I choked up last night as I crawled into bed, thinking about the fact that today is my birthday and that I would really miss being 26. It was such a golden year. So much happened. So many good things. I’m 12 hours into 27 and already nostalgic. I have my heels dug into the ground, a little frightened about time and age. I walked along the bottom tip of Manhattan today, talking to my mom, feeling honest, hot tears spilling down my face. We’ve been told all our lives that, we’re young, that anything can happen. But then you wake up one morning and realize that young won’t last forever. And that’s a little scary. Mom talked me out of it, like mother’s do. You are in good hands, little bird. My tears dried. I walked back towards Broadway, watching the sun dance around tall buildings and grey skies.
I’m doing something different this year. I’m not making any plans. I’ve only got two goals: stay in school and keep paying off debts. I have dreams and ideas too. I have habits to break and habits to make. I want to become better at fighting the monologues in my head. I want to, “live outside society’s stereotyped containers.” I want to live a life that isn’t safe, but full of surprise. I want to stop trying to control life and just receive it instead. I want to live like a child. Carefree, unworried, trusting and expectant. That’s frightening because it means more trust and less control. It means living out the reality that who we are is more important than what we do.
I loved 26. I’m glad it happened. I changed and I can feel it. I’m more sure about what I want. I’m trying new things. I’m taking more risks. I’m saying hello to more strangers. I’m finally breaking out of bad habits like imitating people and beating myself up when I don’t get things done. I’m obsessing less about being normal and fitting in. I’m more resolved than ever to reject consumerism because I know that the things that matter — kindness, generosity, tenderness, authenticity — cannot be touched with a price tag. I’m going to treasure the past year. But I think the best is yet to come. It might take some valleys and shadows, but I’ve got a heart full of hope and four pockets full of courage.