27.

In a few days, I’ll be 27, and for the first time ever, the thought of my birthday is not something that fills me with anticipation.

They said this would happen. My mom entreated me to enjoy my youth while i could, but as millions upon millions have discovered, youth is wasted on the young. The truth of that statement stops me sometimes–it is wasted by those who cannot and will not understand your pleas to embrace the moment they are living in now. I remember anxiously awaiting 16, because that was such a magical age. It meant driving, makeup, and dating (even if I only got 2 out of 3!) Each successive year meant that much closer to adulthood, each year I would discover new and exciting things, new worlds would open up to me.

Twenty-one through twenty-five was so exciting because each additional year didn’t take me out of the  ‘early twenties” category and I could still get away with not having my life figured out. Twenty-six was ok because that meant I was just on the other side of it, still a mid-twenty-something. Those were such fun years, such fun heartbreaking educational slightly-spontaneous years. Twenty-seven is on the cusp of “almost-thirty” and has definitely moved past “young twenty-something”.

Twenty-seven seems so intimidating because I have friends and I know plenty of other women who are on their second and third child by now, and I keep reading about how my eggs are in danger of shriveling up and by the time i hit 30 I might as well consider myself infertile. (Please don’t get me wrong–this is not a lament for children. That is not a hole in my heart. It is a desire patiently waiting for the right time and the right man. But everyone thinks I need to GET ON THAT and so I get a little freaked out by all the hurry.) I’m trying so hard to enjoy all that I have right NOW and make the most of being this age RIGHT NOW because I know one day I’ll look back on THIS age and think, “now why did I waste that time?”

Twenty-seven seems to be the age where you’re supposed to start getting all your ducks in a row (which, by the way, I have ducks and they WILL NEVER GET IN A ROW I DON’T KNOW WHO STARTED THE RUMOR THAT YOU CAN PUT YOUR DUCKS IN A ROW BECAUSE IT WILL NEVER. HAPPEN) and I take stock of my life sometimes and wonder–am I falling behind? Is there something else I should be doing? Because I sure hope not–I’m already so busy with the life I have. I play a very intensive athletic sport, trying to keep my house in working and beautiful order, spend time with my friends, love my family and boyfriend, work a steady awesome job, trying to grow and raise my own food–I just don’t know what else I can fit in here. (That is not to say that when the time comes, I won’t be ready for it or won’t make the appropriate accommodations).

So instead of spending this week slightly dreading this birthday (because who can REALLY hate a day dedicated to them?) I’ve decided to go through all the awesome things that happened this past year, and to find things to be excited about this upcoming year.

When I was 26, I…

  • started and “completed” chiropractic treatment for my back, which changed how I feel on a daily basis radically and revolutionized my perception of my body
  • bought my little trucklet, the first vehicle I’ve ever purchased on my own
  • Discovered the Primal Blueprint, which helped me shed so much fat and made me stop hating my body
  • got an awesome job that I can really believe in, working for a boss who is a mentor, a friend, and a surrogate uncle
  • discovered roller derby
  • participated in full-on training for it and quickly mastered basic skills, making it all the way to the end of the league’s training program
  • learned what disappointment really feels like, and learned that I do not like it in the least little bit. I also discovered that it seasons life and accentuates joy.
  • BOUGHT MY FIRST HOUSE. Seriously the best thing that happened to me this year. There is nothing quite like buying your first house–stressful, exhilarating, heart-breaking, and exhausting. Now, I live somewhere where the responsibilities and rewards are all mine. The stress and the relief are simultaneous and empowering.

Twenty-six was such a spectacular year, I don’t know to top it. Truly, one of the best. My life changed so completely in one year, more than I thought possible. I learned so much about myself, about who I am and what I’m made of and what is possible. There were moments of disgust with parts of myself, things I wish I didn’t have to know, but there were also moments of pure beauty and delight. I have learned how capable I am–I have done things that required an inner strength I wasn’t quite sure I had. I CAN do things, and if I only work hard at my dreams, one step at a time (which I feel is quitimportant to the process), I will achieve the things I want. So, here are a few things I want to do as a twenty-seven year old:

  • Make it into the TXRD league
  • actually eat something from my garden
  • get every wall in this house painted the right color
  • eat the first egg from my chickens
  • Visit New York City and Portland

I know, not a terribly long list. Not horribly ambitious. These are things that won’t take NEARLY the paperwork buying a house does, but they’re still important. Making a list only makes me realize, however, that there is no way I can figure out what the year ahead holds. Maybe there will be incredible heartbreak. Maybe there will be unsurpassable joy. Or maybe it will be a year of comfort, a year of quiet strength and little victories. I can’t really know, and I think that’s the scariest part.

The older I get the more I realize, down in my core, that this is the only chance I’ll get to be this age. Sometimes I think we live with this idea that we’ll do it all over again (on a subconscious level), that those chapters of our lives aren’t sealed closed behind us. I don’t want to waste this time. I don’t want to miss out on my body being flexible, capable, and powerful, or miss the opportunities to connect with people and learn from them. I shouldn’t dread this age, I should embrace it. There are people who will never get to see 27, and I need to remember how blessed I am to be where and who I am. So I guess this means that this week, I should take time to appreciate the adult I have become, and look forward to the places I want to go.

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