I recently had a birthday. I love and hate birthdays, but this year was celebrated with strung up lights and people other than me and a pink and white skirt. To me, a birthday is like New Year’s Eve: a clashing of sentiments and memories left behind while peeking around the corner of the future. It’s a day on the calendar that pulls you along even if you’re not ready for it.
So it’s fair to say I’m not entirely sure how to feel about such events. This year was no exception, even with the pink and white skirt and lights.
I’ll let you in on a secret: it’s been two weeks since my birthday and I’ve already failed. I had such great expectations for myself. I (despite knowing the magic strike at midnight isn’t so magical after all) thought that with this age would come more confidence and less anxiety. I wrote a list of goals, I journaled the final two days of age 24. I wasn’t ready, but I had to be; the calendar was going to turn its page whether I wanted it to or not.
So I sucked it up, claimed year 25 as one of joy and for the people…
…and went numb.
It happened, embarrassingly enough, subconsciously. People drained me, so I sat alone. Shame disguised itself in the form of self-preservation, so I listened. Trust felt broken, so I stopped talking to God.
I don’t think I knew how to prepare my heart, so I didn’t. It’s quite strange, needing to brace yourself for a birthday, but I think it’s a real thing.
I’d like to type up closing words and lessons from age 24. I’d like to sit in the sentiments longer, insert myself into the memories, grieve the loss of what, to me, feels like the final age of youth and adventurous risk. Trust me, I still could–but I won’t for both of our sakes.
Because 25 already has a lot to teach both of us.
Here’s a few things:
People can believe in you all day long, but it’s not until you believe in yourself that you actually move mountains.
It’s interesting how hands take on the feelings of our insides. Look at your handwriting.
Go to the city more. Pretend to understand art and wander a museum.
The key to success–to accomplishing goals and checking off lists–is consistency.
Life with minimal time on social media is less lonely. You actually have time to read a book.
Sing more. You’ll freak out the whole time, but your soul will rejoice.
You (apparently) can never have too many chambray shirts.
Keep asking questions. You really do like to learn.
When your wanderlust is too much to handle, you probably shouldn’t look at Groupon getaway deals.
Choosing joy is just that–a choice. As is embracing age 25.
There are such good things around the corner and so many more lessons to learn. And you don’t even need a birthday to believe it.