24 years old

On May 24 2011 I posted my second ever blog. It was the day before my 20th birthday. I read it now and I wonder at the way feelings don’t change. At 20 I was trying to balance a new boyfriend with a lonely sister, a summer job with a summer class, life decisions regarding what to major in vs. what to seek out as far as a “career” (pro tip: you can major in English and turn out ok) — and I know for a fact I was struggling with finding a solid fake ID.

That was the summer of sneaking in and jumping fences. (Cheers to you Coupes, cheers to you.)

I turned 24 on Monday and I’m still dealing with all of the above. Now my sister’s the one with a boyfriend, I’m sometimes lonely, and neither one of us is making enough money to justify happy hours. Same shit, right?

I remind myself that terrible things happen all of the time. Last week when I was having a pretty bad not so very good week I told myself again and again: you have this and this and this. But all I wanted was to curl up in my bed and hide from the bad stuff. And the good.

It is terrifying — terrifying I say! to look into the eyes of your beautiful life.

I used to write myself sticky notes at my old job. Every day a reminder that I had something — anything, and that I would be okay. I needed those just to survive the 8.5 hours of pure and utter boredom. I would wrap myself in my thick sweater (sitting below an a/c vent wears on you), pull my knees into my chest, and twirl around and around in my chair until I felt sick. And then I would do it again.

I don’t think I could survive that atmosphere now. But I did it. I got through it.

I saw a boy I used to know last week. Things did not end well with him. Like, they ended really badly. Bad. And last week I saw him and hugged him briefly and I thought well, shit, maybe I’ll give him a call later.

I hadn’t forgotten, but I no longer cared.

What I’m trying to say is that none of us get it. Some of us do, and I think they’re mainly my yoga teachers and I am so grateful for all they try to impart. (I promise I’ll honor myself and all that.) Other than them … We all have goldfish memory. We all live in the shitty moments of our days and we try to fix them in our minds and then we look up and we’re weeks away from what ever even bothered us and we’re on to the next thing.

I stir in my negativity. What, am I scared of happiness and joy? Yes, no, maybe. I don’t know. I do know that on the day before my 20th birthday, all I could do was worry and care and feel and dive into the depths of everything I needed to fix.

The list of things I need to fix at 24 is even longer. But if I close my eyes and take some really deep breaths, it can sometimes disappear. Sometimes. I cannot counter it with the list of everything that is right (although that can be helpful). I can only let it go. It may be a flash and it may be accompanied by a drawn-out period of self-deprecating self-awareness, but when it happens, it feels pretty good.

It says, this is enough.

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