August 30, 2010

on being twenty-six...

Well, I've been twenty-six for five days. I'm unsure of whether my lack of writing a post about it was out of necessity or choice. These days, I've been a bit more closed off and tucked inside myself. Which is okay, I think.

In any case, I must say I'm a fan of twenty-six.

One thing that has really stood out to me this year is how this is the first time I've actually felt my age. For the past handful of years I started to think I was going to feel perpetually sixteen. However, this year something in me has changed. I feel twenty-six. I'm not sure why this is, except that maybe I feel a bit more settled. Comfortable in my own skin, self-assured, confident.

It's odd, though, how life never happens exactly how you thought it would. Ten years ago you could have come up to me and asked where I'd be at twenty-six and I'd probably say something like this:

Oh, I'll be married and have a nice home with my husband. He'll be a musician, probably, and write me poetry and songs that make me weep in the best way possible. I'll be an artist and a mom, probably have of a couple kids. Twins. Because they run in my family and that's just awesome. I'll drive a Jetta. I'll be living down the street from at least one sister, seeing them on a daily basis. And I will be such a good cook! I will make dinner every night and always have baked goods in the kitchen. I will shop at Banana Republic and still be a size zero and buy makeup from the fancy counters at the mall.

Needless to say, that isn't where life ended up taking me.

I'm too many states away from my family, paying over $1,000 to rent a cozy duplex in which I can hear our neighbor using the facilities in the morning when I'm trying to brush my teeth. I have a husband who will probably never write me a poem, but has the unique talent of writing me songs that don't make any sense, are a little off-key, and make me laugh for days. I like to consider myself an artist and a crafter, despite not doing it full-time. As for motherhood, all I can do at this point is dream of looking down at a pregnant belly and spending hours upon hours picking out names for my twin daughters (wishful thinking), but there is no doubt in my mind that I will be a great mom when the time comes. Instead of a Jetta, I drive a car that looks like a coconut jelly bean and the only thing I feel truly confident cooking are scrambled eggs. I live far away from my sisters, but I absolutely live for those phone calls that make me laugh, cry and feel 100% understood. And as for my shopping habits? I'm sure we all know by now that I spend way too much time on the Anthropologie website for not owning even one single piece of their clothing, preferring to shop at Target for pretty much everything.

Still, I love where I am. I tend to miss my family a little too much, shake my fist at Southern California drivers on a fairly regular basis and struggle to balance work with the rest of my busy life, but I'm doing okay. Better than okay, most likely.

When I think about where I am, I can't help but blessed. Things are cozy. I am loved. I have all I need and so much of what I want. And most days, my hopes and dreams feel like they are just around the corner. Everything seems to be falling into place just when I need it, you know? And even on the days when all I want to do is curl up and have a good cry, I know that there are so many people who care, who love me, who are just waiting for the chance to encourage me and tell me it's going to be okay.

It's comforting to know that life doesn't have to follow all my plans in order to be exactly what I need.

29 comments :

  1. It's true. Life doesn't have to be perfect to be perfect.

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  2. Wow...I kind of just went through all of this, except I turned 21 and I have yet to find much happiness in what life has given me. Your words are so inspiring, though. I will certainly keep them in mind.

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  3. I totally agree. I turned 25 last month and feel the same way. Ten years ago, my prediction for today would have been something SO completely off from my life today... yet... it doesn't bother me a bit. :)

    Cheers to being happy and content.

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  4. Love this. I have a hard time growing up!

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  5. Happy #26! Thanks, too, for this: "It's comforting to know that life doesn't have to follow all my plans in order to be exactly what I need." Exactly what I needed to hear this morning.

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  6. I hope you had a great birthday and I'm happy to hear that you're in such a great place with 26! I've been sort of "tucked inside myself" lately too, so I completely understand where you're coming from with that one. Life never turns out exactly the way we plan for it to, but being happy makes up for that, don't you think? :)

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  7. Your blog is always so sweetly put. I am 26, have twin boys, and I am recently a stay-at-home artist/ blogger. My husband is a musician (though he has not made a song for me lately), and, OK... I am far from a size zero. Considering my initials are KW, I feel a little like an alter-ego. However, there are many times when the children are screaming, the house is a wreck and my hair is 5 feet tall because I haven't had a chance to comb it (and it's noon), and I have to remind myself to be grateful for the amazing life I have. Contentment certainly comes from within. Good luck traveling through year 26!

