I’ll be twenty-eight in approximately sixty minutes.
Keeping me up is the ridiculous concern that, in accordance with the sun rising tomorrow, so will the world’s expectations of me. Ageing and anxious.
Two decades earlier, I was young and free. I couldn’t wait for the light of day and the permission it granted for me to open my presents.
It seems insecurities can gatecrash any party. Even our own.
I start rummaging through my memory, looking for those plans I wrote under the enchantment of teenage naivety: ‘Life at 28’. I scrunch it up and throw it onto the pile with editions 24, 25, 26, and 27.
A smirk, a flick, and it’s all up in flames.
I don’t oppose having plans. But it is said, you can’t control the direction of the wind; you can only adjust your sails.
I still remember the week I turned 26. A gust came through from a future I never imagined to lead me to where I am today. My curiosity allowed me to be carried me away. But what if my fear kept me fixed to all that was familiar?
Regardless how drastically different our decisions are, they all raise a similar question… what if.
Perhaps a wondering mind is the sign of a wanting heart. Some people love almost every moment of their lives, and only wonder how they got so lucky. I hope that’s you.
I’m me – someone who spends a lot of time wondering where they went ”wrong”. Especially on my birthdays.
But not this year.
I’ve learned a few things over the last two years. Mostly from my own experiences – going overseas, moving states, working in the mental heath field, and addressing my own issues. And from people who have pieced together their dream life; people that have lives that are in pieces; and people like me, who are somewhere in the middle. I even met a guy who was pronounced dead after suffering a brain aneurism while having sex – luckily coming back to life (no pun).
As old and wise as we feel, we’re still children of chance. There’s no stopping the world from turning, seasons from changing, or our hairs from graying. Before wishing it could be better, we should be grateful for all the ways it’s not worse. Time is precious and what ifs, worries, and waiting on God to answer our prayers only wastes it.
For that reason, this birthday, I’m cutting myself some slack with my cake, and I’m saving you a slice of both.