I’m one of those girls (women?) that never admits her age. My acquaintances and colleagues generally think I’m older than I really am. I don’t correct them because it’s sometimes hard to be seen as professional and young at the same time. Recently, a friend “outed” me in front of someone who didn’t know my age. Her immediate response was, “You’re joking. You’re how old?!”
For better or worse, I have a habit of not finishing one thing before starting the next. Today I turned 25. Since July 29th of 2010, I:
- Bought and renovated a duplex in New Orleans.
- Took my Mom on a trip to France.
- Finished the MBA program with flying colors and a new haircut.
- Decided I didn’t have enough “fun” when I was 23 so I went out more and spent significantly more time with friends.
- Quit my full-time job.
Yes, I quit a job where I was making major bank at 24 years old with unemployment over 9% and absolutely no prospects for another job. My family & friends were slightly freaked out. I imagine it felt a little bit like jumping out of a plane and not knowing if I had a parachute. I’ve never jumped out of a plane with or without a parachute though so I can’t say for sure.
It was the best decision I made all year.
For a few months after that I played around with the idea of getting another full-time job. I wrote cover letter after cover letter that I never sent. I danced around friendly offers to recommend me for open positions. The thought of a meager salary at a 9-5 job with 10 vacation days a year threw me into a mild panic. So I stopped looking.
Not having a job is scary. Not having a job and not looking for another job might be borderline insanity. Four months later I’m still kicking it solo and actually cash-flow positive. I’ve read enough books to know that no matter what happens, I’ll be okay.
There’s only one problem with my current employment: it lacks direction. I’m doing a lot of work that involves learning and stretching my skills (which is awesome) but I don’t have any particular niche or well-developed area of expertise. Finding and developing that niche has been a recurring thought recently and I now consider it a priority.
On that note, here are my publicly-stated goals for the 26th year of my life:
- Do more yoga & meditation; spend more time tuning myself into my intuition.
- Only take on new work that provides an expansive learning opportunity or excites my love of ___ (too many things to list).
- Jump out of a plane (with a parachute).
- Take another big trip (Asia, South America, Europe, all of the above, I’m not picky).
- Karaoke as often as the opportunity presents itself (thanks to advice from Peter Shallard re: public failure).
- Externalize my internal passion, drive, and love in a more open way. Remember that I have nothing to hide.
My youngest sister, Alexis, was visiting me in New Orleans recently.
Alexis: “You walk like you drive.”
Me: “With a purpose? I work like that, too.”
Alexis: “I bet your boss loves that.”
Me: “I don’t have a boss.”
Alexis: “I know, I was talking about you.”