Cheers, 24

 Photo by  Mike Monaghan

Photo by Mike Monaghan

Well, it's here. Today I turn 24, and I'm not going to lie, I'm a little ambivalent about it.

Not because I fear growing up or anything necessarily like that...it's just weird. It's kind of like I never thought I would reach this age. I remember dating guys who were 24 in college and thinking they were so much older and more mature than me. I remember my friends who were 24 and had been married for a few years and had one, two, (or goodness, even three babies) and thinking they were what people call "adults". Maybe once I reached that age, I'd know what it meant to be one of them; I thought I'd have it all figured out by then.

But right now, on the day of my birth in 2015, I don't really feel like an adult. I feel like a kid just out of high school, still trying to figure out what to do with my life--although I think it was just a little easier back then. Then, I knew where I was going to college, and what I wanted to major in, and the next four-to-five years were pretty much planned for me. I didn't have to pay for my own meals yet or do my own laundry or figure out my taxes. I hadn't really been in love or had my heart broken yet. Life was pretty simple, if I think about it now. 

Standing here today, looking back on my life thus far, I feel a lot of bittersweet feelings. I have done some amazing things and chased after my dreams. I have known joy and sorrow and felt both acceptance and loneliness. I have given my heart away and gotten it back a little bruised more than a few times. I have found my passion and made incredible friends along the way. 

Honestly, I'm still trying to figure out how I feel about this number: 24. It's a big one, and it's a scary one. I'm not anywhere near where I thought I would be at this age, but I think that's okay; actually that's probably a good thing. Life doesn't usually turn out anything like we had planned anyways--I'm learning that a little more every year. I'm a little guarded when it comes to matters of the heart, but I still love my friends with everything in me. I'm still working on myself in a lot of ways, but I think I'm slowly becoming the person I want to be. As Charles Dickens said in Great Expectations, "I've been bent and broken, but--I hope--into a better shape." 

This past year has had its ups and downs, and I know this next year will be no different. But I am hopeful, and I am ready for whatever it brings my way. 

Bring it on, 24. Show me your worst. 

 

P.S. Read my blog post from my birthday last year.