Twenty-Seven

Another year has passed. It has become a tradition for me to reflect on my life for the past year, the night before my birthday. Tomorrow I turn 27. It’s a strange world that we are living in right now. With a global pandemic, lockdowns across the world and an unpredictable virus taking people’s lives, this birthday I am filled with gratitude that I have a home, I have people who love me and I have my health. So this birthday is a little different, I have to stay indoors and celebrate it on a smaller scale, but I’m okay with that. You see, in the post I wrote the day before my 26th birthday, I talked about already feeling fulfilled, about learning to let go of things I can’t control and focusing on the present moment and the small things in life I am grateful for. I am happy to say that I continued on this journey of gratitude and light this year.

In September, I decided to go back into the classroom. I took a role as a teaching assistant, believing that even though teaching was not the job for me, the classroom was still an environment I thrived in. I couldn’t have been more wrong. There were many reasons I left my most recent job, I won’t go into the details. But something inside me was telling me to move on. I didn’t belong. I don’t know how I knew. I just did. I had to walk away. Now I don’t see it as a failure. I see it as a lucky escape. From a life that wasn’t meant for me. Since I left teaching, I often find myself repeating this phrase to myself “I can do anything but not everything.” It keeps me grounded and reminds me that it is okay if something is not for you, it’s not a failure but a lesson. Then I ask myself, what can I learn from this experience?

Well, what I have learned is that I am a free spirit. I am someone who becomes restless in one place for too long, I crave change, I need to be stimulated, I always want to try new things. I may have changed my mind a lot on what I want to do and what I think my purpose is during my twenties so far, but isn’t that what this time is for? Everything I have done is part of my journey. Since my last birthday, I have been focusing on my wellbeing and working on myself. My energy has shifted from what career or job I want to have, to what truly makes me happy. I started going to therapy and I worked through a lot of issues that have held me back for years. I made the crucial steps towards battling my anxiety and depression once and for all. There many other factors alongside therapy, but I can say for certain, I haven’t been this mentally strong in a long time. I am calm, centred, more creative and overall I worry less about what direction my life is going to take. What will meant to be will always find a way. I’m not saying I won’t ever experience mental illness again. But I now have full confidence in myself that I have the right tools to recognise the signs before I end up in that place again.

Also, in the last year, I have started my own small craft business called Positive Stitch. I started stitching as a hobby. In January, I started selling cross-stitch and embroidery gifts and I love it. Stitching is therapeutic for me and I have always loved creating things, whether that be a piece of writing, art or a music. During the last few months, I have found my creativity again. I am writing poetry every day and working on editing my first collection. I am practising my skills on the guitar and ukulele and singing a few times a week. Life is good right now.

So on the eve before my 27th birthday. I want to just take a moment to look back at how far I have come. Remember the mountains I have climbed to get here. It may have taken years of struggle but I have found my strength. I am happy, I am thankful for the present moment and hopeful for the future (whatever it may hold for me.) Now I can’t predict what will happen in the next 365 days of my life. But as long as I believe in myself, follow my intuition and appreciate the love and happiness that surrounds me, I’ll be okay. Happy Birthday to me, here is to many more to come!

Twenty

As you get older you gain wisdom that will stay with you for the rest of your life, you learn lessons that will only come from the mistakes and bad choices that you make. Wisdom is just another puzzle piece to the journey. What you learn about people and what you learn from others will shape the person that you become. I am reflecting on the lessons that I have learnt recently and even though I can still sometimes feel confused and deluded by this crazy world that we live in I feel a step closer to knowing who I am. I am turning twenty years old tomorrow and that doesn’t scare me, it excites me. I am one step closer to finishing education, I am one step closer to finding the perfect job and starting my career and I am one step closer to my future. Age is just a number but it can also represent different stages of a persons life.

The last decade of my life I started as a young ten year old girl with dreams of being on stage but things changed. I grew up. I struggled through my teenage years, the most challenging years of a person’s life. I realised through my teenage years that you lose friends and you gain friends. I learnt how to control my emotions and that there were more important things in life than worrying about things that don’t matter. As I got older I gained more responsibilities and I took charge of my own life and my own decisions. Turning eighteen was a milestone that was always going to effect my future. Choosing to take a chance on a Creative Writing Degree was the best decision I ever made. I lived on my own, I gained and lost more friends and made the decision to move back home because living with people I didn’t get along with was jeopardising my happiness. I am now turning twenty and starting a new decade of my life. I can see the future in front of me and I am excited for what awaits. I am my own person, with my own goals and my own dreams and I am not going to let my life pass me by. I am going to make something of my life.

I have found my soul mate and best friend, I have great friends and I know what career path I am going down. I want to travel the world with my boyfriend Declan, I want to get married and buy a puppy. I want to laugh and enjoy every moment of happiness I get. I want to have children of my own and teach them all of the things I have learnt in life, I want to watch them grow into amazing people and I want to enjoy every milestone they reach. Twenty might just be a number to most people and it doesn’t define anything but the number of years you have been alive but for me I always use age to define the steps in my life. Twenty defines the start of official adulthood. Twenty defines the start of great things. Twenty defines the next stepping stone towards my future.