road trips, solo travel, grad school, etc) this was the biggest life event I’ve experienced to date. And the weird thing is it feels simultaneously as though it happened yesterday and like it happened 10 years ago. Time is a tricky bitch.
Kamel and I took our very first real vacation together on our honeymoon when we went to Cancun. I have never needed a vacation more in my entire life and I think I slept for half the trip. It was awesome.
In August I took a big risk and chopped off all of my hair. It was one of the most liberating experiences. I felt incredibly sexy.
In September I realized that my current editing position just wasn’t fulfilling. It wasn’t headed in a positive direction, it wasn’t helping me attain my end goals any longer and I realized I needed to quit. I also realized that working from home was a terrible, terrible idea for me, and I admitted to needing a major change. I didn’t admit this to any of you guys until December, but I was struggling with it for months and months before that. From September to December I had a really rough time. I felt incredibly lonely and isolated, frustrated with where I was headed professionally and very unsure of what path to take.
And then in October I did something I vowed I would never ever do – I moved outside of the city. And it actually ended up being one of the best decisions Kamel and I have ever made. We love love love love our apartment. We love our little neighborhood and we end up using the city WAY more than we used to because we live right by the train. So, no more buses, no more parking, and no more tiny tiny cubby of a one bedroom apartment. Closets people! They are AMAZING.
Fall 2011 was all about applying for relevant work. And it all sort of zoomed by in a hazy, frustrated, hopeful blur.
December came and it was one of the hardest months marriage-wise. Kamel and I were not getting along, there was a lot of stress with the holidays and I was just…. mad at him for changing my little family world. I felt separated from the important parts of my family tradition and I resented him for it. But then! Something awesome happened, and I was truly welcomed into Kamel’s side of the family in Mexico City. Only the second time in my life I’ve felt really pulled into a group of people not because I was born into it, but because they chose me. It’s a really excellent feeling and I am very grateful for it.
January I started my first career-oriented office job and went on my first ever business trip working for Priceline. I really felt fulfilled in being a content editor for the hotels department. I still feel like I have a purpose going to work and writing about hotels every day, I still really like the structure and the routine, but I also can see into the future and see my current position as a stepping stone. It’s good to have a plan, an exit strategy, and motivation for bigger and better things while still appreciating where you are. (Where I am.)
In February I did my second scary thing and started rock climbing classes with Kamel.
In March I began a travel whirl wind that ends this weekend. It started with a weekend trip to Seattle for Maris’s wedding shower, then Barcelona, then wine tasting up north with our lovely friends Amanda and Chad. April arrived like March had been nothing but a long weekend and I took off for Seattle again for Maris’s bachelorette party the weekend before my birthday.
And now you’re caught up, the dots have been connected. From Santa Barbara to Vegas, from 26 to 27, 10 pounds lost, 12 inches of hair removed, a new job and a new apartment and a new husband gained. New friends solidified, more memories made with the usual suspects, more risks and more travel. And I still wonder where the time has gone, because wasn’t it just yesterday I was writing about being 25? And wasn’t it just last week I was trying to finish my thesis, wondering who this photographer guy, Kamel, was? And wasn’t it just last month I lived in Illinois, was angsting over a past boyfriend, working at a coffee shop, walking home at midnight in the below freezing wind chill? And wasn’t that also like 100 years ago?