I Crave the Breeze

I’ve noticed as we grow, we try to tame the wild parts of ourselves.

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I realized this fact, yet again, as I was looking at myself in the mirror this morning, running my fingers through the halo of messy brown hair framing my bare face. At 15, I let the curls do their thing, but now I wake up early to smooth them into a more respectable form; I spend 10 minutes applying makeup to this face in order to “accentuate my features.” I spend a majority of my morning trying to transform into a version of myself that I’ve somehow grown into.

Why is it that as we age we feel the need to be tame? Is that just me? Surely, I cannot be the only one who feels like I’ve let go the colorful and crazy pieces of themselves. I was so eager to grow up; I wanted to have the freedom that came along with adulthood, but I didn’t realize how much would change and how quickly. I can’t stay up on the phone until 6 am and roll out of bed at 7 for work without looking and feeling like a zombie. It’s no longer “appropriate” to wear bright blue nail polish and 5 friendship bracelets on one wrist. I can’t even remember the last time I spent an entire day dancing around and eating chips by the handful without a care in the world. When did I last run for fun and not exercise? When’s the last time I spent the entire day in bed with a book and didn’t feel guilty about it? I still remember illegally piercing my cartilage at 15 and hiding it from my mother; over a year ago, I removed that little token of defiance. I think it’s time to put it back in.

But, now I actually separate my wash into lights and darks. I know how to properly iron a pair of trousers and tie the perfect Windsor knot (thanks dad!). I have to file taxes and pay bills. I realize how expensive gas is and why people complain about utilities; I can hold my own in debates about politics, religion, and culture, but truth is, I still know more about Harry Potter than I’d like to admit. I still toy with the idea of painting my toenails blue and when I’m feeling extra saucy I wear an anklet in the summer. Crazy, I know. I just wish I had realized how quickly life goes by; my dad always said that once you leave high school, time flies by. I always laughed at the thought, but as I walked across the stage at my high school commencements, I realized that I was closing another chapter and moving to the next.

On thanksgiving morning, I looked at myself in the mirror before walking out the door. I turned my head from left to right, pushed a strand of perfectly straightened, short, brown hair behind my ear, and looked into my spectacle framed eyes. I sighed when I realized that I’m no longer seventeen. Now let me explain; I don’t feel old, but I just caught a glimpse at myself and I look so different. I have faint wrinkles around my eyes when I smile and I wear diamond studs, glasses, and I do my hair and makeup each day. I don’t recognize myself. When I think about what I look like, I still imagine myself at seventeen. I still imagine the long wavy brown hair and the young, innocent chocolate eyes I once had. I don’t know when life morphed into this entirely new chapter, but the page turned so quickly, I must not have had the chance to notice this time.

-LP

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You’ve Got This

Isn’t it great with things just fall into place?
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I have been slightly freaking out the past few days. Just ask the boyf, I’m sure he’d agree. I was worried things wouldn’t work out in my life. I was wrong. And so are you. Things will work out for you, I promise. It might not be the way you’re hoping for or even a way you’d expect, but they will work out.

I had been waiting for a call about a new job which is desperately needed to allow me to afford to head over to Finland next year. I got it and now I have a sense of security in knowing that I’ll be there soon. That “one day” isn’t as far away as it really seems. This opportunity just locked down my future with him. How silly is it that I needed this to make me feel like it was doable? It’s ridiculous, I know that; but when you’re in the thick of it, you’re not thinking clearly.

I know you might be thinking that it’s easy for me to say this now that things have officially worked out, but they haven’t for you, not yet. I get it. When people tell me to just have faith that it will all be okay, I get slightly irritated. No one knows what the future will hold. No one.

But it’s better to stay positive and just hope for the best. Cross your fingers, wish on 11:11, wish on your eyelashes, on the first star you see each night, do whatever it takes to try to put your mind at ease. Meditate. Pray. Listen to music. Write. Go for a run. Do anything! Just try to put your worries to rest and know that no matter the outcome, you’ll make it through.

It’s easy for me to say now, but about two hours ago I wasn’t feeling so confident. So I suppose this post is meant for myself in the future; this is for when I’m nervous to fly across the Atlantic. This is for when I’m nervous about my first day. For when I’ve got to go to court. For when class is hard and I don’t feel like studying. This is for when I’m scared or worried or feeling alone. And this is for you.

If you’re ever feeling less than 100% confident, know that it’s normal. Know that it’s okay to be afraid. It’s okay to have moments of weakness; those moments do not define us. It’s how we handle them. It’s what we learn from them; that’s what defines us. You might have some hard life lessons ahead of you; you might have just learned one today, two days ago, last year, whatever. You might be struggling. You might be scared. If you are, know that you’re not alone. We all feel that way. We’re all afraid at some point.

You’ll be okay. It might take some time, but you will be. Anything worth having is at least slightly scary, so don’t let that stop you from following your dreams. Dream big. Take risks. Know that not everything will work out exactly how you expected, but it’s worth the experience. It’s worth knowing that you tried.

-LP