Birthdays are a young person’s game.

Or maybe, birthdays are for kids, tweens, young adults, and seniors. In the middle is where I lie. In between the hopeful and regretful stages of life. I know, I know. That’s pretty gloomy. But think about it, I’m at the age where it’s expected we have things figured out. The years of life where it’s about working toward something. Progression. And yet, here I am, still in the starting blocks. The gun hasn’t gone off, or I’m deaf but everybody is racing toward the finish line and I’m stuck wondering what the hell is going on.

Birthdays for me, now, are more of a postmortem. A day when I analyze the year I’ve lived and wonder if I’m making the right decisions. I speculate that it is also a weird time to be alive. The world has changed tons since I was a kid at a pace so furious Vin Diesel would be jealous. Information and technology has skyrocketed since the public release of the home computing system and the widespread acceptance of the internet.

The traditional route of modern living, at least in the United States as I know of, has changed considerably. Where my generation was taught to “graduate high school and get a good job”. Although it’s curious, the generation before me also had “start a family” as part of the plan but is strangely missing in the conversations with a lot of those my age. I suppose largely due to traditional roles of  family being challenged: broken homes, two mommies or two daddies, and our acceptance of it as a society that grows every year.

According to college enrollment rates have been on a decline for 5 years since 2011. More people are turning to the internet to learn job skills which also increases the cost of enrolling in colleges and universities as well, which will lead to more people dropping out or altogether dismissing higher education.

I’m also in a weird spot because I’m attempting to discover a means of supporting myself that don’t require traditional outlets or known rings to jump through. The internet has created a place where people can find ways to connect and support themselves fiscally in different ways from the job/company model. I have several friends that do it, yet can’t really tell me how they got there. But I find more and more people living this way–from an open laptop–every day, as I’m searching through job boards and incidentally find myself surfing for alternatives to jobs. But it requires a slight adjustment in thinking, and more knowledge in business, as these ways of life require more than what we can learn in a semester of business administration or entrepreneurship. YouTube stars still have to learn to manage their business lives as they rake in thousands of dollars a day.

I envision my path to be somewhat nomadic. Taking on projects and collaborating on joint ventures as I live out of a suitcase on my way to another remote town in the middle of South America or reconciling bank statements at a brothel deep in Scottish territory (I assume Scotland has brothels–I wouldn’t know… but I’d like to know). Of course I’ll have to deepen my knowledge on business principles and practices if I want to live that way. I can’t just take a college class and ultimately understand how to create this lifestyle.

I see a lot more failing and experimenting in my future as I walk this unknown terrain.