I didn’t want to turn 30 last year. I didn’t have a particular reason, I just didn’t want to be “old.” And now here I sit, a little over 24 hours away from 31.
31 has always terrified me. I’ve never, ever, ever wanted to be 31. To be honest, sometimes I thought I wouldn’t make it to 31. And yet here I am.
My mother was 31 when she died. An addict through and through, her disease haunted her until the end. I was in 4th grade when she died, and as I’ve shared before, her funeral is etched in my brain.
She was 31. Everyone kept talking about it. 31. 31.
That image, her lying there, that’s what I have always equated with 31.
31 equals fear. 31 equals life lost.
That may seem a bit dramatic to you, and that’s okay. You’re not walking in my shoes, and I don’t expect you to understand my thoughts or fears, no matter how rational or irrational they may be.
Anyone who’s so much as glanced at this blog knows that 30 was basically a train wreck. I spent so much of this year trying to answer the question “why?”
Why me? Why not me? WHY?
And I think I finally get it.
At my lowest point this year, I laid in my bed and couldn’t move. I wouldn’t move. I didn’t want to think, feel, or deal with anything. I just wanted it all to go away. I wasn’t depressed. I was just terrified. I didn’t understand how a combination of falling in love, making decisions I’d made a hundred times before, and trusting turned into such an absolute nightmare.
I lost all sense of who I was. Or maybe I never knew who I was and was forced to figure it out.
Who I was. Who I am. Who I want to be.
The who coincides with the why, and I think I finally have my answers.
30 had to be bad so that 31 could be good.
30 had to be bad so that even if 31 is tough, I can always FIND THE GOOD. I can always be grateful. I can always find a reason to celebrate.
30 was the year of the broken heart.
Why? Because I gave someone an already broken heart. I grew up tough but fragile, and I knew early on that I would never let someone in. I never took the time to make my heart whole, for myself. I didn’t find myself worthy of it. So I ran towards what I’ve grown to know. I ran with the tape in my head playing on repeat, “people always leave you, that’s what you deserve.” I ran towards someone who told me he would let me down. And then I let him.
30 was the year of the crushed dream.
All I wanted was to run Chicago for my favorite charity. That’s it. I would heal my heartbreak through helping others. I would forget. I would better myself. Right. Or I would get injured and have to pump the brakes on working out altogether for awhile. Another let down. But again, what else could I have expected? I didn’t believe in myself enough to make it through 26.2. Of course I got hurt. I let that tape play, “no one really believes you can do this, you’ll probably fail.” And then I did.
30 was the year of lost faith.
I lost all faith this year. Faith in myself, faith in everyone I knew/know, faith in God. Hell, I doubted God’s existence for the first time. And if you’ve read any of the paragraphs above, I clearly didn’t have MUCH faith in myself or anyone else to begin with.
30 was a real fucking bitch.
But not all of it. Oh no. Like any bitch, there’s a softer side. A sweeter side. A beauty.
30 had perfect moments with imperfect people. 30 brought friendship and love and acceptance. 30 taught me the beauty in letting go. This year I learned how to say thank you to a compliment, and how to believe the words, “you’re beautiful.” 30 taught me that it’s okay to embrace my flaws, and to better myself without hating myself along the way. I know how to catch myself when I fall, and how to let someone in when I fail. I know it’s okay to be proud of myself and my life, even if it’s so far off from where I want it to be. 30 taught be how to thank the bitter for getting me to the sweet.
So what about 31?
Will it equal fear? Lifelessness?
There will still be fear. That’s part of life, and this year is full of unknowns. I’m a work in progress. Big time. But I’m grateful every damn day. And you can be sure there will be no life lost for this girl.
If anything, I’ve found life.
My life will be full of love. Maybe not marriage and someone to call mine but that’s SO okay. I’m learning to completely love myself and I’m surrounded by people who genuinely, truly, absolutely love me, and I will soak that up and adore those people and let them know what they mean to me every single day.
Dreams will come true. I will spend 31 working on me. Not who anyone else wants me to be. Me, with no apologies. I will move to Nashville and I will keep writing, and I will figure it out…even if it’s messy and uncomfortable and full of unsure moments.
Faith is already found. It’s shaky, but it’s there. I love myself, and I know, no matter what, I will be okay. That’s huge for me. I have faith in the people I choose to trust. They want what’s best for me, and they’ll be there no matter what. I have faith in Him. My God gets me, because He made me. He knows the baby steps I have to take, the crawling before I walk mixed in with the jumping in without looking. He gets me.
31 will be gratitude. Everyday. Celebrations. For everything. 31 will be loving the shit out of every single part of life and laughing harder than I ever have before. The joy of 31 will be worth the heartbreak of 30. I’ll make sure of it.
And above all else, I’ll shake it off.
Cuz after all, a player’s gonna play and a hater’s gonna hate.
(Oh yeah, 31 will totally be full of dancing and singing Taylor Swift…and I don’t give a shit what you think about that!) xo!
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