I've moved cross-country after having lived in the Tampa Bay area since first grade, and save for my first (and unremembered) six months in Dallas, living my whole live on the east coast. I have housemates for the first time since 1995. For that matter, I'm living in a house for the first time since 1992. I've taken my first "1099 contractor" job, at the kind of idealistic dotcom I'd wanted to find a few years ago. I'm doing data-mining work I mostly like, but didn't expect to be as valuable as the web development skills that proved to be less marketable in 2003 than they would have been in 2000. I have more savings than ever before, yet (because of that 1099 thing) most of that money's committed for taxes. Social Security tells me that last year my earnings fell by 30% from 2001, the first time they've dropped year-to-year since 1995. Looking at my earnings record makes me wonder if I'm just a lucky bastard, when all is said and done, since last year's earnings were still well over twice what I made in ’95.
Now I'm in a situation where I have no idea if I'll even top last year's earnings. I'm not (too) worried; my biggest ongoing debts are rent and the car payment, and I could manage those on less than I'm making, even if I wouldn't enjoy it as much. I'm even thinking about big potential purchases, presuming current income holds. If it doesn't, and I can't make those purchases, that'll be fine. The desire to live out in a cabin in the redwoods hasn't left me, either, after all; we'll see where I am at this point in 2004.
In any case, I'm considering flippantly having an anniversary celebration dinner sometime this weekend.