About 6 months in to my 23rd year I was looking in the mirror and feeling rather reflective (Ha!). I was thinking about Taylor Swift’s song 22 and thinking about how great that song was. Then I paused for a minute and thought: “Wait, how old am I?!” And I shit you not, I subtracted my birth year from 2016 and discovered that I was in fact, 23. And had been for a few months at that point. Cue the freak out about life and plans and all that goes into being a twenty-something. I’m still mind boggled that I’m 24… It just doesn’t seem right!
Some people reflect on their past year on New Year’s. I choose my birthday. So how was 23? Let’s see:
There were only a few moments that stand out to me when I look back on this year, some amazing, and some terrible. One thing is for sure, I am stronger as a 24 (there I said it, I’m 24!) year old, than a 23 year old, whether I like it or not. And I am braver as a 24 year old than a 23 year old. At 23 I did things that some people would never do in their lives. And at 23, I experienced things that I wish I never did. But how else do you get to be stronger and braver than facing your fears, and difficult situations and mistakes?
I negotiated my way up from a 7% raise to a 15% raise in my current position. It was nerve-wracking and risky, but you have to look out for yourself, because nobody else will. And while I am still not happy with the position that I’m in in comparison to where I wanted to be (and could have been), it is something to be proud of.
I also got through some difficult things in my life. I questioned whether I was strong enough, good enough, or brave enough to deal with some of it. And there were times when I felt like I wasn’t. And there were many times when all I wanted to do was curl up in a ball and cry myself to sleep. It was a deep, dark pit of depression trying to drag me down, but instead, I got up and I faced it. I faced the emotions, the people, the problem itself, because life is going to put you down, but you decide whether or not life is going to keep you down. Scars are just the stories that remind us that we survived, right?
I lost friends. I made friends. I’m still trying to find a job that I wake up and am happy to go to. I’m still trying to find time to do the things I love instead of wasting time on the couch or lounging. I’m continually working on myself.
I’m not thrilled about turning 24… But what’s the alternative? I have a pretty great life; I just wish that I stopped to look around and enjoy it more. I need to change my perspective on some things, and try a little bit harder to accomplish some of my goals, but at the end of the day, I’m the one who looks in the mirror and decides if I’m okay with who I am becoming.
So everyone who was a part of my life over the past year, thank you all so much. And for those of you who wish to be a part of my life for the next year, help me welcome 24.