last week, i celebrated what i have been joking is the first of many “29th birthdays”. i now sit at less than 357 days until i wave good-bye to by 20’s.
despite the joke, though, i’m strangely ok with growing old. my 20’s have been an incredible growing, stretching, healing, learning time for me…which has mostly been birthed out of the painful consequences of mistakes and missteps. looking forward to my 30’s, a clean decade with nothing but potential, feels very promising to me.
i usually write a blog around my birthday that recaps my year, month to month. this year i think i will just share the many ways that the newly 29-year-old Christie is much different from the newly 28-year-old Christie.
i like to be alone.
somewhere along the journey this past year, i came face to face with the fact that i had overextended myself in the area of relationships and am completely exhausted. when i moved in April, i relished in the quiet space my new house afforded, and have since kept my schedule relatively clear so i can spend more time by myself, weeding the garden, going for runs, listening to tunes, reading Harry Potter. it has been and continues to be an important space for me.
i (am learning to) love myself.
loving myself has been something i’ve always struggled with. ask anyone who’s every seen me reach for a pack of cigarettes instead of food when i felt unloved, or gotten completely wasted and danced barefoot in the street when i felt rejected. someone recently encouraged me to learn to love myself and my life, and i’m taking his words of wisdom seriously. i’m giving myself space to recognize when i’m overextended, to rest, to cry, to be alone. space to hear my voice and give it respect. the opportunity to demand respect from others i might have previously let treat me like crap. i’m learning what it looks like to value myself, to hold myself tenderly, to acknowledge hurts and wounds and work on nursing myself back to health. i look forward to sitting here a year from now and saying i’ve made great strides in this area.
i feel complete without a relationship status.
the me i remember last summer was not satisfied with checking the “single” box…in fact, she was desperate, needy. unable to separate the need for love from real love. unable to just be friends with a guy without imagining one day he might come to my rescue. through a lot of heartbreak, i’ve learned that i can be whole outside of relationship. my perspective is quite flipped, in fact. i’ve come to the conclusion that i want a strong, sensitive partner who can love me well. and if i can’t have that, i don’t want to mess with it at all. i’m content with being single. even if it’s forever. this is surprisingly freeing.
i want money.
this is trite and a silly way to put it, but i’ve spent the majority of my 20’s scorning money and “real jobs” and all those things that seem so typical of the American dream. but the truth is, i want money. i want to be able to pay my bills, to travel to my favorite places in the world, to support causes i believe in or share with my friends. i want to buy an iPhone and pay off my car. i want to provide myself, and begin the process of saving for a house or future babies. all this realization led me to find a new job, and i have been so richly blessed to have one that enables me to do those things as well as giving me dignity and respect and room to grow.
i like NPR.
i know…this one surprised me too. after living for a year and a half with NPR-fanatics and hating every time they chose talk radio over “real” radio, i have come to enjoy it. this all started when i realized that i needed someone to “talk to me” on my commutes and calling people twice a day to fill space just isn’t cool. so i switched to the public radio, and quickly found myself engrossed in world news and interviews with inspiring people and incredibly stories of people living rich lives. i was hooked.
i’ve said this before, but will reiterate it again…i’ve never felt more myself than i do at this stage in the journey. i feel a deep well of confidence i’ve never known. i trust myself (for the most part) and appreciate my voice. i love so many things about myself i once thought were “broken”, “burdensome”, “ugly.” i walk with a greater perspective on my life…a perspective that allows me see beyond the temporal confusions and frustrations of the daily. we are, afterall, “spiritual beings having a human experience,” and i intend to live mine to the fullest.