Yesterday I turned twenty-six. It was full of flowers and food and people I love. The last twelve months have been all about reorienting myself in a life I couldn’t yet see as mine and in keeping with tradition, I’m sharing some things I’ve learned in this my twenty-fifth year.
- When you fight with the one you love, cuddle while you argue. It’s impossible to stay mad.
- Inside every scared, insecure young person is the capacity to live an adult life. To be taken seriously, to take yourself seriously. Adult life is more than you think it is, more than taxes and long faces, more than office speak and obligations.It can be about having the power to enact changes and make decisions that up until now you had always deferred to the powers at be. It’s easy when you are young, a student particularly, to be on the advocating side of everything. You complain, you speak up or you keep silent, you wish it could be better. When you transition into adult life there’s a magical and terrifying moment when you realise you are in control. You can really do things, change things. And that’s where it begins.
- Don’t just find a good job, find a good boss. A good job will be rewarding but a good boss will invest in you, support you and give you a sense that it is not only the work you are doing that is important but that you are important, that you are a person first and a worker second. It counts for everything.
- Cut yourself some slack. Celebrate every failure as happily as every victory. We’re all humans here and we do what we can and that’s that, nothing more and nothing less. You do what you can with what you have. You do what you can, with what you have.
- The heart can hold it all. Every dearest friend you’ve ever met that you may never see again. Every day that warms your heart. Every memory you wish you could steal back from time. A best friend that’s moved overseas forever. A fight or break you see as irreconcilable. The hopelessness, the apathy, the glorious promise of the things you do not have, the gratitude for all the things you do, the worry and pressure that come always from comparison. The severing of connections, the unexpected days of joy. All of it. It holds it all and will swell and grow as life goes on.
- Finding your tribe is a process. Love is a process. You are a process. Life is a process. And as any adult can tell you, the processes are infinite. All of it is under construction and the construction never ends.
‘The past and present wilt — I have fill’d them, emptied them,
And proceed to fill my next fold of the future.’ – Walt Whitman, Song of Myself