Welp. I’m 23 years old. Wow does that ever feel a whole hell of a lot older than 22. I wonder why that is …
I’m not going to sit here and presume that because I have now seen 23 years of life that I am suddenly an expert. But, I am going to share some of the many things that I have learned about myself over the past how ever many months.
1. I can live alone. For the first time ever, I am on my own. NO roommates, NO parents, NO nobody. I must admit that I was petrified … but after the first few weeks I couldn’t imagine not living alone. It is such an empowering and invigorating notion. (I think everybody should do it once in their lives!)
2. It’s all about confidence. Just be who you are and celebrate it. Life is going by too quickly to worry about what people think of you.
3. Coffee makes everything better 😉
4. Don’t fear the unknown. Knowing that our futures can be changed, morphed, and molded into whatever we want is a surprisingly peaceful idea for someone who used to be terrified of change.
5. Love. Love everything, Love everyone.
6. Make time for your family … they are all you have.
7. Join a book club! I just started one up with some of my friends and I am so excited! I picked All the Light we Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. It is a WWII novel and I am already taking notes and preparing for our monthly meet-up 🙂
That’s all I can think of right now, but I will add things as the year goes on. This past year was a big one for me. I taught a full year as an elementary teacher while going to graduate school. People doubted that I could handle all of the pressure. Hell, I doubted that I could handle all of the pressure. But I did, and I’m stronger for it. I am eager to see what 23 has in store for me. Onto bigger and better things, I hope!
Always want to move onward and upward.
This past weekend I sat with friends at my favorite neighborhood Mexican restaurant. Strong margaritas and chips and salsa that keep on coming, hell yes. The long absent Minnesota sun was beating down on my back while we all tossed our hair around and laughed as if we were in an old movie from the 60’s. We gabbed about guys, who is now married to who, recent awestruck-inducing finds from our Facebook news feed, and the like. Shortly thereafter we were greeted by old high school friends that were passing through Minneapolis for the weekend. After a few wobbly tables were pushed together we drank, ate and laughed as if we were just meandering down those high school halls, in those overly self-conscious bodies. When I think about those days it feels like another life … another me. But, for some reason being surrounded by those particular people, I was thrown back.
A couple of far too large margaritas later we were all back at my creaky apartment listening to old records and continuing our drinking bender. It’s funny because since being a college graduate and soon to be finishing my first year of teaching, I like to think of myself as being far wiser than I was in high school. Yet, when I was with those old friends from those days I was the same nervous, “self-doubty” girl I once was. I am proud of the person that I have grown to become and I don’t look illy back upon the person that I once was. That doesn’t mean I want to be her again, however.
I thanked the evening for its brevity. For, what does an overly nervous, over 21-year-old me do? Drink. I’m sure at the point in the evening that I began dancing around my living room was the moment that I started to make a fool of myself.
What I realize now, is that we cannot always escape the people that we were, not because of ourselves, but because of others. We carry on a certain persona with certain people, because we think that’s what they want, or they put a “spell” over us and make us do and say things that we think they want to hear, despite ourselves. Maybe that is why people flee when they want to reinvent themselves. It isn’t so much that a person cannot change on their own, but that the people around them hold them back.
It’s our human failing. Our inability to see things for ourselves while disregarding the sight of others.
We risk denying our true selves by appeasing those who deny us.
I’ve come realize that I’m the kind of person who claims to know a lot about life–and love. So I am gong to continue to assume that I know everything about love … here goes.
I don’t understand those who dive head first into a new relationship with no regard for life they had before, particularly the people that were in their life before. Isn’t it amazing that we give up handfuls of friends for the companionship of one person? Endless evenings drinking wine with your best girlfriends, dancing around the living room in nothing but your underwear with your roommates, rollerblading through the streets of Minneapolis in outfits that would make a carnival act look twice, are all thrown away for the assumption that what you have with this person is going to last you a lifetime. My fondest memories are those that I had with my friends. I have a lifetime of memories with the same people. They aren’t my back burner friends, they aren’t my just-in-case friends, they are my forever people.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the warmth of sleeping next to him body and waking up to a kiss. But even despite my wildest fantasies, I cannot predict the future of this, or what it will become. There is no telling that we will both love each other as fiercely as we do now five years from today, or even five months. It’s all a reflection of love’s precariousness.
