It’s my birthday tomorrow; usually people ask on your birthday, “How does it feel to be ____?” It’s pretty funny to ask that.
I don’t know what it feels like to be that age, given since I have been a certain age merely less than a day. Why does no one ask that question the day before my next birthday? Today, to be quite accurate.
That would make more sense to me!
If someone would’ve asked me what it was like to be 21, I picture someone asking with a smirk, in attempts to catch me doing something reckless that today’s early twenty year olds are known to act. With nothing to hide, I would’ve told them that it didn’t involve me getting blacked out drunk after club hopping down the city’s strip. I never went to wild college parties or met some frat guy that I played beer pong with and ended up staying over at his place. [Not saying anything negative about that type of life, it’s not who I am! I know friends who do that; I just want those to be safe.]
That was never the type of person I was — then, or now. I’ve always been the type of person that wanted to stay in, shy away from the crowd of strangers that I’d always see, but never interact with.
21 was a difficult year for me, one of the most difficult ones I’ve experienced so far. If someone asked about that age, I would’ve replied with a darker tone about my year’s experience, a reply that no one would want to hear.
It was a year where I rekindled a second type of love with my first love; it became a toxic relationship over the course of 3 months, when life hadn’t sweetened us like it did the first time around. It’s a time where I lost sight of who I was, after building myself into a new version.
I probably cried more than I ever had over someone who liked to perform vanishing acts, only to return 4 months later, then leave for a final time to shake my world once more. [I’ll delve into that later on.]
I learned what type of relationship that would be “end game.” The moment where I had to nail in my stubborn head that the person I cared for so long and deeply could not be capable to nurture a healthy relationship. I realized that I did not give up on him; he drove me away in a different direction.
21 was a year where I became more brave.
I rebuilt who I was with the help of my loved ones and countless times with prayer. I spent hours in the bathroom, segregating myself from others, with my pen, paper, laptop, and some headphones, submerging in these emotions. I kept vowing this would be the last time I would feel like this.
22 has been sweeter, much sweeter than whenever I was 16.
It was almost a few weeks after my old love disappeared again whenever I turned 22. I let myself unravel for only a little bit; I cried again on my birthday – what a way to start my year! Then, I kicked myself back up and threw myself into whatever life had in store for me. I wouldn’t sink back to where I was during the winter time.
This was the birthday year when I graduated college. After graduation and moving back to my hometown, it affirmed who my lifelong friends were. It’s also the year when I met and fell in love again; this time, with my current boyfriend, Stephen.
I have also learned how to apply the lessons of the previous year to present circumstances and future references. I have a clearer idea of where my sights are set, which people I can truly count on, and the strength to pull myself back together to create a better version of myself. I realized my strength I’ve gain, utilized when it was needed, instead of backing down like the person I used to be would have.
It was painful to experience, but I learned a lot about my growing identity. I was able to create it at 21 in order for age 22 to loosen up and let me enjoy life after some hardships. I sparked an ember to make more of my future beyond the limits I created.
22 has taught me to become the pursuer of my desires.
Rather than coveting others and their life, I have the power to alter my own life in order to live to the way I envision. I’m still learning how to move on and let go of the past year. Accepting that the damage has been done, I have done all I could have. In return, I found the type of love that I finally deserve.
I am learning how to mix persistence and patience with what I hope to achieve in my career. I am leaning how to become even bolder than before, in hopes of bettering my future. I always hope to create new versions of myself in life; I’ll always need an update to equip myself for the next trial in life.
I don’t know what lessons or how much growth I’ll experience, but I’m ready for it for 23!
Here’s to another birthday year of lessons.