It’s been a week since I turned 27, and since then, I’ve thought about my life and how it’s progressed, reviewing and reliving vivid things that constantly play in my head. I’m sure we all think about our life every day, but with three years to go ‘til the big 30, it hella puts my life into perspective. My ID may indicate that I am, indeed, 27, but I mentally feel like I’m still 22 – forever 22. Why? Because at this current moment, my life is not where I thought it would be. Things I thought I’d have accomplished by now are not fulfilled, and I’m still figuring myself out, trying to find out who I am.
And on this journey there are some things in life that have taken literally 27 years to finally grasp:
Not every opportunity is the right opportunity.
As an over-eager optimist, I tend to associate the word “opportunity” with “guarantee,” which shouldn’t be the case. Opportunities are instances that present themselves and may go one way or the other. Whether it’s a job, new friends, new loves, big breaks – whatever it is we’re seeking – it’s too mentally and emotionally draining to leap at every opportunity and expect to land every single one, because we will feel the disappointment much more when things don’t work in our favor. Things happen (or don’t happen) for a reason, and patience is a virtue to wait for the right opportunity to arrive. That’s when it truly matters and things out work out better than you ever expect.
Not everyone is going to like you – it’s just fact.
This is the hardest lesson to learn and grasp, because one of my faults that I’m trying to work on is that I’m a people-pleaser. I put everything and everyone before myself, bending forwards and backwards to make sure everyone is happy. That includes my over-eagerness to win over new people and turn them into new friends. But the thing is… some people are simply not going to like you. Even if you are the nicest person in the world and have done no wrong to offend or hurt that person, they will still not like you for whatever reason beyond your knowledge or control. It’s a bummer, but the big takeaway is to move passed this minor, minor bump in the road and not let it eat you up that someone “denied” you. As cliché as it is: be yourself. It’s too much effort to hide parts of yourself or act a certain way in order to win people over. The people and friends who accept you how you are, are the ones that matter.
And with that said…
I found my circle of true friends – my ride or dies.
Knowing a lot of people and having many friends can be a great thing, but when it counts, the friends who have been through thick and thin with you are your circle. They’ve seen the loveable parts of you and enjoyed your best moments, but they’ve also experienced dealing with your not-so-likeable parts of you and endured your darkest moments. And they’re still around – that should mean more to you than being surrounded by hundreds of friends. No matter what good, bad or ugly goes on, I never hesitate to reach out to my circle, and I know they won’t judge or scrutinize me and trust they always give me the hard truth rather than sugar coating everything. At this stage of my life, I’m eternally grateful for the true friends I have who have kept me a part of their lives. But in hindsight: validation of self-worth is not through the eyes of others but your own.
I don’t have a continuing thematic segue for this one, but…
Never in my life did I think I’d feel a deep love like I found.
Ever since I was a little girl, I always acknowledged the concept of soulmates but never quite understood it until I was 24 years old. For the first time in my life, I felt a feeling I couldn’t articulate or explain to other people, a feeling that has weighed heavy in my heart for the past three years, a feeling that feels innately right even when it looks so wrong. It’s a love I found with someone I would do anything for, even if that means walking halfway across the world. It’s a love my heart stubbornly refuses to let go of to let anyone else in. But at the end of the day, it’s a love that taught me to open my eyes and take care of myself and learn to love myself first.
And on that note…
I’ve been to hell and back – coming back stronger than ever.
Recently, I experienced the roughest part of my life. With the many transitions changing everything in my life, I plummeted deep, deep down, down into the darkest depths. Everything was hopeless. There was no motivation. There was nothing to live for. I had given up. But at the strike of midnight, ringing in 2018, I finally took action to change and better myself, love myself and get my life back on track. Truthfully unsure of where it came from, I found a strength and state of understanding that gave me the courage to pick myself up. I shed the skin of the previous timid girl and developed a backbone – unafraid to stand my ground and fight for what I want. I’ve finally discovered a headspace to put myself first and focus on my needs.
None of this is to say I’m perfect now – this is merely the start of a new journey into the next chapter of my life. At 27 years old, I’m still searching. Searching for something. What that “something” is… I don’t know. All I can do right now is take each day one step at a time – be free and vulnerable to whatever way the wind takes me.