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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

As One Journey Ends, Another Begins

Today is my 32nd birthday... feliz cumpleaƱos to me. 

To say my 20s were a rollercoaster, would be an understatement. Life was WEIRD and hard and AMAZING and long and awful and BEAUTIFUL. Anyone who says their 20s were a breeze is probably lying. It’s notoriously a decade of ups and downs, with many forced to work out what they are doing with their lives. Your 20s are full of STRUGGLES but also great JOYS, experimentation and self-discovery.

I realized a lot of childhood DREAMS, like living in the heart of downtown Seattle, working for my favorite football team, falling stupid in love a few times, meeting crazy, weird and amazing people. I also experienced what it meant to be flat broke, felt both BRILLIANT and STUPID at various jobs, and danced the night away more times than I can count. When I think about it, it feels like I lived a lifetime in the past 12 years.

Life catches you by surprise, and even though we THINK we are ready for it, none of us really are. The last few days have been extremely difficult and painful. In fact, I'll be brutally honest and admit it... the past two years have been somewhat of a fucking hot mess. So far, my 30's haven't exactly been a funfest. It's as if life wrapped all the shitty lessons from my 20's and gave me big a test. 

So far, in my 30's I fell in LOVE again and experienced feelings I thought I never felt again. I found myself unemployed for the first time in my life. I fell into a deep DEPRESSION and with the economic fall out, I found myself in financial and emotional despair. And just a few days ago, I LOST one of my best friends to a rare for of cancer. 

Last week I found myself at an ALL-TIME LOW in every area of my life. I felt like a complete failure and for the first time in a very long time I found myself questioning God's plan. You see, I have this problem where if I am not doing something productive at all times, I have this knot of impending FAILURE in the pit in my stomach, like if I am not always working to better myself, then I never will achieve my dreams. 

One of the best lessons I have learned as an adult is that you do not have to be friends with anyone you don’t want to be friends with. After losing Marques, my truest friends emerged and some weren’t the ones I thought they would be. It was eye-opening for me, for the first time really seeing the magic of a good friend. It was like these truly amazing people were in technicolor and everyone else in black and white – inspired me to be a better friend to them and let go of anyone who was toxic or selfish or unhealthy to be around. I will only nourish the friendships that I cherish, and give my heart fully to the wonderful humans who have stuck around. Quality over quantity matters. You know who you are, and I love you oh so much.

At now 32, I can proudly say that I LOVE MYSELF. Sure, I never quite obtained that Jennifer Lopez beach body I always wanted, I’m still obsessed with polka dots and hide my feelings with sarcasm – but I can be funny as hell, a thoughtful friend, a great listener, and I can wear the hell out of a pair of yoga pants.

More than likely, because I don’t see myself as a statistical anomaly, the next few years will hold some pretty big stuff that I am not ready for. But, when I turned 20, I couldn’t have handled what I have now. The TRUTH is, at least for me, the big stuff comes when you don’t plan for it, when there’s no pressure to succeed or expectation to fail. For the NEXT CHAPTER of my life, I intend to focus on being nice to myself, and letting everything else kind of fall into place.

For my 32nd year on this planet, I vow to once again take risks and live my life to the fullest. I will savor time spent laying down my bed bed watching documentaries, cuddling with my dog, embracing my beautiful accent and happy cheeks. Everyone who loves me accepts me as is, so it’s time for me to as well.

In my 30s, I will continue to better myself. I will dream my wildest dreams, fail and learn, laugh and cry. I will love with all my heart. As one journey ends, another begins.
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