On my last birthday, when I turned 27, I journaled a huge reflections on 26 that was really fun to look back on this year and see that I had actually done a lot of the things I set out to do. So, today as I turn 28, I’ve been journaling my reflections on 27.
I started by saying I didn’t have that much to say and then go on to write 5 pages, I’m going to try and make it not that long for y’all. A lot of what made up being 27 was a communal experience of lockdowns, various degrees of reopening, coloured tiers, numbered tiers, phases, and confusion (even though I literally work in public health).
The biggest changes in the last year have been in my employment and housing situations. My previous apartment was tied to my old job and my number 1 and 2 goals were to get my first public health job, which I did! And to find a new apartment with in-unit laundry, had in-unit temperature control (in the winter at least), had outdoor space (this is a slight downgrade from my previous rooftop situation), and a fridge that isn’t from the 1950s! So all super cool! Especially given Sioux Lookout’s extremely competitive rental market, I could have very easily ended up somewhere super terrible and sketchy!
Last year one of the biggest things I was stuck on was how there was no room for growth at the vet clinic. Now I feel like there is so much potential for growth, or even contentment to stay in my current position for a while.
It’s also super amusing to read my pandemic related hopes. We have a vaccine! We have multiple vaccines! And only a medium amount of resistance and hesitancy (I was hoping for low to 0- lol). I was also hoping to be more back to normal and to have seen my family by now, but not yet.
I also wrote in huge letters, that I hoped that Dump didn’t get re-elected and that the US Senate flipped, and like mostly yay? I definitely didn’t have “Some Americans attack the US Capitol building” on my bingo card and the Senate is a 50/50 split and Joe Manchin is essentially a Republican, but I’ll take it. I’ve said it a bunch in the past year, but I am really glad to live in a relatively boring country.
Another interesting point from looking at last year’s journal is that I was worried I had gotten “too good at being alone” and yeah, definitely still wondering that. I am glad for it, moving up here, straight into another lockdown I am so glad that I am content with my own company; but I do worry that I’m not feeling enough of a push to make friends up here.
The next piece that I find so interesting, is how close I was to finding out I had a (benign) ovarian tumour. My first pain attack and trip to the ER happened on July 29th. I had been 27 for just over a week and was in a mild cancer scare (we were pretty sure right from the jump that it was benign). I’m not really even sure how to describe the couple months between the first attack and the second and my emergency surgery. I worked so hard to act as though everything was normal, even though I think I was so scared and just trying to deny it. The reason I think I was actually super scared is because the day that I got the phone call that it definitely wasn’t cancerous, I went back to work and kept sing-yelling “I don’t have cancer” randomly throughout the afternoon – definitely a perk of curbside medicine! Although I hope a waiting room of patients and clients would have celebrate with me!
Then the morning I called Juan and asked him to take me to the hospital on September 30th was huge for me for several reasons a) I actually asked a friend for help, I like to think I have my own back in everything, but you do truly need people, b) I don’t vomit at all anymore, I just thought I was a bitch with a sensitive stomach, but nope, my tumour was just so big that it was squishing my stomach and intestines so food couldn’t get through properly, and c) I had a month of to heal and think.
If you’re curious, it ended up being a 15 cm (6 inch), 7 pound teratoma. Do NOT google this, it is disgusting. Essentially, it happens, mostly in women, because a little bit of our epithelial cells stay on the inside, generally on the ovaries or other reproductive areas. (You have been warned, seriously don’t google it).
The heal part is important to mention because for the first 10 days- 2 weeks I literally only thought about how tired I was, how to sit up, and asking my mom to put my socks on for me. I was incapable of intelligent thought. But the nugget of change was forming in the background, and once I could think I knew it was time to leave the clinic. I needed the desperation of unemployment to push me. Of course, quitting after a month off was not financially wise (even though I literally only paid like $90 for a few prescriptions because I didn’t have private health insurance). So when I got back, I let everyone know that I would be leaving at the end of the year. Now I was only unemployed for 2.5 months, but it gave me time to really rest, reset, and get this job! So even though I applied for this job that I now have in November 2019 and technically could have worked right through and have been in a better financial place when I moved up here, I do not regret quitting.
And I started this blog in my time off, I had thought about it for so long, I felt such an urge for a creative outlet and I’ve been enjoying it!
I had always heard that 27 was the year that your life starts to fall together (that makes it sound so passive, it took a lot of work!), and I have to say; I really think it is.
I look around my little apartment, and while I will always see the things I want to change and that I need a couch and a rug and a dresser and blah blah blah, I am really proud of the life I have created for myself. I think that kid Laura and teenager Laura, and lost, sad, desperate college Laura would be so proud of the life I have made for myself (although they would definitely be shocked that I live even further North!) and that is a really good feeling. And really all I could have ever asked for.
Thanks for getting sappy with me,