“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
Today marks the last day of my 23rd year. I never thought it would happen to me, but growing older now brings a twinge of worry. Worrying that I’m in the right place in my life, worrying that I have enough time to do and experience life the way I want to. This is the same worry that accompanies the anxiety of having too many tasks, and too little time. Like a shadow on a wall, usually it seems a lot bigger and scarier than it actually is, and once broken down into smaller more manageable pieces, the shadow shrinks and eventually disappears.
A birthday is a new year, and I like to treat it as such. I begin my journals with each new birthday, and decided to start the tradition of making resolutions (another shadow-like figure that becomes realistic with a break-down). In my 24th year I have two main resolutions:
- Follow through: do what I say I’ll do.
- Be happy and stay positive: know that’s who I am and learn to let it come naturally.
The first has always been a challenge for me. There are still dozens of half-written journals from over the years under my bed and falling out of my closet at my parents’ house. This blog has been something I’ve wanted to start since high school. So I threw lackluster reasons to the wind, and set the goal to have a blog set up before I’m 24 (I’ve always been an avid for procrastinator). For me, following through with something, even something I wanted to do, was an acquired skill. Using a Passion Planner to set intangible goals was a great way to start, it helped me break them down into realistic steps, and before I knew it I had accomplished what I set out to do.
Being happy and staying positive on the other hand, has always come naturally to me, but in the past 6 months, I fell into patterns of negativity. Stress and anxiety started to show their claws emotionally and physically. When I began my 23rd year, 364 days ago, I was in a different city, in a different job, dating a different person, and surround by different people. I was comfortable and content. But as it does, life moved on, things changed. The first step in moving past the negative self-talk and stress was to acknowledge it, legitimize it. From that day until this one I have moved from Tallahassee, to Ft. Lauderdale, to Pittsburgh, to DC. Held several jobs, and had countless interviews. Loved, and lost, and loved again. It’s been a long year. Reflecting on everything that has changed, more importantly how much I’ve changed, sheds light on the shadow of a worrying and anxious heart, and leaves only room for excitement and new adventures.
P.S. We woke up to a winter wonderland, and haven’t seen this much snow since we got here in December. Something about the fresh layer of snow made the city look completely new. I took it as a sign (as I take everything) from Mother Nature as a clean slate for the new year. Salut to the big 2-4!