Somewhere along the way, I got the writer’s block of a lifetime when it comes to my emotions. I used to be really good at reflecting, figuring out what makes me tick, and finding a way out of the turmoil. I’ve been trying to figure out what changed and to be honest, I’m still not quite sure. Last year, I wrote this post on turning 27 and how I took a lot of leaps. Looking back now, the leaps that I thought were huge back then seem almost insignificant to the leaps I took this year.
Because I’m writing this in a coffee shop in a brand new city, completely out of my comfort zone.
27 was the age of ‘uncharted territory’ and navigating my way, sometimes without any success, through the muddled waters of my life. I made a lot of mistakes along the way.
I hurt other people more than I hurt myself. I was scared of completely changing the course of my life, but nothing scared me more than settling into a pattern that would continue building resentment in my heart and soul.
I learned how to ask for help. OK, I learned that I should learn how to ask for help and that it doesn’t mean people in my life are going to abandon me the second I need their help. It’s quite possible that asking for even the smallest favor is physically painful to me at times.
I learned to stop apologizing for things that aren’t my fault. I learned that it was time to put the oxygen mask on myself before trying to save the rest of the world. That there was no way I could survive, mentally or emotionally, at the rate I was going when it came to putting everyone’s needs before mine.
I packed my entire life in a car and drove 3000 miles away from my comfort zone and everything I’ve known that made sense for the past 17 years.
I pushed people away. Instead of opening up, I sunk deeper into my depression and let my fears take over. I apologized for being afraid.
I feel exposed and terrified. There is so much uncertainty in my life and there are days when I don’t make it out of bed. The only difference between now and the last time I was this depressed 3.5 years ago is that I no longer have someone who loves me coming home to take care of me at the end of the day.
I am alone.
What I’m learning about myself is that when I left my comfort zone, I also left behind all the resentment I held on to because that was my fuel. With all that resentment and anger stripped away, I am left facing all of my dreams and insecurities head on. I am in fight or flight mode every minute of every day. There are some people who may see my decision to move cross-country as ‘flight’ but it was my way of fighting to hold on to who I am.
At the core of it all, I am full of ideas, dreams, and goals that I have been working to achieve for the last 7 years. I’m kind of stubborn that way. I might get distracted and derailed but I never leave my dreams behind.
So that’s where I am as I turn 28. This is a pivotal year for me on so many levels. Even as I write this, I am afraid of waking up tomorrow because I don’t know if it’ll be a fight or flight kind of day. I always go to sleep determined to fight for my life the next day.
There are some things that haven’t changed, though. I am still just an April Fool with a penguin posse, an addiction to coffee, and a love for making other people smile every day, even if I can’t find that smile myself.