Twenty-One Years

So I currently have 5,000 words to write for one of my classes, and here I am, writing a blog post. This is my life: “wow, I have so much to do, let me sit and think about life for a second”.

I turned twenty-one on Friday [yes, the day finally came] and ended up being delivered a surprise I wasn’t prepared for: sadness. Now this sounds really weird and really selfish, trust me, I know. But please bare with me while I explain. I always get a little anxious before my birthday, because birthdays provide a lot of pressure to feel good or feel happy for everyone else, when in reality, it’s really just another day. Don’t get me wrong, I love celebrating other people’s birthdays, but on my own birthday, my mind psychs me out and I spend more time focusing on whether or not everyone else is having a good time instead of just being content in the moment.

This has also been the first year since I was born that my Muzzie wasn’t alive to wish me Happy Birthday, and I think that subconsciously, this was on my mind all day. I guess I was also expecting a birthday wish I knew wasn’t coming from someone else, but that’s just silly and not worth my time to worry about. All of this being said, I still had a fabulous birthday with wonderful people whom I adore and want to kiss at all times of the day.

So, here is a list of things [because I like lists and maybe you do, too] that I’ve discovered about myself in my twenty-one years.

I love easily. Always have, always will.  I have a strong adoration for a lot of people, and I am not as guarded with my heart as I should be sometimes. What I’ve discovered, though, is that I need to start seeing this as a great quality, instead of questioning why someone else may not love me the way I love them.

I have high expectations. I have them for myself, and for others. Sometimes this is good, and sometimes it’s horrible, but the point is, I don’t set them because I want someone to fail. I have high expectations because I so honestly believe that the people I know can surpass the expectations I set.

I love making new friends. Yes, I am that creepy girl that wants to know about your hopes and dreams at all times of the early morning or late night, and no I do not apologize for it. Let’s get coffee 🙂

I’m a dreamer. I swear, today I was inspired at least twelve times, and I didn’t even know what to do with myself. I have so many dreams and so many aspirations, sometimes I worry that I won’t achieve even two of them. This is something I cannot and will not compromise for anyone. If me rambling about the correlation between creative drama and education annoys you, you can leave, because I’m a passionate person with a lot of dreams, and I’m okay with that.

I believe in your dreams, too. I honestly love hearing about people’s dreams, and wherever you are, whoever you are, I believe in you. I believe that you’re capable, regardless of what or who stands in your way.

CHILDREN CHANGE THE WORLD. Seriously. Children have become an essential part of the life I want to lead. I adore the way their minds are open to anything, and how easily they love. Emmie Dodson is the coolest. [Insert Rainbow Connection family probz] Yes, children can be frustrating, and at times, annoying. But they are the key to keeping your inner child alive, and seeing the way the world continues to spin for us, even when we feel like everything is standing still.

My anxiety has been my biggest teacher. I was diagnosed with panic disorder when I was eighteen, and it has come to control my life multiple times. I have let my anxiety be the reason that I doubted myself over and over and over. I have found myself on the bathroom floor at four in the morning, paralyzed by my fear. If you have never experienced anxiety attacks, let me try to shed some light. Everyone’s panic attacks are different, but these are what mine are like. A mild panic attack consists of jitters and impending anxiety that rests in my stomach. A full on panic attack consists of my throat closing up, my stomach crumbling, my legs going weak, my inability to move, and a full on “I legitimately think I’m dying” feeling. I can’t move, I can’t speak, and I can’t even fathom the end.

These attacks have taught me many lessons, most of which have become the reason why I stopped participating in certain events, or surrounding myself with certain people.

My anxiety has taught me to take one breath at a time.

My anxiety has taught me that I will fall in love with the right person, and that right person will accept me, panic attacks and all.

My anxiety has taught me that everyone has a struggle, and I don’t ever reserve the right to judge.

Most of all, among many other lessons, my anxiety has taught me that I am a strong woman with feelings and passion, and that I will get through each day, if I can just remember that the panic will end eventually. Some days it doesn’t feel like it will ever end, and I contemplate things I wish I didn’t, but ultimately, the sun continues to rise.

Having emotions does not mean you are flawed. I’m surrounded by beautiful people with hidden disabilities and strong emotions. Some of my friends have depression, like myself, and I would have never known until that one comment or that one situation where it became very real, very fast. I have bouts of depression that are both paralyzing and hard to get through sometimes. So do millions of other people in the world. I over-think and I over-analyze how my emotions will push people away on a daily basis, and that’s something I’m working on. Your feelings are valid, whoever and wherever you are. Don’t let some boy/girl/parent/friend/teacher tell you otherwise. Give yourself more credit. We can do this!

Self talk is important. I have this super cool friend who pointed out that I have major self-doubt today. I respect that. I do. Liz Gilbert says it best, and I’ll let her finish this bit. “The Yogic sages say that all the pain of a human life is caused by words, as is all the joy. We create words to define our experience and those words bring attendant emotions that jerk us around like dogs on a leash. We get seduced by our own mantras (I’m a failure… I’m lonely… I’m a failure… I’m lonely…) and we become monuments to them. To stop talking for a while, then, is to attempt to strip away the power of words, to stop choking ourselves with words, to liberate ourselves from our suffocating mantras.”

There are so many other things that I have discovered about myself recently, but the last one I’ll write about is heartbreak. 

Heartbreak has opened me up to the lowest of lows, and the biggest questions. I woke up at six am the other day and had the urge to text someone saying I believed in them, and we haven’t even talked in three months. I will probably always be the girl that can’t turn her back on the men in her life, because I miss people even when they turn their back on me. HOLLER AT YOUR GIRL, IT REALLY SUCKS. But regardless of what I know and believe, everyone has something really special about them. Shout out to someone I still adore and wish the very best for. Heartbreak has been instrumental in opening up some of the best doors, and closing ones that I wasn’t ready to let go of.

I think to close this post, I just want to say thank you to the universe for providing me with laughter, sadness, and dreams. Thank you to the people who have given me love and hugs when I’m crying in weird locations [lolz hey 21st birthday]. Thank you to the people who have hurt me the most, sincerely, because you have shown me how I deal with pain and how much I have to work on and get excited about. And finally, thank you, universe, for showing me that my plans won’t turn out how I want them to sometimes, and that’s alright.

xoxo

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