My 26th Year in Photos

Today, I turned 26. This time last year, I wrote about how I was working through what I called my “quarter life crisis”.

During most of 2013, I was deeply unsatisfied with several aspects of my life. Luckily my ongoing health issues started to clear up…But after I ended a relationship which had been unhappy for far too long, I was left facing the fact that I hated my job.

It affected every aspect of my life. I was an administrative assistant at a small, under-performing lobbying firm, and I felt underutilized, like my brain was stagnating. To make matters worse, I had a supervisor who knew I didn’t want to be there — and didn’t want me there either.

In what should have been an extremely difficult period, I spent approximately 10 weeks unemployed. But unlike my unemployed post-college phase, this was about opportunity and carving my own path. I created endless To-Do lists, interviewed for several positions, worked at Macy’s for 2 days (ha), and began training for my first half marathon.

On January 15th, I began my new job — a full-time, paid, 6-month internship at a well-respected public affairs firm. 9 months later, I have grown, gotten a contract extension, learned, failed, succeeded, and last month I was offered a full-time position with the firm. I could not be happier about where I landed.

I’m very aware of the fact that none of my successes of the last year would mean nearly as much if they didn’t happen after epic failures. Having a job I love means so much more knowing firsthand how miserable it is to dread going to work every day. Being in a healthy, functioning relationship feels so much better knowing how emotionally draining a dysfunctional one can be.

I am 100% certain that I have created my own happiness this year. And it’s all because I’ve lived by the philosophy I described in last year’s birthday post: Do what makes you happy. Don’t do what is safe. Don’t do what is expected of you. Hell, don’t even do what’s responsible. Do what will bring you satisfaction, be it temporary or long-lasting.

My original intent was to post a photo from each month of my 26th year…I narrowed it down to about 15. Enjoy!

1

25th birthday

Halloween as the Blurred Lines girls

Halloween as the Blurred Lines girls

3

Chicago with my Blends — Sara, Alisha, Becky, and [unpictured] Carly

Run to Feed the Hungry Thanksgiving 10K

Run to Feed the Hungry Thanksgiving 10K

Christmas

Christmas

New Years in Oregon

New Years in Oregon

Birthday Surprise (and 6 mile run) for Joanna in NYC

President’s Day Birthday Surprise (and 6 mile run) for Joanna in NYC

Xoso Dodgeball

Xoso Dodgeball

Shamrock'n Half Marathon

Shamrock’n Half Marathon

BLEND Retreat

BLEND Retreat in Park City

World Cup 2014

World Cup 2014

Color Run

Color Run

49ers Preseason Game @ Levi's Stadium

49ers Preseason Game @ Levi’s Stadium

Grape Stomp 2014

Grape Stomp 2014

Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle

Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle

Thanks for sticking with me another year, readers! I can’t wait to see what age 26 brings.

9 thoughts on “My 26th Year in Photos

  1. This is so inspiring to hear, and I’m so happy for you that you have turned what could have been a really tough time into such a great one! I feel like I was in a similar situation (career frustrations, issues with relationships) for quite a while, and I finally feel like I’m busting out of that rut and being proactive with my life’s direction. It’s a good feeling. :)

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