When a flower blooms, how do you know it doesn’t hurt?
I’m twenty-three years old, and I have actively avoided feeling pain my entire life. I’ve played it safe, taken all the routes I thought I was supposed to, being just enough creative but not too wild, living but not too much. Then this year I decided to throw everything I thought I knew about myself out the window. And it’s painful. Digging deep to truly find yourself hurts. It doesn’t matter how many times I watch Eat, Pray, Love or plan my next life-changing trip, I cannot escape the isolated, lonely feeling of growing.
I’m learning something new about myself every single day. I’m finding acceptance in being imperfect. I now have a tattoo down my arm, a nose ring on my face, I say shit a few times each day (and even more inside my head). I’m crying, a lot. In public, by myself. Just yesterday I hid in my car and sobbed because life is messy. I’m making choices that don’t look perfect on the outside, but they feel like me on the inside.
My growing up has been ideal. I have a family who loves me. I have the best support system. I’ve traveled the world and I haven’t gone through trauma. So, I ignorantly thought, I could just coast through life.
But I’ve realized something this year. Pain is part of living. Failure is part of growth. Mistakes are where the true magic happens. I have spent more time running away from feeling those deep, dark feelings that reside within me (I still think it must be a past life thing) than actually embracing the lessons those feelings have to offer.
Every day, every moment, my mood changes. I can’t predict who I will feel like tomorrow.
Will it be the Beyonce version of me or Lena Dunham in Girls?
Am I going to be a kickass today at life or am I going to fail at trying to get
out of bed?
I thought by now that I would be able to look myself in the mirror and say, “I’ve got this life thing figured out. I’m being my best self every day.” But instead I don’t know what way is up or down most of the
time. And you know what? I feel more whole than I’ve ever felt before. I feel more alive. I feel sadness, and I feel joy.
So, yeah. I’m a twenty-something who doesn’t have it together. Like at all. What twenty-something does? I’ve become part of a statistic. I’m not special. I’m not unique. But I’m me. Blooming with the pain of it all.