Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Lately I've learned a lot about "you can't go back". I've learned there's no such thing as no regrets, and I've learned that nothing comes at me that I can't handle, one way or another.
Today is the last day of my 20s. It's strange, but when I say it like that I'm glad to leave this decade behind me. I think the 20s are just a long bridge you have to cross to get from childhood to adulthood. I feel like there is a stigma on 30. Like I need to be offended from now on when someone asks my age. I need to go buy a multivitamin with a silver label and I need to start flossing. My lady lumps are gonna start drooping if I don't hit the gym every damn day…
But rest assured, you will NEVER see me shopping at Coldwater Creek or Talbots. You can put a sweater set on my cold, dead body.
There's something awesome about starting a decade that doesn't involve college or first jobs or living with my parents. Jager bombs are no longer a part of my life. Ever. I'm 30 now, bitches. I know how to sip on a cocktail instead of sucking it hungrily through one of those its bitty straws. I can openly admit that I hate Red Bull and capri pants.
I have been a bridesmaid 6 times, and a groomsman once. I am not married. I don't want to be married right now.
I still have no idea how to hold a baby while standing up.
I can't say I'm not looking back and reflecting. I am. I think about the tests and triumphs of my 20s and thank God that they are past and have strengthened me for the road ahead. Life is hard no matter what age you are, but dealing with all of lifes obstacles AND trying to figure out who you are and where you fit in is horribly overwhelming.
Honestly, I think if you don't get tested in your 20s, you're doing it wrong. This is the decade of learning that will kick your ass. This is real. This is when you have to start taking care of your own shit, eh? I graduated college, got a job, bought a car… and learned what a budget really is.
In those distant early 20s, I remember days where all I wanted to do was die. I got past them. I celebrate those days now, as something that strengthened me. I celebrate the people who stood by me and helped bring me back, kept me alive…even though it would have been easier to give up and leave me to myself. What did I learn? How to put things into perspective, how to deal with the harshness of the real world, and most importantly, how to ask for help.
I learned about loss in my 20s. I learned that a person doesn't have to die for them to be gone. I learned how powerful prayer and the strength it gives you can be. I learned you can miss someone even if they're right in front of you, and sometimes you can't bring them back.
I learned self-motivation, and responsibility. I learned how to push myself to achieve real goals - goals that would give me satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment rather than just a good grade or a gold star. I'm still working on learning how to be on time for things, but I'm getting better.
I now know how it feels to be passed on for a promotion. It's the hardest thing in the world to keep your chin up after that and stay motivated…..hard to keep from feeling like a failure.
Not to be such a Debbie Downer, but life lessons are hard, there's no doubt about it. Most of us do a lot of growing and changing in our 20s…
But growth is self-improvement. I plan to always grow, learn, get wiser, stronger and tougher. Stagnance is death. I don't feel like I'm older, I feel like I'm better. I even have a gym membership now. Seriously, my ass is way smaller now than it was when I was 22.
One of my harder lessons came recently, from someone I've been very close to for most of my 20s. Some mistakes have quite the butterfly effect, and for me, have led to broken heart, broken trust, and a lost friendship. Dealing with the person I've always gone to first for comfort no longer being there for me is something I don't have adequate words for. It hurts. Every day I get a little stronger, I cry a little less…I move forward. I try not to let this broken trust damage my friendships with other people.
I've been told by a couple of people that turning a milestone birthday is a chance to throw away badness and start fresh….and I don't agree. Though in many ways I'm looking back and remembering all that got me to this point in my life, thankful that those hard moments are past, I don't want to rush something that I have yet to suffer through. A birthday is not a reset button, it is a reminder that time is still moving with me, and I have to move forward.
I guess the biggest lesson of all is not to get too comfortable, eh? I'm sure I have a lot more regret ahead of me, from things I haven't done yet. I have things to feel and more lessons to learn. If there's one thing I've learned over the past decade, it's that I'm just a little bit stupid sometimes, like everyone else.
One thing that will be true forever though, is that I have a lot of amazing people around me. For my birthday, I celebrate surviving another year, and I celebrate the support system and the love that got me here. I celebrate all of you. Mwah!