Today I turn 32, which isn't a "milestone" birthday in any other way except the fact that I'm still alive, which, if you're using that as your gauge, makes every birthday a milestone. I wrote last year about finally feeling comfortable in my own skin, and the further I get into this decade I can definitively say that being in my thirties suits me. I had a comfortable, if unremarkable childhood and I suffered all of the teen angst without much of the carefree recklessness that makes people nostalgic for their high school days. Being an "adult" is often dreadfully dull—all paperwork and phone calls—and of course I"m not without my anxieties, but I am at my happiest when I feel in control of my choices and my life.
I recently moved into a studio apartment and I'm living alone for the first time in my life. The feeling that I'm in near-total control of my living space has made me deliriously happy and I will almost certainly look back on this move as a defining moment in my New York life. Other notable moments from this past year include: hiking the Inca Trail (while deathly ill!); running my first-ever continuous mile (and then two miles!); paying off my student loans completely (almost a year early!); exploring numerous abandoned buildings and cemeteries; trips to Roswell, Philly, Atlantic City, Salem, Charleston, Florida, Ohio, Peru and Colombia; finally visiting Lucy the Elephant and The Big Duck; meeting several new Muffler Men; commuting via the brand new Second Avenue Subway; spending a sad election night outside of the Javtis Center and marching on Washington during the Women's March.
I've made new friends, lost touch with others and am constantly reminded that just as you are what you eat (right now I'm 90% pizza Combos), you are the company you keep. I moved back to Manhattan with David doing most of the heavy-lifting (and all of the driving!) and all it cost me was $75 for the U-Haul and a week of limping around, nearly hobbled. I joke about being fragile and creaky and forgetful, but I'm incredibly lucky and grateful to be able to hike mountains, run miles and walk home from work.
I'm very good at planning for the future as well as looking back on what I've done, but I'm still working on really being present. There are some days when I actually get anxious because I no longer feel as if I'm working toward a larger goal—graduating college, moving to a new city—but am simply living. I have to remind myself that there is beauty in the calm, in the routine, in the comfortable. I'm finally happy with who I am and where I am, and I'm ready for whatever comes next.