I woke up the day after my birthday party with some post-birthday blues. 25 had been coming for so long and now that it’s here I realized I felt a little like the wind got kicked out of my sails.
I’m 25 now, and I have packed so much “life experience” into those years that I think I’ll take the opt out option on getting my ass handed to me by anything too major for the next few months at least. But because my laugh has this far been a series of big bads – get out of school, graduate college, get a job, get promoted, finish all this intensive therapy, learn how to be a human again, find the right career, etc. it feels like without a fight I’m somehow lacking.
My normalizing life is a series of smaller wins. I didn’t lose 25 pounds this year like I’d hoped. But so far I’ve lost fifteen. I didn’t have 2500 followers by 25 like I’d hoped. But I have 2000 these days. I’ve been booking acting gigs and losing weight and posting when I can so I know I’m not failing. It’s only been six months since I really started this whole living thing again so I owe myself some grace. By choosing to run and workout and to keep going to auditions and to keep posting and to keep writing, I’m telling myself that I’m not giving up. And sometimes that has to be enough.
In the face of this little bit of blues, I had dinner with a couple of other actresses last night and we commiserated over how hard the Texas market can be when they’re are hardly any projects getting made in a week. Soon though, the talk turned to all the things that we wish we could fix about ourselves and our lives and I hated hearing it coming from them. When we listen to someone else telling us all the way they feel like they’ve failed it doesn’t make sense the way it does when our inner critic has our shortcomings on speaker. I just saw these two beautiful women who hadn’t given up on themselves or their dreams and were fighting when life gave them obstacles. And very fairly they pointed out that they see the same in me.
So maybe you’re kind of like me, feeling like a warrior without a battle at the moment. Or you’re like my friend who feels weighed down by her past. Or my other friend who sees who she is as an obstacle toward achieving what she wants. Or maybe you have an entirely different thing nagging at you today.
But just by reading this, by choosing to get up and get on with your week on this Monday – you’ve chosen to live a life that makes you happy. So for me, I want you to ignore the other voices that are telling you the criticisms and lies, and I want you to see yourself through someone else’s eyes. Someone outside of you can’t hear whatever negativity you’ve got on loop, and I promise they can’t see it just by looking.
We are works in progress, and being in the middle of change, especially when it’s the kind of change we accept in exchange for our own happiness, is chaotic. It creates a kind of thrum of upheaval we’ve been told is the result of us not being able to handle our situation. I call bull. The most successful and happy people live in a state of flux and embrace the hell out of that. You’re not failing because there are sections in your life under remodel always.
So at 25 or 35 or 75, take a moment today to acknowledge those places in your life under construction and accept how awesome you must be to take on that kind of project. Because you, reaching forward in life and not giving up – you are enough. There’s not some distant version of yourself you must achieve before you are worthy. You, right now, not stopping when it might be easier to do so, are enough. Enjoy yourself as much as the people who really know you do. This season in your life may look completely different than all the rest – in fact I kind if hope it does.