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I think that birthdays, more than any other day of the year, force you to reflect on your previous days, weeks, and months. You think about the people in your life, the people who are no longer here, and the steps you’ve taken to become who you are today.
Sometimes it makes you happy. Sometimes it makes you sad.
I know that I have learned a lot this year. I’ve learned a lot about who I am and what I can accomplish. I’ve learned about my heart and soul and a little bit more about what love should be like. This year has been a year of changes, ups and downs, and discoveries. There were moments that felt like I wouldn’t make it out at all.
I think the most important thing I’ve learned since one year ago is that showing your faults, the little things that you think are your defects, is quite often the only way to have people love you. For some reason it seems that when we are younger we are somehow taught that not showing too many emotions or flaws is how you win people over.
Whoever started that trend is so wrong.
It was in discovering my capacity for pain, healing, and happiness that I discovered that the people who want to stick around will. It was the moments in which everyone I knew was feeling hurt and lost, but somehow we held each other afloat, that I realized how important it is to show weakness. It was in the moments I was irrationally angry or annoyingly petty, when someone would laugh instead of get mad, that I realized how important it is to show how you feel. It was in the moments I didn’t want to move because it felt like just breathing hurt too much let alone standing, when someone would come lie with me or give me a reason to get up, that I realized how important it is to allow people to share your pain.
I realized that hard work really does pay off and speaking up for yourself is the only way to truly get what you want. Good things do come to those who wait, but not those who wait passively. No one has ever reached a goal by letting opportunities pass them by.
Speaking of opportunities, I learned that taking them and not looking back, even if it meant being a little selfish, is important. If you are loving and kind and attentive, no one will fault you for taking care of yourself once in awhile.
I think that there is a reason so many people write about being in your twenties; it is such an easy subject. Everyone is so different yet has some sort of common bond that we can’t quite grasp. What it really comes down to in the end, if I were to hazard a guess, is that we are all changing at such a rapid pace that we can’t help but feel connected in the chaos. When I look at myself through my twenties thus far, year to year, I hardly recognized the girl I’ve been one to the next. Every moment, every experience, every triumph and failure, birth and death, has altered my existence and my soul.
I would never trade any of them for anything.
I miss the people I have lost. I miss the experiences that I might have had, had I made other choices.
But there is no use being nostalgic over things that never happened – choices were made for a reason. I strongly believe that if it were any other way, I would have made any other choice.
Overall, I think that this year more than any other I’ve discovered how important it is to talk. Holding on to anger, to disappointment, to regret, to sadness, even to happiness, is not only harmful to yourself, it is also harmful to every other person in your life.
None of us are psychics and it’s when we force the people we love to become one when our relationships start to disintegrate.
I’m starting this year with the people I love, with new little babies in my life, and a new outlook on life. In just over a month I’m taking a plane over an ocean, far away, to discover a place that I’ve always wanted to know. I’m far from completely content but I’m a lot closer than I’ve ever been.
And I’m really not sure if being completely content is necessary as it’s the moments in which I feel most restless that I make the most important decisions.
I’m excited about life. Really excited to just be alive. I’m excited to love, to know, to understand, to be heartbroken, to be angry, to be nostalgic, to be. Just be.
I can’t thank everyone who has come in to my life, whether just by crossing my path or staying constant by my side, for everything they have made me.
Because when I need to remember why I’m here, where I’ve come from, and where I need to go, all I need is to sit and listen to a song with a sweatshirt and some leggings on thinking about all of you and how there is no melody, no article of clothing, and no couch more comforting than having you in my life.
Happy birthday to me indeed.