Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dear Twenty-Two,

Well, here we are. I had no idea what this would look like. But this is what it is. This is where I'm at. This is who I am.

I wonder if there will ever come a time in my life when life makes sense. Maybe it's a fleeting few minutes where the planets align, the airs smells of freshly zested lemons, and everyone smiles genuinely when I walk down the sidewalk.

I'm searching for that dang, illusive "Pause" button. Do you think I'll find it? I've heard it said that women and men can be compared like computers. Men open a window, complete the task, close it and move on to the next. Women are checking email, Facebook, chatting with 3 others on Gmail chat, balancing the checkbook on Quicken, while completeting an online quiz.

Another comparison is compartmental male waffles and interwoven female spaghetti. True that.

I constantly have what feels like 43 different windows open on my computer screen. I can't take it one at a time because each window constantly seems to require my attention.I can't leave a conversation unresolved and then put it aside until we can talk again. No, no. I will continue thinking about it, speculating, guessing, pondering.

There are things I want to figure out in my life, but I don't get a grade for them, so they don't get done. No one is really counting on me to explore my spirituality. No one gives me a grade at the end of the semester for healing from an eating disorder. I have questions and things I want to learn and explore and it feels, as of recently, those things will never be done.

I didn't know this is what twenty-two would look like. I'm not taking it back, I don't regret where I'm at, I'm just surprised, I guess. Growing up, and throughout high school twenty-two was older, but not "old." Twenty-two was wiser and had life figured out. Twenty-two was put-together and glamorous. Twenty-two was sucessful and happy. I looked up to people in their twenties and now I wish I could reach back in time to sixteen year-old Heather and say, "Slow down, my dear."

I didn't think we'd have wrinkles already. I didn't think I'd be stressing about money. I didn't think that at twenty-two life would be so complicated, so soon. I thought I'd be stylish and comfortable in my body. I thought I'd shine, radiate with all the life inside of me just waiting to burst out. I thought I'd know for sure that whatever I was in college for would be exactly what I was made to do. I thought I'd be more interesting and more adventuresome. I thought things would be different.

But alas, I'm stuck in college. If I'm chasing another year as if it will definitely hold more than the last, I fear I'll always be disappointed. Recently a friend told me, "It's weird, I guess I struggle with being content." I tried to stifle my laughter, but gave up and said, "I've never met a person who doesn't struggle with being content."

So that's where I'm at. Twenty-two.

Today, I'll smile more than yesterday.
Today, I'll soak up the wisdom of Dr. This and Professor That. They have much to say.
Today, I'll resist filling the planner with more...more...more.
Today, I'll take deep breaths. I'll feel my chest as it expands to fill my lungs with air. I'll follow the air as it comes in through my nose and out again.
Today, I'll play and laugh. Just because I can.
Today, I'll hum a little song, that doesn't have a name.
Today, I'll consider that I'm exactly where I need to be and that's good enough.

Because really, twenty-three cannot be postponed. That's just how it works. Give me 365 days. I want them to matter.

You're a good one twenty-two. I'm keeping you around.
Heather

2 comments:

Hannah said...

My twenty told me it seems to be a (not so) distant relative to your twenty-two.

There was a lot in your post I connected with. Oh, don't you love how uniquely similar the lives of humanity seem to flow?

Anonymous said...

random yes maybe a bit

but really this is you being that adventuresome radiant person, you looked up to. this is you learning to live with out fear and to be wise enough to teach others to do the same. this is you living out loud and honest, letting others know what it is that no one seeing when they look at you.

when i remember the twenty-somethings in my life growing up they didnt look like us. but that was from the outside. inside we all have fears, struggles, and wishes.

letting others know they are not the only one who feels lost, now thats the best twenty-two i can think of.

tell them its going to be alright.