Yesterday, I celebrated another year around the sun -- which makes it exactly 366 days since I've written here.
It's interesting, getting older. I find myself less concerned about the things that used to worry me, I love myself more, I care less about what others think. For the most part, anyway. At 29, I am pretty content. I work far more than I should, for sure, but I have a home and food on the table and people who love me and I feel safe and like I have the ground solidly under my feet.
This past year, I saw Garrison Keillor speak. I visited Chicago. My godson became an older brother. I moved out of a one-bedroom apartment entirely by myself, due to stubbornness. (I proved just how strong I am, but I'm never moving solid wood furniture alone again.) I pet so, so many dogs. I read dozens of books, and returned to Germany for the first time since 2012. I took part in a brutal election process, and in the process have realized -- and stood up for -- what truly matters to me.
I am lucky, and I am grateful.
Here are nine things I know, now that I have reached the-year-before-thirty:
- Adulthood is not scary. It's freedom.
- Telling your story is the first step to reclaiming your power.
- Camis are the solution to too-short, too-transparent shirts.
- Habits are hard to break. Pick good ones.
- Self love is everything. Practice it like it's your job.
- Sleep is so, so precious. Guard it.
- You can choose your own family by surrounding yourself with good friends -- and you can re-choose the actual, biological family you were born into.
- Going outside is a natural, immediate soul balm.
- The negatives will consume you. Pay attention to the positives, and then be the change you wish to see.
Every time I think back to a decade ago, I feel so much sympathy for the girl I once was. Being a teenager is hard. As an adult, I have autonomy in my own life. I am responsible for my successes and my failures; my own happiness is in my hands. As a child and teen, you have so little control of your life and of the people in it. Dearest, if you are in this situation -- I see you. I hear you. Keep going. It gets better, I promise.