I’m twenty-eight tomorrow. I have nothing figured out.
I feel like that’s where I should start. Coming off of my year of “figure it out” or my “butterfly year”, I did not do all of that. I actually did none of it. A year ago, I was lost. I was dealing with crippling anxiety, which made me bed-ridden, sad, and confused. I was broke, but couldn’t bring myself to pick up more work. I was skinnier than I am now, but felt like I was huge, and needed to lose twenty more pounds. And if we’re counting, that twenty, is now fifty. I’m not broke anymore, but there’s an ass sized spot in the bed where my anxiety makes me sit… all… the… time. So yeah, twenty-seven was a shit show. I’m still standing though.
I thought in the last year, I was going to go from this caterpillar to a butterfly. I mean, that’s the sights I had set for myself, and I posted it on a PUBLIC BLOG so it had to happen- right? The facts? I don’t think I’ve quite reached that butterfly stage at all. I think I’m still inside the cocoon, when the caterpillar is all sticky and eating itself. (Is that what they do?) The wings are forming, but ya’ll, I am not ready to fly yet. That’s what 27 did to me- made me a sticky bug in a sack of it’s own mucus. (Is mucus involved at all?) Maybe I need to google what happens in a cocoon, all I know is there is a transformation brewing in my heart.
I can’t discount twenty-seven completely though. I mean, some lessons were learned.
First, I learned that you CAN take care of your brain, and it’s not easy. It’s not easy at all. I started medication at 27, and got off of medication at 27. Lexapro didn’t do it for me. I was then prescribed Xanax, and I was convinced me that I’m going to become addicted, and I’m too afraid to even take it. So, we’re back at square one with my anxiety, and taking care of my brain. Now I know- in two weeks when I go into the doctor, what to ask about, what to feel like, and how I never want to feel again. Along with that, I had three “shower moments” in my 27th year of life, and they were terrifying. It’s one of those moments where you sit on the floor of the shower, crying so hard that you can’t physically feel your chest anymore, and just wishing for all of it to get out of your brain, and for you to just feel normal. It was one of those moments that you know was bad, but it felt even worse, because your two dogs hopped INTO the shower to lick your face, and offer their “condolences” because they were scared about the lack of noises their human wasn’t making. Those few moments made me think maybe it wasn’t just anxiety, and maybe depression lived in my brain as well. Thankfully, I put all of my personal business on the internet, and I had some amazing people reach out from my past, who sat with me and talked me through all of it, and made me feel some semblance of normal for the first time in years. I needed them that day, they didn’t know it, but I think if you have anxiety, you understand reaching out to others because you know how to help. They helped. They so helped.
Second, I learned that I’m never going to be content with “needing to lose a few more pounds” and I need to just enjoy my damn life. Should I eat GetGo, Mexican food, pasta, and ice cream everyday? I mean, no, probably not… but I do (or I have been recently). Instead of constantly bashing my body for producing a number on the scale that I don’t like, I want to drink a Miller Lite just because, and not be concerned with the beer weight the next day. Let me be frank though, I know I need to make healthy decisions, for the sake of my life’s longevity. But, I also know that moments are fleeting and by passing on them just because of the food, drink, and atmosphere that’s at them, is only going to decrease my quality of life. I’m done decreasing the quality of my life, for real. So, while I probably will end up complaining about not being able to button my pants, and how I need to find motivation to go to the gym, because I’m a HUMAN. I ALSO will tell you that Chick-Fil-A is delicious, I love Miller Lite, and I like laughing and eating and talking about life with people around me, and I’m over the constant stress of my reflection. This is my only body, so like, hi, I’m beautiful, let’s move on now…
Third, I learned that I am so bad at worrying about myself, and I need a REALITY CHECK about that. You can’t solve anything if you don’t solve yourself. This past July 1st, I challenged myself to “worry about me” or “take care of me” for eight weeks. It lasted maybe eleven days. Eleven out of sixty days. This initial thinking was that I could cram in every single thing that I didn’t do the first 10 months of being 27 and figure my life out before my birthday, so this post would go live and look a little differently on my blog. I was going to lose a couple pounds, eat healthy, fix my mental health, take some time off, and really think about what I want to do with the rest of my life. Instead, in that eight weeks, and more importantly the last three, I’ve fallen apart. It’s because I didn’t do what I promised myself, and I still continued to put everyone else first. To reiterate everything I’ve ever said, I always put other people first. You can find no less than five blogs on it, on this platform. Instead of taking care of myself, I think about how people lost family in 9/11, how people are struggling with cancer and real illnesses, how people are missing family who are fighting for our country, people who are abused and poor and hungry, and I think that I am nothing to this, and that I need to suck it up. Doesn’t look so good on someone who’s trying to worry about themselves, does it? Along with that, I have stretched myself to the point of working sixteen hour days, and handling it very well outwardly (in my personal opinion), but forgetting to take any time to breathe, or look at pictures of puppies, or breathe, or have some retail therapy, or did I mention that I don’t really breathe???. I need to learn to say no, I need to learn that it’s okay to create a balance, and that it’s okay to do what MY mind and body wants, in every aspect of my life. Lord Jesus, I learned that I suck at focusing on me, but when I turn twenty-eight can I START working on focusing on me? (This is me putting it out into the universe!!!!! Work your magic Mercury in Retrograde or Rose Quartz or whatever those self help books say!!!!)
Fourth, I learned that I’m going to be okay. (This is the most important lesson I’ve found in year 27) I really will. Not today, because I’m pretty emotional writing this, and probably not tomorrow either. I can’t say that 28 will be my year to figure it out though, and I’m not going to make that promise on a public platform EVER again, because I’m not entirely sure how long this process in my cocoon is going to last. (It’s kinda comfy in this cocoon) I just know, that 28 is going to be okay, and I’m going to be okay, and it’s all going to be okay BEYOND 28 as well. I know that growth, truly living, learning, and everything that goes along with that takes time. I know that change is inevitable and that there’s so much better coming that the bullshit that my brain is feeding me, and I am going to be okay. I may not be rich, but I’m not broke. I may not be skinny, but I am healthy(ish), and I love my curves. I may not have it all together, but what good is life if it’s not a little crazy? No matter what comes my way, I’ve learned that I’m going to be okay.
Here’s to twenty-eight. May you be a little brighter than twenty-seven. May I be a little more wise, a little more patient, and a lot more happy.
I’m twenty-eight tomorrow. I have nothing figured out.