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Twenty Nine


Yesterday, I celebrated another year around the sun -- which makes it exactly 366 days since I've written here.

It's interesting, getting older. I find myself less concerned about the things that used to worry me, I love myself more, I care less about what others think. For the most part, anyway. At 29, I am pretty content. I work far more than I should, for sure, but I have a home and food on the table and people who love me and I feel safe and like I have the ground solidly under my feet.

This past year, I saw Garrison Keillor speak. I visited Chicago. My godson became an older brother. I moved out of a one-bedroom apartment entirely by myself, due to stubbornness. (I proved just how strong I am, but I'm never moving solid wood furniture alone again.) I pet so, so many dogs. I read dozens of books, and returned to Germany for the first time since 2012. I took part in a brutal election process, and in the process have realized -- and stood up for -- what truly matters to me.

I am lucky, and I am grateful.

Here are nine things I know, now that I have reached the-year-before-thirty:
  1. Adulthood is not scary. It's freedom.
  2. Telling your story is the first step to reclaiming your power.
  3. Camis are the solution to too-short, too-transparent shirts.
  4. Habits are hard to break. Pick good ones.
  5. Self love is everything. Practice it like it's your job.
  6. Sleep is so, so precious. Guard it.
  7. You can choose your own family by surrounding yourself with good friends -- and you can re-choose the actual, biological family you were born into.
  8. Going outside is a natural, immediate soul balm.
  9. The negatives will consume you. Pay attention to the positives, and then be the change you wish to see.
Every time I think back to a decade ago, I feel so much sympathy for the girl I once was. Being a teenager is hard. As an adult, I have autonomy in my own life. I am responsible for my successes and my failures; my own happiness is in my hands. As a child and teen, you have so little control of your life and of the people in it. Dearest, if you are in this situation -- I see you. I hear you. Keep going. It gets better, I promise.

Kisses.

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