A friend of mine started dating someone last summer. He’s a good enough guy and they seem happy. But her life is no longer centered around being their for her friends, something she used to claim was the most important thing to her. Her days now are lived out in the solace of her bedroom with only him to hear her words. It’s all just fucking weird, right? She hasn’t known this person for a year, she is 22, and is moving in with him planning out the rest of their lives together. He has lost all the people he used to call his friends, and her friends are quickly dwindling in numbers. It all seems so lonely.
I can only imagine what my home will look like someday. A small, vine-covered cottage, perhaps? Or one of those alarmingly modern boxes, full of windows, somehow resembling the life of a goldfish? I don’t know the material it will be made out of, or the neighborhood it will reside in. But, I know that I want it to be full. Full of all the people in my life that I love, and that have stuck me through it all. I don’t want to walk through that door and see only one person. I want to see a family of people. People who remind me where I came from, how I’ve grown, and give me comfort that they will be with me for all future days. That’s what I want to see on my way home.
When I started this blog I didn’t really know what I wanted. Other than to carve my own little space into the vast internet world. I had big dreams of becoming a lifestyle blogger and DIY extraordinaire, or maybe finding a hidden knack for photography that I never knew existed. I had all of these ideas, and none of them came into fruition. The more I blogged, the more I came to realize that this blog wasn’t going to be filled with craft projects and fun ikea furniture makeovers, but it was going to be filled with all of the thoughts rattling around in my somewhat dysfunctional mind. I like writing about love and life in the present moment … both things I won’t claim to know much about.
I am just excited that I feel like I have finally discovered what this blog is going to be …
A personal expedition of this crazy thing that we call life. A blip of my life spelled out into words, sentences and paragraphs for those of you who have any interest at all in delving into it.
For what it’s worth … I appreciate all of the support that I have experiences thus far. May this journey continue, may my writing flourish and may you all continue to stumble on my little space in the vast internet world.
As my students bound about my classroom with enviable pep in their step I am always overwrought with jealousy. They have only just begun. Their whole futures are ahead of them and their options are endless. Despite the fact that I am only 23 I feel as though some of my options and decisions have already passed. My college experience has since retired, my graduate schoolwork is already half-finished and I am well on my way to becoming established in the teaching community. While I still have some monumental decisions left to make, I look upon the freedom of youth with admiration.
These little humans are so resilient and sometimes ignorant to all of life’s cruelties. I just wish I could bottle up their childhood innocence and lock the lid forever. Each year I find myself becoming more cynical and more stubborn, more aloof. The world isn’t as safe as I once imagined it. I often wish I could see the world through their little eyes for just one day, to see again that there is beauty everywhere, and not just heartache.
One of my students passed away this year in a murder-suicide. She and her mother were taken. Her father took himself shortly thereafter. My students handled this horrifying truth with such grace and maturity, of which I am still dumbfounded by. They were able to bandage up their wounds far sooner than I was, and are able to talk about her with smiles and laughter.
As a teacher I am constantly amazed by their brilliance. But, this was the most remarkable of all. Life for them is not yet cruel. Even though they were exposed to the horrors of this world far too young they are still able to see only beauty. For that, I am grateful.
Last year for my 21st birthday my dad gifted me an amazing Crosley record player. Record players make music feel more raw, more natural and for that I had always wanted one. I was so high with excitement when my eyes saw this beautiful suitcase-esque record player that I could call my very own. However, for the past year I have used it very sparingly and I only have a handful of records that I actually listen to. See, I rummaged through my dad’s old collection and most of the music I am not that interested in. So, I have made a new vow.
I vow to purchase a new vinyl record with every paycheck. Vinyl that I am really invested in, or vinyl that I am just curious to listen to further. The beauty of record players is you must listen to a record from first song to last: the way that albums were intended to be listened to. I vow to choose artists that I am simply curious about, and artists that I have am unconditionally fond of.
Not only will this little “resolution” of mine help to expand my record collection and reignite new music in my life, but it will also support the artists. Illegal downloading of music is great and all, but only for the consumer. What about the musicians? The musicians are the one’s who put their blood, sweat and tears into the creation of their album. But, many fail to reap the benefits.
I vow to support music. I vow to support musicians. This is my vow to vinyl.
I don’t ever want to write out of sheer obligation.