On Being 27

It’s seems improbable that just a few short days ago I turned 27, thereby entering the final year of my mid-twenties. Just five years ago I was 22, finishing my final semester of college and preparing for what I knew to be a successful career as a post-collegiate adult. In fact, I remember doing a project for one of my final courses that involved predicting our lives 5, 10, and 15 years into the future. Being the precocious, optimistic, and – above all – ambitious 22 year old, I imagined myself quite far along on the road of life: I’d be married, or at the very least partnered with my future wife; I would certainly have a job in my desired field, earning enough to support myself as well as all my nerdy proclivities; my first book would be written at this point, if not published and – naturally – topping the New York Times bestseller list; and with a 10-year high school reunion looming, I could appraise my standing in life and find it suitably brag-worthy.

Yet, here I find myself – five years after completing that silly project – and life for 27 year old Jeff is hardly at all like I envisioned. At the same time though, I’m a very different person compared to that younger Jeff. Some of my goals remain unchanged, but they’ve also been supplemented by many more that were quite simply of no concern to a nerdy college student.

I still want to be a respected novelist, but I also want to explore writing screenplays and comic books.

I plan to have a family at some point, but before then I need do more traveling, especially outside the US to places like Japan, Turkey, and the UK.

I continue to indulge my geek inclinations for videogames, books, comic books, and figures, but I spend almost as much on blazers, ties, and anything else that’ll make my wardrobe appropriately hip.

And of course, I’d like a career that supports all this and more, but more and more I wonder if I’d be better off finding a way to be my own boss.

Given my history of birthday-related depression, I fully expected to spend the passing of another year deep in the doldrums; but despite everything I’m lacking, I didn’t find much reason to be sad this year. Slowly but surely, all the various components are coming together, and that’s something to be glad about. It may not be perfect, but my life is pretty good.

And there’s still plenty of time for improvement; after all, I’m only 27.