Thursday, August 8, 2013

Today is my birthday

Today is my birthday.
I am 26 years old.
Now that I'm more than halfway through my twenties, I feel like I've learned a lot.
Not everything.
You don't know everything in your 20's. You feel everything, and it's easy to confuse the two.
I've learned that a lot of life depends on how much fight you've got in you.
We fight to hold on, we fight to let go, and it's all about figuring out which of those is the right path at the time, and that's hard.
I've learned that love doesn't conquer all.
I believed for a long time that love was bigger and stronger than everything else, and as long as it existed in a relationship, the relationship would survive.
I've come to accept that love conquers some stuff, and in the eternal words of Grey's Anatomy, "Other stuff kicks the crap out of love."
I've spent my entire twenties raising babies, and I've learned that there really is no one right way to raise kids. There are a lot of good ways, some absolutely terrible ways, and a lot of trial and error in between. I've learned that the more I believe in the choices I make, the less it matters what anyone else thinks of them, and confident parents are effective parents, so we persevere.
I'm still learning how to let go of things that feel big at the time, but when weighted against the cost of losing someone you love, are actually pretty small.
I'm still learning that making one mistake, or having an ungraceful moment or bad day, is no reason to just let go completely, and lose sight of the progress you have made.
I'm still learning to forgive myself, let it go, and try to fail a little better tomorrow.
I lived the first half of this decade at break neck speed, and am now ready to live the last half focused on finding my place, finding my home, and making the most of my years instead of merely surviving them.
I wish more TV shows depicted being in your twenties more accurately, because I think for most people it's not as glamorous and sexy as they try to make it look.
It is not a funny episode of Friends where everyone has nice clothes and no one ever has to go to work, and none of your 6 best friends have kids yet.
Most likely you are either struggling because you are out of work, or you're struggling in other ways because you're always working.
Most likely you do not have 6 best friends.
Your 20's are most likely fast, jumbled, tear stained, and confusing.
It's starting out in the world on your own at the same time that you can legally buy alcohol, and trying in the midst of all that to figure out who your tribe is.
It's finding the right career, the right life partner, and the right shade of lipstick for your skin tone.
It's watching your friends grow up...and realizing that some of them never will.
It's trying to strike the perfect balance between fun, and responsibility.
It's love and loss and bad dates and hard break ups usually a lot of alcohol.
For some of us it might also be navigating marriage and/or parenthood and realizing our parents were right: it all goes really fast.
At this point I'm pretty OK with being closer to 30 than to 20.
I spent the last five years moving, crying, laughing, yelling, drinking, loving, traveling, mothering, job-changing, planning, worrying, starting over, fucking up, and looking back.
Now it's time to look forward and make the most of what's left of this crazy, embarrassing, difficult, beautiful, intense, and magnificent decade of my life.
So let's all raise our glasses of cheap champagne in honor of someday having our shit together, someday not being completely ruled by emotion, someday accepting that 6 inch heels are bad for us, and someday, someday maybe, mastering a successful exfoliate and moisturize routine.
Today I am 26.

No comments:

Post a Comment