A couple weeks ago, I realized it was one-month out from my birthday (which, now, feels like just around the corner!). And I remembered how this time last year, I was completely freaking out about my birthday. It was a milestone, twenty-five, to be fair. We all freak out on milestone birthdays, right? I wrote a whole post about it, I was freaking out so much. Twenty-five really felt like a hurricane looming toward me. It was the focal point of my life at that time, and had completely taken over my mind. There was NOTHING ELSE I could possibly think about. It was overwhelming, and crazy. And while I do think it was slightly warranted, looking back, it also makes me laugh a little.
This year, I am much MUCH less freaked out, thankfully, haha! Sure, no one likes growing up, much less approaching the next milestone (thirty), but, I’m just trying to take it one day at a time.
I was sorting through one of my journals the other day and found a print-out of a gchat conversation I had with one of my best friends, in which I was digitally weeping to her about how I felt like I hadn’t grown much in that year. I was recalling to her a defining moment in my early twenties, and how I felt like, one year after that moment, I felt like I hadn’t really grown and that my life hadn’t really moved on. And she was so gentle and compassionate toward me: “I don’t see it that way… You have managed an entire year of holding your boundaries, a whole year of setting an intention and sticking to it, even when you have been tempted, even when you have had hard nights… You are in such a different place than you were in a year ago. I think you are so much more ready than you are really giving yourself credit for in this moment.” So sweet, right? I am so lucky to have a friend like her. I read that and smiled to myself, thinking, Wow, I really am so hard on myself and I don’t ever realize it! I remember the frustration I was feeling that day and how desperately I needed to talk it out with a friend like her (I know you might read this, by the way, so let me just reiterate how FOREVER GRATEFUL I am for you, my dear). And I feel so nostalgic and fond of that frustration.
When I was in my VERY early twenties, a woman I knew at the time, then in her early-to-mid-thirties, said to me, “Enjoy the tumultuousness of your life right now, even if you hate it. Find a way to love it, because it doesn’t last forever.” And I swear I wanted to yell at her and cry at the same time when she said that. Love it?! I fucking HATED it! All I wanted was for my life to balance out and gain some semblance of stability. And I’m not saying I have now “achieved” that (I don’t think we ever do, do we?), but I definitely have a better sense of what she was talking about. That conversation I had with my friend, a prime example. I was SO frustrated, right? I was throwing a tantrum over my own self-growth and how it didn’t LOOK like how I wanted it to, or thought it would.
But now, I feel much more at peace. I feel more patient with myself. I don’t feel frazzled about turning twenty-six, even though I can already see thirty on the horizon (getting way ahead of myself, I know, but to an extent I really can’t help it). I feel, just, glad, to be alive and healthy and living this truly fortunate life. There’s a lot to be grateful for and I plan on trying to stay present in the moment and appreciate this time, whether it’s peaceful or tumultuous.