Well I’m officially 23.
It’s funny now to look back at my life as I turned 22 and see how much has changed. I was in a completely different situation back then, with different friends, different outlooks and while I’m basically the same person now, the things around me have changed.
New job. No boyfriend. Different relationships with friends.
22 was a good birthday. I remember feeling settled. A feeling of belonging, surrounded by people who I didn’t know well enough to hate, who had all this sort of potential to be whatever I wanted or needed at the time. I was also with two of my favourite and closest friends who had survived at least a couple years of my crazy and didn’t seem to want to stop enduring the crazy for the me underneath.
I also was with C, someone who grounded me, who let me run wild and crazy and was that rock, that place of comfort and support, who seemed to know what I needed without me needing to ask.
23, thus far, seems to be blowing every settled and calm feeling I’ve grown to cherish over the year out of the water and filling me with my typical emotions: anxiety, fear, depression, loneliness, anger, guilt, dread...
I can go on.
I guess the best way to describe my feelings, my state of being is to remember back as I got out of high school. I’m not sure if everyone else felt this way, but I sure did. That feeling of freedom, of being a blank canvas ready to soak up anything and everything. You could mold this person, this lump of clay into anything. World, oyster, yadda yadda yadda.
I feel like five years later, I’m still that person. That blank canvas that could be anything.
And you know what? It’s scary as fuck.
Sure, it’s freeing. It’s open, it’s everything you ever want it to be. Except it’s not. There’s endless options, endless opportunities, endless scenarios. There’s no red or blue pill here. There’s a rainbow of options and results.
I’ve always been able to fit myself under a certain category or label. Daughter, friend, bestie, girlfriend, ex girlfriend, lover, co-worker... And I could probably add a couple of adjectives to those as well: determined, ambitious, creative, talented, loving, straight, bitchy. But this past week, these past few weeks in fact I feel like whatever I thought about myself isn’t true. I haven’t been ambitious, or driven, or whatever. Despite getting cultured during the summer I don’t feel any wiser, deeper. Despite pushing myself to meet new people, to try new things... I don’t feel any different. I haven’t grown. I haven’t moved on. I’m still that same person, five years later. You’d think that at least part of me had changed, had moved on, who knew what I was passionate about, what I could do with my life. What type of person I wanted to be with.
Who had finally, y’know, grown the fuck up.
But instead of having more answers, instead of being able to tell myself that this is essentially who I am, I am left with more questions. Am I talented? Am I creative? Am I straight? Am I a good friend? Am I loyal? Am I committed?
So it’s in this state of freaking out that I’m so thankful to have someone like S in my life.
He is someone who doesn’t make me feel alone. Or weird. Or stupid for having any thought that I have. When I feel like I’m surrounded by people who have their act together, who know what they want and how to get it, he’ll remind me of something else that I have too. Like self awareness.
So when I brought this up with him he just told me that I already have the answers to anything I need right now. And those questions that I’m freaking out about? They don’t really matter.
The important questions have already been answered. It doesn’t matter who I’m in a relationship with, I know that I’ll be a good partner to anyone--boy, girl, something in between. That I’ll respect them, that I’ll be loving, supportive, generous. That it doesn’t matter if I continue to work or go to school, either way I’ll be dedicated, ambitious, driven. That it doesn’t matter who my friends are, I’ll still be the same friend I’ve been all along.
And I guess, in my early twenties, that’s all I can really ask for right now.
I have the 42, now I just need the right questions.