Monday, July 27, 2009

29 for the next 5 years, at least.

For the first time ever, I was very content--no, I actually felt the urge--to be alone on my birthday. Not alone like off-myself-when-no-one-is-looking alone, but alone in that I wanted to stay home from work and wake up when I wanted and do what I wanted and walk by myself and think about the number 29. The AGE 29. A friend pointed out that today is the first day I am 29, and the first day for many years to come that I will claim to be 29. I love that. I have seen it on TV and in the movies, and no one wants to let go of 29. So for the next year, I will enjoy it.

Someone also once told me (I have lots of friends with lots of good ideas) that you change every 7 years. You, your personality, your view on life. Think about it sometime. If this is true, then the last year has been a huge change in me, and I agree with that. Not my location or relationship or friendships or likes and dislikes, but an innate change in yourself that you can just feel. A way of seeing the world clearer, with less filters. A way of knowing that all that mattered before was just a shallow view, a terribly skewed and backwards view of what it's really all about.

I feel like I don't care what people think--of course everyone says this when they are trying to prove maturity--but it's not like that at all. It's not in a rebellious, "I'm wearing these sweats out and I don't care what people think" way, when what you're really looking for is the attention being different brings. It's in the "I don't even care if I'm uncool or that that 16 yr old Paramore fan just made a comment to her friend about how the 'No Doubt crowd' is a bit older." It's just a content and happy feeling that you have for your own life, and for what you have. You don't compare it to others' lives or try to live parallel to theirs. It's knowing that what you have is what you need and that the road that got you there was important. It was the whole point.

Last night I was happy about today being 3 hours away. I won't say I'm happy to be this age, but I know I am this age and I probably wouldn't want to go backward if given the chance. I wouldn't want to revisit the depression in college, the extreme insecurity (which lingers only but a touch), or the low self esteem that made me take my youth for granted and always look to be someone else. I see my flaws now, and though I'll never stop trying to change them to be better, I will stop letting them hold me back from being who I can at the present moment. And I don't mean to get deep for the sake of getting deep, it is just that reflection helps when you're 29. You want to know that you will be ok and that, after all the prior b-days where you thought you wouldn't make it or just wanted aging to STOP, you did go on and experienced things and would never take those things back. I know, even at this "old age", I have so much more to do and be a part of that will change me and make me stronger and more aware. That is what keeps me going.

I feel the need to be healthy and spiritual. I never needed to be healthy before, I was just lucky to have the biological makeup that I had. I have to work now, and I can't say I love it, but I see I need to do it. Religion and spirituality mean two different things to me, and I want to explore both my Christianity and my Spirit here on Earth and see how the three things can connect. The Earth is a magical place and if you don't think so just look at the other empty planets. I want to remember the little things, but not sweat them. I practice patience more than I can tell you, and I try to remember that we are all in this together, even those who are really just in it for themselves. They are the ones we need to reach out to the most and show that without others, they would be damn lonely on this big planet.

Moving away has been a big part of "growing up" for me. I always went out on my own, had my roomates and dorm and apartments and such, but I never went away and experienced another place, void of my friends and family and the comforts of home. Now some do this and others don't, and to me both sides of the argument have their points. I do know that for me to see another side of the country, another culture in and of itself, different people and views and attitudes, has brought me a new understanding of me, the world, and the part I play in it. Of course I found people way over here that were like me and had the same views, and those people were easy to befriend. It's the ones that differ from us that open our eyes to thinking and feeling differently. If you give them a chance, everyone can teach you something. I'm not even talking about being in search of a new religion or political stance or anything as drastic. It's just the small things that differ between place to place that make you not only appreciate that place, but more appreciate where you came from. I was against this move from the get go and ready to never give it a chance and beg my way home, but when I let go and rode out the experience, I got way more from it than I ever thought possible.

I like having the confidence in myself to not need to hold my parents' hands all the way through (though some nights I just wanna be home with them!). I like knowing I don't take on the persona of the person I'm dating anymore and that I am me, no matter who I am with. I like feeling like I want to be with the person I love, but not needing to be with them to survive. I like having a clean slate with no secrets or lies that are always lingering in the back of my mind. I like to know that if something happens, I can count on me first and them second if need be That I can get myself through, but that I can reach out if I need a little help.

I like knowing that after all these years, though only few have emerged victorious, I have some lingering good friends I can count on for anything. I have a best friend who is still here and we have changed together and still know how to use each other when we need a boost. You never know who you'll end up with when you are out partying and working and in school and meeting all sorts of people from all walks of life. I am happy to say that I have been able to hold on to the best of them, by the grace of God, and their graces as well.

Sometimes I still feel that little girl's fears come out and I just want to run and hide. Sometimes the insecurities of my teenage years emerge and bring me down to places I never wanted to see again. And then there are the struggles that came in my early twenties where I sometime felt as if I were circling and circling only to find I could not pinpoint exactly what I was looking for. Dizzy from circling and booze and conflicting feelings and views coming from the people around me. Where I was disappointed every time I thought I had found IT, only to be heartbroken when I was told that this wasn't it yet again. I feel these things now because no one can ever be truly whole or happy or okay, but I deal with them as I know fit. Without these things we would not keep working at ourselves, nor would we see how far we have come and how proud we should be.

Next year I hope to be closer to home for my 30th. In part because I'm almost ready to be there again, and also because I will need one big crazy ass party with lots of booze to keep me from going insane and crying for weeks. It will be one part party, one part suicide watch, and all parts love and fun. I am ready for adulthood, today on my 29th. I can't say I was ready yesterday, but this morning I woke up and made the decision to sign up, put on my "Hello my name is" sticker, and participate in the rest of life. To be rid of my 20's and prepare for the ever popular 30's. Is 30 the new 20? I'll never know and I'll never tell cuz I'm 29 from here on out...