The Necessities

This morning I woke up and poured a little Bailey’s in my coffee. No, I don’t do that every day. But today I’m celebrating 25 rotations around the sun, and I figure that’s reason enough for a little jazzed-up morning joe.

I never really thought about what 25 might look like; there’s nothing terribly special about it. What some people might hope for by the age of 25–a salary job, a nicer car, a decent chunk of money in the bank account, an impressive professional resume, maybe a ring on the left hand or a family of more that two–I have none of those things. Parked in the driveway of my basement lock-off is the same old Suzuki with cracked bumpers, that needs to be vacuumed and ironically has Ferrari stickers on it from the previous owner. My bank account looks pretty sad, but my ski quiver is looking pretty good. I still work hourly and my resume has more backcountry trips on it than references from office jobs.

But I wouldn’t want 25 to look any other way. I have exactly what I need: a job to pay the ridiculous cost of rent in a ski town, a resume full of amazing adventures rather than boring jobs, and three days off a week to ski. Maybe there’s sort of a cultural definition of what life should look like a few years after graduation and stepping into the true “adult” years. Let’s just say they wouldn’t put me in the dictionary. Rather than feeling like I’m behind, or lacking, or whatever you want to call it, I’ve never felt more stoked on life. I’ve found myself sitting on the couch this morning, watching the snow fall (jazzy coffee in hand), looking back on the last few years of life, realizing there’s absolutely nowhere else I’d rather be.

This new year of life isn’t about realizing what I don’t yet have; it’s about being amazed by what I’ve already got. I may still have no idea what I want to do with my life. But, I’ve logged experiences that I could have only dreamed of back in high school or college, and each one of those is helping to slowly narrow down the choices of where I want to be and what I want to be doing for the remainder of my rotations around the sun.

The last 25 years of life have consisted of hundreds of days on skis, even more miles logged on road trips, backcountry adventures from the Yukon to Maui, and many a beer with friends. And that’s all I want for my birthday–a little more of that. More days spent with a pack on my back, hiking under the stars, more fresh snow and more fresh brews with friends. I don’t want the fancy things–I never want a nice car or a ton of excess money laying around in my bank account. I’ve got the necessities and that’s just enough for me.

So cheers to being 25 and still having no idea what you want to do with your life. I’m going to drink Bailey’s in my coffee and pull out my headlamp for a starlight ski tonight. I hope that a year from now I can say that I still have the necessities, and I hope that’s all I’ll ever need.