1(Caution rambling and incomplete thoughts ahead)
On Monday, I will celebrate a milestone: my birthday or to be exact my 25th birthday. 25 years on this planet is certainly something to celebrate. Leading up to Monday, I find myself reflecting on the years of smiles, tears, disappointment, sadness, laughter, and snark and comparing it to the past 525,600 minutes of my life.2
The past year has seen some low points. There was that incident that ultimately negatively affected my relationship with my father. There was the guy who reinforced why I always have one foot ready to leave, why I am always cautious, and why I don't take risks. Months of deception that ultimately lead to heartbreak can do that to someone. Something happened that made me feel like I was the worst person in the world. However, my high note was/is the biggest thing to happen to me: I was able to look into the mirror and smile at what I see. It was the first time in my entire life that I looked into the mirror and could not think of one hurtful thing to say about myself. It was truly a powerful thing that I can touch upon later.
Only within the past few months, I have claimed myself to be a Womanist even though as I look back I have always been one. I have educated myself in subjects that I know for sure I would have never picked up in college (or at least that college). I have lost friends and gain new friends both in my real life and online that challenge me on a daily basis. I have started to speak up for myself and defend with a passion those who are close to me and on issues that are important to me. Even though my voice in writing and in speaking still need to grow, I feel, I have come long in both respects. When you can tell someone you graduated cum laude from No Fucks To Give University with a BS in I Can't Find Any Fucksology I think you have made it. To put it simply, I have gained more confidence in myself and in my beliefs then all the previous years combined.
Do I think I am living up to my potential? Of course not. I am reminded that every day when someone asks why I haven't finished school or when am I going to get an actual career. I can see my potential and talents wasted at my current job. I hate the town I live in and really want to move to a bigger city (Hi Dallas or Austin!). I feel I will have a much better future once I get my education over and done with. However, I can honestly say I am happy with myself. Is my current position where I want to be this time next year? No but for right now it is okay for me.
Even though I have started to go after what I want, I still feel a sense of dread when it comes to the future. Do I want to take risks? You betcha.3 But I'm afraid that when I do start taking risks I will be penalized instead of rewarded. I don't want to make that leap to that other side because my experiences have shown me there is often nothing on the other side waiting for me. I would rather stay on the side that I am 100% sure where it will take me then make the leap somewhere that is filled with uncertainty.
Though my confidence has grown significantly, I still catch myself not taking compliments and embracing the negative remarks. I downplay any compliments I receive and still look at men who show interest with the up most suspicion. I still avoid going out with people on occasions and say Pugsley or I has some sort of ridiculous but believable condition just so I can stay home and cuddle with Netflix. I do these things because I am afraid of uncertainty. "What if this happens?" or "but what if that happens?" are my immediate reaction to anything. I fully admit I am scared of the future.
Because of that fear for things that might or might not happened, for the next year, I promised myself that I will at least take one risk no matter what. I promised to stop asking what if and just do it. I promised that I instead of replying with "whatever" to a compliment, I will take it and embrace it. I promised to do whatever it takes to get where I want to be in life. Ipromisedto stop and take some time to enjoy whatever and whoever is and focus on what is important in my life: me. My final promise was to enjoy being 25 because turning a quarter of a century old will never happen again.
1. Justin James Watt, One Day Soon, 2764, In My Bedroom, accessed May 24, 2014, http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=....
2. "Seasons of Love," (video), accessed May 24, 2014, http://youtu.be/wsj15wPpjLY.
3. Urban Dictionary, 3rd ed., s.v. "You Betcha," accessed May 24, 2014,http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?ter... .