Happy New Year

This post is part of Write Your Ass Off April, a Twenties Unscripted 10-Day Writing Challenge #WYAOApril. Today’s prompt: Ascend.

Today looks nothing like I thought it would.

That’s my first thought when my eyes snap open. 
I lay there with it for a minute, turning the words over and over in my head until they sound like gibberish even to me. 
Today looks nothing like I thought it would.

That’s the truth. But isn’t it always?
Each birthday brings with it a roux of excitement and anxiety and reflection. Each birthday, I am somehow caught off guard by where I am in my life, good or bad or ugly. I had plans, good plans, plans that made sense for what my life looked like when I dared hope them. Life wasn’t really here for my plans, as usual. 
I burrito up in my comfy sheets and take stock:
There is no obvious way for me to advance at work.
My love life has imploded.
Three of the people I’m closest to in this city have moved, and for the first time in the last few years, I don’t get to celebrate my birthday with them.
It’s a Tuesday. Birthdays on a Tuesday kinda blow.
Surprisingly though, I’m okay.
Somewhere along the line I realized that this is what life is; a series of good years and bad years and meh years. And to be fair to my life, I’m never going to be “where I wanna be.” Because I am impossible with myself. Because all I want is everything.
So, I keep my birthday rituals. I play Don’t You Worry Bout a Thing at ignorant levels over and over. I make my list of 32 things I’m thankful for (one for every year I’ve been alive) and I say a prayer of gratitude that I never have to struggle to come up with something. I talk to my grandmother out loud as though she were in the room and tell her I hope she’s proud of me. I’m doing the best I can. 
I spend the day with my best friend and her fresh baby and have dinner with my mama. We tell the stories we’ve told a million times before and laugh like they’re new. All day I field calls and texts and FaceTime and WhatsApp messages from people literally all over the world who take a minute out of their busy days to wish me well. By the time I fall into bed I am so full I could burst.
Today looks nothing like I thought it would, but it is exactly as it’s supposed to be.

I remind myself that this is the living: the trying and failing. The restarts and stalls and starting over. That implosion and ruins mean I can construct a life more beautiful than the last. And that I’m built for the building.
Every year, good or bad, is a clean slate. 
So, happy new year to me. 

2 thoughts on “Happy New Year

  1. Happy New Year/Birthday. Take comfort in the fact that 'things' are exactly how they are supposed to be – you are exactly where you need to be.

    Cheers to next year!


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