It's been officially twenty-four hours since my birthday. I am now twenty-six. For the first time I can ever remember, I actually feel like I've gotten older. This might sound weird. Let me explain. I don't feel old (except during my hangovers) and I don't look old (except during my hangovers) but I feel older. Older, wiser and maybe a little more mature. Still a kid at heart but old enough to know better. Head still in the clouds but feet planted firmly on the floor. I can say it now. I am twenty-mothereffing-six.
Some of you who read this will know why this past birthday became, er, somewhat difficult for me. I won't dwell on the details because I already attempted processing my feelings on Monday and that ended up giving me ridiculously puffy eyes for a day and a phone call to Domino's pizza on 40th street. In the end, I gave myself a day to work through, well, I guess what I'll call an "episode."
At the end of it all, I've realized I've learned so much over the past year. I've found myself wondering lately, in a world of weddings, babies and people buying property, that it can feel like I've jut been standing still for the past three years. But I'm on my own unpaved road here, and more so than I thought, 25 brought me many a life lesson. Here are some I thought I'd share with my usual vague details.
1. Like Dr. Phil says, "It's ok." For the first time in like, years, I felt myself falling for someone. This time I didn't walk away. In the end, it wasn't right (see #2) but I am proud of myself for letting go and actually feeling something again.
2. People can disappoint you no matter how much you believe in them. You can't will someone to change. In the case of this person I really hope they do someday. I won't be there waiting because I think they have cooties now, but I saw a glimpse of potential of a great person that I could have really given my all for. But you know, cooties is a deal breaker.
3. One cannot fathom the miracle of life until someone you know has a baby. Like literally the baby was inside and the next day was chilling in the hospital. It still amazes me.
4. I've lowered my expectations of people. People will always let you down. If you lower your expectations, it takes some of the sting of disappointment away.
5. Growing up is scary. I hate fear. That is the root of all of my anxiety. My fear of fear.
6. I can't control everything in my life. Hence my necessity for TOTAL control of the things I can actually manage.
7. Marriage isn't a race with winners or losers. (Do you hear that Heidi and Spencer?) And even assholes get married all the time. Think about it: If marriage was a game Pam Anderson, Liz Taylor and J.Lo would be winning.
8. The past is like a ghost that will keep haunting you until you make your peace with it.
9. Things change, people evolve (ok totally stolen from Dawson's Creek but Joey Potter was soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo right).
10. Just because you think someone is the right person for you, it doesn't mean they are.
11. I am who I am and there are a lot of people who like me this way. Those who don't can suck it.
12. Kelly Clarkson follows me around and writes songs inspired by my life (ok, just a theory, but I'm putting it out there).
13. You can't change the past. It's ok to let some of your dreams die. Life won't turn out the way you always imagined it. All you can do is move on and find your own way. Even if that motion is at the pace of a turtle. Then again, the tortoise came out on top in the end.
Sorry this was so boring and self-serving but it's been that kind of week.