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  8. I'm with you: twenty-six is fabulous so far. I'm rejoicing in it, in fact.

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  9. It sounds like your life right now is just right for you, at this very moment. That is not easy to come by, I applaud you.

    Oh and happy late birthday! :)

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  10. Happy belated bday!

    These lines made me smile, inside and out:

    "I have all I need and so much of what I want."

    "It's comforting to know that life doesn't have to follow all my plans in order to be exactly what I need."

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  11. Geeze! This post makes me feel not so alone! LOL Seriously though, I have some of these same feelings but overall I am blessed and am very thankful for the things I have.

    Happy birthday sweet girl!

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  12. I love life's ability to surprise us with goodness, even if it looks different than we might have imagined.

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  13. I just love looking back on my life and seeing how my goals/wants for my life seem like nothing compared to the wonderful life that I have received. God knows what He is doing, and 100% of the time, it is better than we could ever imagine.

    :)

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  14. This post really touched something inside of me. I am not where I thought I would be either, but I'm slowly learning it's ok.

    You are beautiful and don't look anywhere near 26 (I mean that in the best way possible. You look a cool, stylish 22).

    I am re-watching Friends from the beginning. Any time Monica does something hilarious I think of you. :)

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  15. The very last thing you said is exactly what I needed to hear. I have to keep saying it to myself as I try to get through the next two years of my life.

    Thank you for putting into words what I have been feeling for the past month.

    :-) You are awesome and amazing ... and I LOVE your blog.

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  16. Amen. Happy Birthday. And you ARE loved.:)

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  17. lovely post - i think it deserves a reward in the form of something from anthropologie (perhaps from the sale rack?!)

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  18. i don't think i'll ever be able to afford anything from that website. target it is! :)

    and happy belated birthday!

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  19. i love this post. ironically i had just written a post about turning 27. yours reminded me to take into account all the things that are good about my life besides the things that haven't come to be.

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  20. Happy birthday, gorgeous! :D 26 is fabulous, I should know...I'm 28. :) And 28 is STILL fabulous!

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  21. Happy Birthday! Sweetie, this is beautiful! I agree - my life isn't close to where I thought I'd be right now but my god do I love the curveballs.

    Also - my man sings me random quirky songs like that too. I absolutely adore it.

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  22. 26 was the first year I felt my age too. I think I felt more settled and content than I ever have. Here's to more birthdays like 26!

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  23. I'm waiting to feel my age, but 26 comes up for me in April so maybe that's the magic number?

    Anyway, happy birthday!

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  24. I just stumbled across your blog and I'm so happy I did, this is wonderful and speaks to me to completely.
    Especially the last line (It's comforting to know that life doesn't have to follow all my plans in order to be exactly what I need.).
    I'm 25 myself and definitely thought by this age I'd have children.
    In fact I'm pretty certain that when I was 15 I wrote a full description of where I'd be in ten years time. You've inspired me to dig that out.
    Look forward to reading more.

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  25. That last line is perfection and I so needed that today!

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  26. I'm so glad that I found your blog! You have totally inspired me to create a list of things to do in my 29th year. I wasn't ready to commit to 101 things, so I did 29 instead.

    Happy belated birthday!

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  27. I'm a lurker and I think your blog is positively delightful. You are honest and speak your true feelings! I love reading your blog for that reason. PS You are beautiful and one day will be a wonderful mom!

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  28. I just found your blog and you can consider me a new reader. I love this post and can totally identify with just about every word that you wrote. and when you mentioned that you browse anthro, but own 0 things from there & would rather shop at target - i uttered "me too!!!!" haha. have a great day, i cannot wait to follow along with you on your blog!

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  29. I loved this entry! It truly makes me think about my own life. Though all of us have been known to plan out our lives in one way or another, it is not in our hands. Only time will tell. I think we all have something in our life to give thanks for.

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