25, With A Purpose

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:

  1. Do more yoga & meditation; spend more time tuning myself into my intuition.
  2. Only take on new work that provides an expansive learning opportunity or excites my love of ___ (too many things to list).
  3. Jump out of a plane (with a parachute).
  4. Take another big trip (Asia, South America, Europe, all of the above, I’m not picky).
  5. Karaoke as often as the opportunity presents itself (thanks to advice from Peter Shallard re: public failure).
  6. Externalize my internal passion, drive, and love in a more open way. Remember that I have nothing to hide.
Chocolate cake. Noms.

 

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.”