On The Eve Of My 23rd Birthday

Tomorrow is my birthday! I am so excited to turn 23. Birthdays make me nervous, but I try to lean into the uncomfortable feelings that change can bring. I love birthdays. The selfish reason is because I love to have a day that is all about me. As a sister, the eldest of four girls, I have to share things quite a lot. So it is nice to have my own day. It isn’t about gifts or money to me. Of course those things are amazing. But if my birthday consisted of waking up to coffee, watching movies with the girls, getting a balloon( I am kinda obsessed with balloons) and walking around a park I would be so happy. I just love the thought that goes into birthdays, and feeling special and cared about.

This past year was very interesting. I had a lot of ups and downs for sure. I worked really hard to be better, and do better, and feel better. But there were a lot of moments when I have been disappointed in myself, and where I have let myself down.

22 random thoughts about my 22nd year:

1.) I learned that I am stronger than I thought I was. Getting through 22 without my dad, trying to figure out my new normal, going through personal/emotional problems, dealing with financial issues, struggling through my first semester of college… it was all hard. But I made it out on top and I haven’t given up. There was a time that I thought that a year like this would break me past the point of fixing. But I learned that I am stronger than I thought I was.

2.) Starting college and completing my first semester of freshman year was amazing. It has always been a dream of mine to go to college. Of course, as a little girl I dreamed of going to an Ivy League(not starting at a community college). But I am proud of where I am now.

3.) I miss my dad so much. Every time I have an achievement and he isn’t here to celebrate with me my heart breaks a little. This is a pain that I know will carry into my 23rd year, and into many more to come. So many big emotions and even bigger fear.

4.) Keeping yourself busy so that you don’t have to deal with feelings is coping not healing.

5.) I’m still bad at cooking, dancing, and being a human bean.

6.) I took an acting class (which terrified me) but I loved it.

7.) I took even more control of my emotional health this year and it was worth it.

8.) Late night wine nights with my mom was definitely a highlight of this year.

9.) This year I did some new things…I flew on an airplane alone for the first time, bought a car and road tripped with my cousin and sister, gave a few speeches in front of a class, started college and became a public schooler again, got the most drunk I’ve ever been(100% do not recommend lol), went to planner-con (100% do recommend), released the music video for our song Forever and released the song went on iTunes 4.14, did a residency for SoFar sounds, worked on a documentary, had amazing concerts etc….

10.) I celebrated New Years in North Carolina surrounded by loved ones! What a way to bring in the year!

11.) I have compared myself to other people a lot this year…especially friends who are also in their 20s. But I try to remind myself that everyone’s journey is different. It’s weird and amazing that some of my friends have such stable “adult” jobs when I live month to month as a musician. But I wouldn’t change it for the world. Seeing my friends become engaged, talk about marriage and have kids makes me look forward to that part of my own life. (Although definitely wayyyy down the line haha)

12.) I have so much love for writing and this blog has been such a fun way to express myself.

13.) I got bangs this year and still love them! Some days they drive me crazy but they make me feel so ME! (Also French)

14.) I was really obsessed with French culture this year. I love their way of viewing life: do what gives you pleasure! I love the Parisian way of effortless beauty, good fabric and food, and taking your time to enjoy things that make you happy.

15.) My lifelong love for paper, crafting, and stationary has only multiplied tenfold.

16.) I still can’t get out the door on time. Why am I always late????

17.) I tried to do a lot of things that scared me. Getting out of my head helped me to get out of my own way.

18.) I am so attached to spending time with family and friends. I would jump through hoops to do it. Losing my dad really made me appreciate the people in my life even more. I feel clingy sometimes haha, but at least I don’t worry about not telling loved ones how much they mean to me.

19.) I went to Disneyland last spring! That trip made my heart SO full. My baby cousin Nikko wanted me to carry him around 3 days in a row. Someday, he will be too big to want me to carry him! My baby cousin Zoë was in awe of all the princesses! I love my family and that trip was magical.

20.) When I was little I thought that I would be more ‘certain’ at 22-going-into-23. But. I’m finding that your 20s are basically stitched together by uncertainty. Even the people who look like they have it all together are probably freaking out inside.

22.) It’s so weird that one year can be filled with with so much pain and yet so much happiness.

I don’t really know how to describe 22. I don’t know if it was good or bad, honestly. Going through grief has made the lines between a good day/year and a bad day/year very blurry. But I am so thankful to have made it to another year. In four hours, I will be 23. I will be hugged by my family at midnight(hopefully haha…it’s our tradition). I will probably be drinking wine. My mom bought me an iPad Pro for business/my future Etsy startup/college for my birthday. (WHAT?!?!😍) I have amazing pets, a roof over my head, food, and I get to have it all while being a musician and doing what I love.

I don’t know how to feel about 22, or how 23 will be. All I know is that in this moment, I feel very blessed.

Cheers to turning 23.

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