Earlier this week, I turned 23 years old. Whaaaaaaat? It seems like only yesterday I was a fresh-faced hooligan giddily flashing my ID. Alas, those days are gone….according to Blink-182, nobody likes you when you’re 23. I could psychoanalyze the heck out of why I was filled with dread before my past two birthdays, but instead I’m going to counter all those unhappy thoughts with the wonderful truths I discovered thereafter.
Unhappy thought: April 25th is just another reminder that I’m growing older and the best days are behind me.
Wonderful truth: I may be aging, but my added years only contribute to the amount of love I feel and wisdom I’ve gained that enables me to live a richer life. Plus I’ve got seven years left of my twenties…..seven years ago I was 16, so we’re swimming in time.
Unhappy thought: No one cares about my birthday anymore = I don’t care about my birthday anymore.
Wonderful truth: People who made me feel special, including but not limited to: my parents, coworkers, Grandpa, Aunts, cousins, old friends, new friends, best friends, acquaintances, people who randomly found out it was my birthday, mentors, friends of friends, Starbucks, cats, etc. Ways they made me feel special: cards, texts, hugs and kisses, flowers, cake, phone calls, dinners, surprise visits, singing, Facebook posts, cupcakes, laughter, coffee, movies, more cake, etc.
Unhappy thought: Everything looks different than it did last year, which means it’s worse.
Wonderful truth: Oh how little faith I have in my stupendous loved ones — miles and circumstances could not stop them from showering me with kindness, and although my situation might differ, the important things remain steadfast.
Unhappy though: I’m not qualified to be 23.
Wonderful truth: There are are thousand and one ways society tells you what you “should” be doing in your twenties, but expectation is the root of all heartache. Everyone’s definition of happiness is different, so we may as well just try to live our best lives and figure it out along the way.
Unhappy thought: I don’t know what’s going to happen in this 23rd year, therefore I must fear it.
Wonderful truth: I know that during this year I will continue to travel, love my job, grow closer to my family, try different things, strengthen friendships, read more books, meet new people, learn about myself and the world around me, solve problems, rewatch my favorite movies, seek out God, face challenges, eat lots of popcorn, write about my feelings and so on and so on.
I think that’s cause for excitement, don’t you?