Extracts from 2 articles that spoke to me. I don’t know, I think having been through such hard things, I’ve forgotten how to live or how to be young, all I’ve been doing is picking up the pieces of a broken life. As a perfectionist, it’s hard to let go, it’s hard to just let things be. I don’t quite know how to stop living in my head and start living in the present. I want to create a life full of life, spontaneous moments, adventure, little things, laughter, silly mistakes. 2017 is coming, it’s time to buckle down for some reflection soon, but for now, I’ll survive.
“When you’re young and you’re free, you don’t have to have it all figured out. You’re allowed to be a little unsure. You’re allowed to be a little bit lost. You’re allowed to work a job that isn’t your dream job or date someone you’re not sure you could marry or waste time at a hobby you enjoy that isn’t necessarily taking you anywhere career-wise. Not everything has to have a clear, long-term purpose. You’re allowed, in some ways, to simply be the age you are. To enjoy the ride. To figure it out as you go.
You’re allowed to date without worrying too hard about where it’s going – to enjoy someone for their presence and not their future husband or wife potential. You’re allowed to kiss a few strangers and have a few flings and go out with someone for the sole reason of they make you laugh and you kind of want to see them without clothes on. You don’t have to think so hard about all of it. Some things are allowed to be instinctual.
You’re allowed to not date at all. You’re allowed to enjoy time on your own and plan your life alone and change those plans when and if it becomes necessary. You don’t have to grow preoccupied over your compatibility with others or what that date with that guy from last weekend really meant – you’re allowed to simply let people come and go as it makes sense. You don’t have to be putting yourself out there when you’re not really feeling like doing so. It’s okay to be alone if that is what you want. It doesn’t mean you’ll end up that way indefinitely.
You’re allowed to get out of your comfort zone. You’re allowed to strap on a backpack and go travelling while everyone else is getting married and promoted and popping out babies. You’re allowed to take that job that you aren’t sure about because it might be a good opportunity, even if you have to move across the country to take it. You’re allowed to jump feet-first into things that are a little uncertain. You are young enough to bounce back if it doesn’t work out. You are old enough to deal with the fallout of your misjudgments.
You don’t have to live your life based on a careful, outdated timeline that you set up for yourself when you were too young to ever know better. You may not be where you thought you’d be at twenty-five or thirty-five or fifty but maybe you’re altogether better because of it. After all, the best parts of life are the unplanned bits – the people or the projects or the passion that interrupt your plans without apology and take your life by storm.
Because as easy it is to forget, you’re free to do what you want with your life. The problem is, that can be quite the responsibility, to live your life the way you want to, rather than they way you are expected to. Especially if that means taking a big jump. And especially when that jump may feel like a free fall. Maybe quit your first job and go back to school if that feels right. Get married or don’t. Maybe you drop out of school or chop off your hair. Maybe you change your mind. End a relationship that no longer serves you. Become a different person. Maybe you move away or move back home. Or maybe you’re scared to do these things because it’s uncomfortable and unexpected. Maybe it’s because you don’t know if everything would fall into place or you’re scared what that would mean if it did.
And when you’re in your 20s, I hope you buy a plane ticket to Paris. I hope you get lost wandering all of the streets. I hope you travel the world and read lots of new books. I hope you have interesting conversations over warm cups of tea. I hope you drink out of mason jars while dancing barefoot in the grass. I hope you have a water fight in Central Park. Set goals and change them. Quit your day job. I hope you don’t do any of these things or that you do them all. Write a book. Change your mind. Start new friendships and let go of the ones that you need to. Say goodbye to all of the things that have kept you stagnant and vow to keep moving forward.
I hope your 50s mean going back to school or starting yoga. I hope your 40s include falling in love with someone new — a friend, child, or partner. I hope you stay up all night laughing with your friends. And when you’re 30, learn something new. I hope your life is one of wisdom and youth, adventure and old age — no matter what year it was that you were born.
But what I really mean to say is that I hope you aren’t held back because of a number. And that you don’t rush into things because it feels like time is slipping by. I hope you do what’s right for you. Hold on. Slow down. And breathe in. Your age is your age. But more importantly, your life is your life. Don’t change your journey so that it matches someone else’s. We need to walk different paths so the whole world can be explored. Revel in the differences. And enjoy where you are.”