Yesterday, I turned 24! While that may not generally be a significant age/milestone, it has turned out to be for me and here is why.
Oftentimes, I find myself worrying about my youth. To others, 24 is not old and I by no means see it as old either, but I am constantly asking myself, “Where did the time go?” I graduated from high school six years ago and when I reflect on college just three years ago, I immediately think of all the time I spent studying, napping, and doing laundry. But what about the fun times? I would never downplay the priceless memories of living with seven other girls, joining my dance team, going abroad, and meeting people who will be my friends for the rest of my life; however, when all of those moments were taking place, I can’t help but feel like I wasn’t totally present. I was always one foot in, one foot out, constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop or prematurely mourning a good time because I didn’t want it to end. Of course we all want to hold on to great moments and if we could, we’d live them over and over, but I’m just talking about not allowing myself to be free and leave my worries behind.
I feel like I lost a lot of my time during my late teens and early 20’s to fear, inhibition, and stress. If I had to explain why, you would be reading my autobiography, but I hate that I allowed that to happen. What I want from turning 24–and moving forward in the rest of my life–is to truly start letting go. I think I have actually written previously on this blog about “letting go,” but I am ready for the weight that I put on myself to be lifted off my shoulders. I spend so much time in my head and focus greatly on self-preservation and trying to build a better character. While there are great things about that, I am also hurting myself by not being physically present in everyday life. I need to just live my life in the way that makes me happiest. That includes reminding myself that nothing (and no one) is perfect and that I should not benchmark any part of my life against another person. It is time to stop punishing myself for not being someone else, and to start accepting myself for who I am.
For me, the year of 24 is more than just being more outgoing and saying “yes” to things more often–it is about quieting that negative, doubting voice. It is about breaking down my own barriers and throwing away the hypothetical guide to life. What I
expect, no, set for this year and beyond is more laughter, more openness to experience and others, and finally living with eyes and heart wide open. 24 is The Year of Letting Go.