Monday, July 15, 2013


Yesterday was my birthday. It was an absolutely stellar day, and I am now 27 years of age. I've got some plans for 27, but you know, I think the past year deserves a little tip of my hat. So here we go.

26, man. 26 was a great year. You know, all that growth and stuff I did. I moved to Montana with stars in my eyes and she took me in and gave me a home in this valley of five mountain ranges. No place has ever felt quite this way for me before, and I'm grateful for the risk I took and the homesickness that sometimes washes over me for the ones I left trailing in the rear-view. They're still part of me, and I miss them, but 26 showed me that out of sight does not mean out of mind or heart. 

26 helped me learn how to cry again, as much for joy as for sadness, and gave me these interesting people with beautiful souls who have become my family. 26 made me realize how important community is to me, and it also unearthed more mysteries about myself than I'll probably ever be able to solve. I've been more free to own myself than ever before, uninhibited by expectations of those who have known me as I clawed my way into becoming an actual person. Some people don't need that kind of distance to own themselves, but I did, and that's okay. 

I broke up with my best friend during my 26th year, after trying to hold us together for eight months of living apart across the country. It's a loss like nothing I've ever experienced, but I'm learning from it, too. How you can love a person and not be able to be with them. How grief can look different for everyone, and how I avoid it by refusing to let myself be alone when I'm sad. Even when being alone might be just what I need. I'm not there yet, if peace is a destination, but I can at least call myself on my own bullshit a little more, rather than depending on someone (everyone) else to do that for me. 

The chaos of my life has swelled and also ebbed in the past year. I'm half-way through training for a career that feels more like a journey of life's work than a commute and a time clock. Some days I spring out of bed in awe of my new skills and others I hide under the covers and doubt every conversation I'll ever have as a counselor. And then, no matter what, I try harder anyway. I am the most dogged person I know at times, which means I'm can be unhealthily competitive, but also that pain and fear can't paralyze me. I prefer to build the little dwelling that houses my soul directly in the middle of the chaos. I know that now, and I can make it work. 

26, yeah, 26 was one doozy of a year. I'm bruised and battered by the wind and the blows life has thrown, but I'm also sun-tanned and smiling. I'm surrounded by music and laughter and plumes of smoke from the tip of my cigarettes and the near-constant campfires I sit around. Even some occasional humiliation. Okay, more than occasional. It's all part of the story. I just hope 27 can keep up. 

birthday boating. yowza. 
These people are all ridiculously talented at playing music. I mostly just hang out.

1 comment:

  1. Happy Birthday! Hope this next year is better than the last :)