Today I am another year older. In the last year, I started university, learned a lot about Love (and also Not-Love), wrote quiet poetry, started drinking smoothies religiously and putting coconut oil in my hair, walked across a country, played a lot of shows, almost made it through Breaking Bad (seven more episodes!) and have kept a plant alive for five months and counting (new record). There is so little that I can project about even the nearest future; I feel as if I have shifted significantly in this last year, what I used to be drawn to I am now unimpressed with. My paradigms have shifted significantly. My scope has grown. There are four thousand new questions I didn't know existed that are daily pumping through my heart. I am dreaming about places I want to go and jobs I'd like to have, people I'd like to talk to and new hobbies I'd like to acquire (like surfing and maybe one day be an enjoyable scrabble opponent). All of this wavering and wandering, I am certain, is a perfect mid-twenties existential crisis. Let us all cheers the uncertainty with another piece of cake.
Inside of me there is a rumbling. There is a lot of fear and a lot of dreams, and it keeps me from sleep, it wakes me up when the light in my room is still grey. I sat down the other day and wrote down everything I'm afraid of, and it became clear that I may just be afraid of everything, but I am learning a new song; I hear it on the sidewalks of this city and in that space when I find myself holding my breath, and the words go, "try, try, try."
If, at the end of it all, I find out this silly longing is all for naught: [I will probably have a deep, bellowing cry, and drink a lot of wine, and then] I will be proud that I have searched and combed the earth for a love deep enough to keep me peeking at the edge of the road, rounding each corner, getting on another plane, staying up at night trying to wrap my head around it. I have experienced this beautiful privilege: to be moved enough by a virtue that it would call my heart so far and so wide, to inspire word and song, to give my mind a meadow in which to drift to when I nod off to the sweetest dream.
What else should we be doing except fighting ferociously for what sets our hearts on fire?
[This question has been stuck in my head for weeks, and I feel like everything is echoing it around me].
I hope to say of the second half of my twenties that I was gentle, but unapologetic. I hope that I can say I learned that I don't owe anyone anything; in everything there is choice, and also not everyone deserves to see every corner of my heart. I hope I will be more spontaneous and less reserved, that I will jump in more lakes and dance without care and wake up in the middle of the night and drive to another city, and say "yes, why not?" more often. I hope I made plans to be close to the ocean, if not because I now live in a beach bungalow by the sea, then because every vacation brought me back there. I hope I showed less worry about how my body looks to others, that I didn't cross my arms so much or hunch my shoulders, that I didn't stress about being the prettiest or the most put together, that I ate well and healthy and often and ordered carrot cake from my favourite restaurant, because it feels better. I hope I will say I was not afraid to ask for more, of myself, of others. I hope I will be able to say I did more work, that my hands were ink stained and eyes weary from staying up later to do something really, really well, or because I was at my friend's house painting or holding her hand.
I hope I can say I became really reliable friend. I hope I made the time to sit down for coffee and came over to help move and did your dishes. I hope that when friends asked something of me, I was already there.
And in Love: that I didn't welcome someone in just because I was lonely, because there is nothing more lonely than going to sleep beside someone that is not your home. That I didn't apologize for all of the uncontrollable giggles I sometimes get, or the fact that I like to sleep in at least two days a week, or that I don't drink whiskey or scotch, or that I'm not good at snowboarding or tennis (because sometimes people use those kinds of things to make you feel small). I hope I didn't apologize for the fact that I wanted to throw my arms around your neck and kiss you in the market.
I hope that I will say that I made room for the things I love, even if making room means eating spaghetti four nights a week for a whole year (and I don't particularly love spaghetti), or leaving this city or staying in this city or singing songs that sometimes I don't like, or living in apartments that don't have a lot of windows. I hope that I will be able to say that I tried really hard, and I shared everything, and I put in the work.
I hope I was more mindful of my wild heart, and all its musings. I hope I was more available and less doubtful to the possibility that my life can be richer and more full than I could ever even consume.
[Photo from Madewell].