I’m a little more than halfway through my 24th year!
For my half birthday I went out for some ice cream, hung out with my family, and packed my bags to go on a solo travel adventure to Barbados. I typically don’t recognize or celebrate a half birthday but this year there’s been a need and desire to mark everything, to collate the pieces of this 24th year like precious jewels, an almost sacred collection of the last shreds of childhood, before I venture into the very adult age of 25.
I don’t fully understand my own obsession with 25. Except that maybe I’ve wanted to be here for so long and it always felt like that friend that’s too cool to hang out with you.
Except now I’m closer to 25. And I am grasping. Because soon I will have to bear witness and give account to some “cool” 25 year old version of myself that I fear will be disappointed in me. Disappointed at what/who she has to work with.
In anticipation of 25 I’ve been faced with this sudden urge to fit a lot of things into this year:
I thought I would have a book published by now, I’ve been writing for over a decade and even though I can clearly see that a decade of writing has made me significantly better at crafting words, I still feel a sense of disappointment and loss that I have not been able to add my collection of words into the world in a tangible form. I feel myself trying to overcompensate in other ways. Pushing myself to establish a more consistent external writing practice so I can prove that I am a writer.
Nevermind all the internal ways I have learnt to validate myself as a writer.
Another big goal I had for myself was that I would be in a quality romantic relationship by now. While I have significant relationships that fill me with so much care and joy, not having romantic love in my life as I look towards 25 does feel like a bit like I have failed myself in some way.
Nevermind all the times I have opened myself up to love, walked away when the variety of love I was given didn’t match what I needed, stiched my heart, learnt the lessons, and ventured back in again.
There are a few more of these very wonderful goals I have for myself, but without giving myself space to be a beginner in achieving my goals, I unknowingly placed a timeline of year 25 as the sweet spot of achieving them. As I am faced with that impeding date, I feel a huge sense of urgency to try to settle for some variation of those goals to make myself feel somewhat okay. Rather than admitting to myself that I am not there yet.
What is the urgency?
This is a question I’ve been asking myself as I unpack the space between my expectations of myself and the reality of my life. The reality of my life is good. Most days, I like where I’m at.
I am growing at a pace that feels uniquely like me and this year has been about doing a lot of work to secure my foundation. I feel present. Happy. More embodied than I have ever felt.
I am going to doctors appointments, dressing in a way that makes my body feel good.
Learning myself. Loving on my friends. Being vulnerable. Naming my needs. Working through my triggers. Learning the world. Finding my place in it.
These are all things that for me actually feel really good.
And yet the pressure comes when I look at the space between my “best life” and my current life. And have no idea how to get to where I want to go.
Why rush to a some finish line when this is also good?
What is the urgency to get to a better place when you are in a good place?