It's 9:00pm and I'm in my apartment with my dog on the couch listening to Semisonic sing, "This Will Be My Year."
Today I'm 34 years old. It's the oldest I've ever been. And it's the youngest I'll ever be again.
If you know me, and you likely have to, because it's Facebook, you know that the last two to three years have been completely transformatory for me. (Nope, not sure if that's a real word, but I'm 34 and I'm allowed not to care.) I'm about to get into it.
Three years ago, I was with someone, owned a condo in Chicago and was in a job that fulfilled me zero percent. No, things were not dire, but I'd allowed my life to get to a point where I was no longer trying to be happy, but trying to maintain... something. I suppose just the status quo. And it wasn't working. And no, I wasn't happy.
So I changed it. It wasn't easy. And it didn't happen all at once - far from it. I split from my (SEVEN YEAR) relationship, put in motion the sale of my condo, took Neptune (god bless Neptune) and found a new apartment for myself.
I stuck with the job for a spell. Let things settle after the end the relationship and the sale of the condo. Then the next change had to happen. I needed to find something I WANTED to do.
It's a strange thing being forced to get to know yourself, one on one.
I quit my job and pursued a coding bootcamp (Dev Bootcamp, RIP). My family was ever supportive and excited for me. I appreciate that beyond belief. It was a leap. Who knew if it would actually work out?
But it did! I'm now 4 months into my first job as a Software Engineer.
My life is unrecognizable from two, three years ago. And I love it. For the first time I'm doing things for me. I'm the focus. Which is something I'd never learned to do. Or thought worthwhile on spending the time to invest in.
For whatever reason - and I remember specifically thinking this thought when I was 19 years old - I KNEW, I just KNEW that being 34 would be the best year of my life. I didn't know why. Or what it would bring. Or how. Or whatever. But, this will be my year. I'm finally ready to take on anything. Change doesn't scare me, I jump at adventure and, most importantly to me, I'm not afraid of being alone. That's one that's been haunting me. But it turns out, me alone is quite alright.
NEXT POINT. Jerry. Yes, my name says Jerry these days. There's a story to it, which basically amounts to the fact that I've never enjoyed being one of many Sara(h)s. Yes, of course, I've always been unique. But this is just the current manifestation of my dealing with it.
So call me what you will. I answer to Sara and I answer to Jerry. Maybe it's weird. It seems weird to talk about now. But new people know me as Jerry. It's like an era. It's like a mile marker in my life. I feel like I'm finally comfortable in my skin.
I've gone on for far to long.
And yet, I've gone on for far too long not being me.
It's my birthday. And I never like to "make a big thing" about my birthday, but I wanted to say some shit.
Thank you for listening.
I'm going to kick ass.
"This will be my year."