“if you can’t fly, then run.” — or 27

[aging & happy]

27 by Passenger (take a listen)

Pretty good, huh? I’m sort of in love with Passenger. But that’s not the point. The point is 27. yes, 27. It’ll make more sense if you keep reading. Sooo…yeah:

Truth is, I’ve never feared getting older. I’m looking forward to having a head full of gray hairs and a heart full of wisdom that supposedly/ hopefully accompanies aging. Death and dying are inevitable, I’m well aware of this. I do not fear it in the existential way many might. I realize my days are limited (whether it’s one day or 25,000) and there’s a finite number that only my maker knows. ..and I’m okay with that. I figure that my job, with that knowledge, is to make the most of that finiteness by doing good, for others and for myself (hence the whole art of happiness thing I’m working on).

But I’ve got to admit that I’ve found something weird happening as I approach my 27th birthday: panic.

So what happened? Well, I think I let it get to me. Societal pressures, that is. Friends and family are getting married, having babies, buying homes, setting up 401ks and IRAs. All good stuff, don’t get me wrong. But I’m not quite there yet. …and I’m not sure if/when I will be.. [with the marriage and baby stuff mostly. I’m working on upping my financial stability since I kinda probably mostly would like to not be in debt the rest of my life]. Anyway, I think I let what others think I “should” be doing get in the way of what I am and want to be doing.

Momentary relapse, folks, sorry, it happens.

The “oh my gosh I’m going to be 27 and single which means I’m near 30 and not married and there’s this whole biological clock people keep talking about and this timeline they say I need to follow if I want to have babies by 35 because I can’t be too old and if I want to enjoy life after retirement and after the kids are off to college, I’ve gotta start now yesterday” thought entered my head.

Exhausting much? Tell me about it.

“Only thing I know
I know that I don’t know how
To please everybody all of the time,
‘cos everybody’s always fucking changing their minds” (27, Passenger)

The thing is, I’ve NEVER freaked out like that before. (I’ve freaked out in plenty of other identity crisis sort of ways before but that’s totally different. …it is, really). Anyway, I blame getting older on this. Scratch that. I blame society’s imposed idea of what my life is supposed to look like. Scratch that too. I blame myself for getting caught up in it. I’ve never planned out my wedding, or picked out my unborn children’s names, nor do I know what I want my engagement ring to look like (the second time around). Never have. Keeping up with the Jones’ has never been something that’s served me well.

I commented to some friends the other day that 27 will be a better year, that things will fall into place, that life will be peaches and Popsicles. …okay, i didn’t use that last reference but it seems fitting at the moment considering the silliness of that wishful thought without action. One of my friends told me that by anticipating that the next year (or moment or relationship or whatever) will be better than the current, it kinda sorta robs you of the present moment…and of years as they pass because “the next will be better” mentality tends to make you miss the now and live in the later.

My friends are filled with wisdom that saves me.

“I don’t know where I’m running but I know how to run
‘cos running’s the thing I’ve always done
I don’t know what I’m doing but I know what I’ve done
I’m a hungry heart I’m a loaded, gun” (27, Passenger)

So, as I approach the next year of life, I think reflecting on what has brought me here and where I am at the moment might be better than ruminating on where I hope to be someday. Inspired by Passenger’s 27, here’s my 27:

writing since I was 10, singing since 2
attempting to figuring life out with each thing I do
9 temporary homes, countless temporary aches
slowly healing through the sisters I’ve gained
2 “proper” boyfriends, and 1 messy breakup
(not counting the ex-fiancé and catalytic life shakeup)
27 birthdays and 27 New Years
Outgrew drinking liquor, can’t say the same for craft beers
Earned 2 degrees, still working on the third
been saved way more times than I deserved
Lived in 3 cities, traveled 7 states
have no regrets, but made plenty of mistakes
been stood up a few times, cursed out a couple
lost parts of my self somewhere in the shuffle
mostly, i use words to heal and grow
working hard to find out the things I don’t know
and “I don’t know where I’m running but I know how to run
‘cos running’s the thing I’ve always done..”

move.

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