Today is my 25th birthday.
For some reason I’ve felt the need to post something and even had some things to publish but…nothing ended up feeling quite right.
This morning, I happened to stumble upon a piece of paper from high school. In chorus my senior year, our director Mr. Bron had us write our name on a blank piece of paper and pass it around the room. We were to all write encouraging things about whomever had been passed to us. Everyone wrote something about everyone then they were retuned and we got to keep ours.
I have been feeling weird today (I can think of one reason..) but everything else is just I guess a range of emotions about what birthdays mean. I suppose they are the day (as you get older) the universe of culture has you stop to celebrate, only to leave you reflecting on what it means in the future. It’s overwhelming me a bit so I think it’s no coincidence I found these pieces of paper (actually 3 stapled together), today.
I sat down on the patio and began reading through what the people I hung out with most in high school had to say about me. About this girl who was 1/2 100% real- totally there, and 1/2 hidden away. See, I was dealing with things but when I competed in a pageant or went to school, I could be myself more than anywhere else. I decided to stop competing in pageants when it got to be too much and luckily the year before that was when I graduated so it didn’t do too much damage on my grades. Although, if I’m being honest, I was a terrible student. Simply awful at math.
I’ve been talking a lot here on the blog about my past self and my new self – and then here on these few pieces of paper, they meet.
I can see the life of that girl I used to be played out in the different fonts and ink shades that dance across the pages. The first, home to a gigantic, purple “JLYNN” right in the center. “Write your name big enough?!” begins one excerpt. It makes me laugh. They were all anonymous but some, I’m able to identify. I find a passage from one who stopped speaking to me years ago, promising eternal friendship. I see bits from people to whom I was not their cup of tea, obviously trying to find nice things to say about me, but succeeding. Even those make me smile. And then there are the glimpses into those pieces of me (no Britney pun intended) to which I wanted to keep.
I realized, spelled out on these pieces of paper was a phase of life.
Some things don’t stay with you through your life but some do. Some things we can choose, like whether to be a kind person or a mean person. And some we can’t, like a friend who is done with the friendship or the loss of a loved one. Today, I find it easy to think of a world of unknowns. A life lived without anxiety of my past (what does that even mean?!) but also without anxiety of the future. I know I won’t always succeed in that, but I do want to hold on to those pieces of me that I’ve chosen and always want to choose to keep, regardless of how gentle or rough the waters may be.
I have a heart filled with such gratitude for this seven year old reminder to stay positive, choose kindness always, and that life is an ocean of waves that just keep rollin.
(a few of my favorites)
“The representation of the meaning of the word ‘joy’ is what describes my perception of her.”
“You are so well spirited and it is amazing how you are so positive most everyday.”
“Your beauty is true, inside and out. I will never forget you and appreciate your listening ear and your heart.”
“You are such an awesome, caring person that would always stand up for the underdog and your friends.”
“You are incredibly down to earth and so sweet. You are never afraid to stick up for others.”
(This one might be my favorite. I’m pretty sure was written by my friend Matthew)
“You are one of the most kind hearted people I know.”
I’m looking very forward to my 25th year with great gratitude for where I’ve been and what I’ve learned. I’m proud of the understanding of myself that I have thus far and can’t wait to discover more as my world continues to change on the journey of life.
I hope you all have a beautiful May 27th. ♥