So. I am 27. As of Thursday.
I had a birthday. A stay-at-home, put-on-a-dress, and-makeup-too, love-filled birthday. It was as fabulous as I could hope for being surrounded by my three best men on Valentine’s Day.
I like my birthday. The day is always love-filled and I am always placed right in the middle of it in my family – getting doted upon and waited on and showered with favorite things (scallops and white wine anyone?). But…
I don’t like getting older. I never really have. It isn’t the embarrassment of the age that gets me (I’m still too young for that). It isn’t even that I am afraid I’m getting too close to the end of forever. The fear and anxiety I feel lie with the past, not the future.
I always have that nagging sensation that I’m not quite done with my previous age. I worry that I didn’t accomplish everything I should have accomplished; didn’t seize every opportunity available. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll move on to the next year and miss 26; 16; 6.
That pesky nostalgia of ages, gnawing at my soul, holding me back from entering a new year with courage and intention.
I remember feeling this way when I turned 13. A teenager. So exciting, and yet? What if I missed childhood? Teenagerhood would always come, but I wouldn’t mind holding it off for just a while longer. If only I could. Each birthday passed and I felt like this. At 17. At 19. At 20. At 25. The worry that I might have held myself back in the previous year was holding me back from the coming one.
Birthdays are always a reminder of that constant worry that I am not living up to my potential. What have I accomplished in my life? What have I made of myself? Time, time, time is tick tick ticking away. And I am getting to the point where all my dreams should be realized, right?
Along with age comes maturity. And a little bit of understanding.
This year, for maybe the first time, I realized that 27 isn’t the end. Growing older doesn’t represent the end of something, but hopefully the beginning. I don’t need to have it all figured out yet. I don’t need to worry that I haven’t yet hit my stride or found my niche or fulfilled my dreams.
The truth is, I want to be something. I want to know my passions are being put to good use. I want to feel as though I am accomplishing something with my life. And believe it or not, I worry about this a lot. I have worried about it from the day I started realizing that those dreams that could all come true could only happen if I made them happen. But worrying doesn’t accomplish anything.
26 taught me that if I focus on what I love, my dreams will slowly start to become reality. With that in mind, 27 isn’t really that scary. Not even a little bit. In fact, it is downright exciting.
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