Maybe Nobody Likes You When You’re 23, but I Loved 22

Most of the time I struggle to remember things.  But, 22.. I won’t forget you.  You were good to me.  This age just felt different.  I feel like I lived more.  I laughed more.  I loved more.

Since November 8th, I’ve been trying to write a post that kind of nails how this year has been for me.  It’s now November 13th, so here’s what I got so far.

There are events that happened that I would do 11 times over again.  Seriously.  I enjoyed so many nights that I wish I could relive.  There are lips I wish I could kiss again.  Dance floors wish I could dance on again, like that night.  I have stared in eyes that convinced me we were the only two in the room.  And, at times, we acted like it. At times, we were.  I have laid in beds just staying up while talking and laughing.  There are jokes and stories I want to hear again.  This was the year I truly learned about connections.  There are feelings I want to feel again.  I love the rush.  I just did a lot of things that I still think about to this day and wish I could have it all back.  Especially the stuff my best friend and I have died laughing over, because we think we’re the funniest people ever. 

Of course, like any normal person, there were downfalls.  For nearly three months I was without my nephew, and it was like a heartbreak I’ve never felt before.  I cried all the time.  The hardest point was the first couple of nights.  We were both in the same state, Florida, but hours from each other.  He called me hysterically crying at midnight because he couldn’t sleep.  He begged me to go get him, but there was nothing I could do.  My heart was hurting.  And for the next months to come I would just cry at the thought that he wouldn’t be coming over this weekend, like he usually does.  Life just seemed duller without him.

I took a hit in August.  I’m not afraid to be honest about it now, but at the time I didn’t talk to anyone about it.  I just dealt with it.  I didn’t want to leave the house, I didn’t want to leave my bed.  It’s like I just kept switching on and off.  It was something that I couldn’t explain, just live through it.  It started early and lasted all month.  On August 10th, I broke down.  I was at work, and it was just me in my office this day.  My heartbeat wasn’t slowing down, my chest had reoccurring sharp pains, I couldn’t sit still.  I couldn’t calm down, I couldn’t relax.  Literally, my back was against the wall and I just lost control of myself.  Gave myself 20 minutes to get it together, went to go see a woman in HR .. and I let it go again.  Before I could finish my sentence, she asked what’s wrong? and I just showed it better than I could tell it.  Immediately, no questions asked, she let me go home.  There were a couple of days I didn’t make it to work, and when I did I wished I didn’t.  I dissed my personal training sessions, but the ones I did make it to I tried to put my all into it because I knew working out is a great outlet for what I was dealing with.  But nothing seemed to help or make it easier.  Anxiety was strong, emotions were high, and it seemed more powerful than my strength.  But I overcame it, and I knew I would.  It just took some time.

Still, though, regardless of these difficult moments, I felt so complete.  I met new people and picked back up with old ones.  I had conversations that really stuck with me.  I’ve been told by people the difference I made in their lives, and that alone is enough.  I met remarkable people just on flights that I wish I could meet one more time.  I laughed and laughed and laughed my way through so many nights.  And mornings, for when I didn’t make it home.  I’m so grateful for everyone that came into my life just as I needed them to.  There was someone that I thought I could have been with, but am not.  Which maybe worked out for the best.  And not many people understand it.  These memories are everything I’ll ever need.  Everything together is what made 22 so memorable for me.  Just thinking back to funny ass conversations that happened at the kitchen table with my mother is apart of the pieces of what made growing up so bearable.

I already miss it.  The full blown singing session in cars with people, the shots we cheered to and then threw back, the late nights, the early mornings, the beach (all) days, the silly moments, the serious talks, the holidays with my family and friends, gallivanting around Hong Kong, reaching mountain tops in China, being blinded by the New York lights, hitting it off with strangers that it only took that one time of meeting to think wow, I am so glad I met you in the back of my head.  I spent 3 nights in the rain this year, and I would do it again because we laugh about it today.  I got drunk on a boat post-4th of July and woke up as the sun was going down, and would do it again.  I took pictures with strangers just because us females all become BFFs in the bathroom.  I loved the dinners with the girls I used to work with 3 years ago, I’m so happy we do our best to keep in touch.  My 3 cousins and I became closer and it’s been something to look forward to every time.  My family and I, Dad included, all sat in a circle and rotated bowls of weed at a family party.  That was great.  I have such fun, all different people around me and I’m honestly just so appreciative of it and how it brought me to this.  They’ve all served different purposes and I just want to thank them all for it.  There were times that I remember I said what I had to say, and I don’t regret it at all.  As I’m growing I’m getting more fond with saying how I feel.  I’ve held back enough, I think.  There were a lot of chances I didn’t take that I wish I did to say or do something differently.  But here I am, and I’m still untroubled and content.

I hope I didn’t hurt any, or many, people along the way.  I did my best to keep a solid foundation and relationship with people.  However, I’ve been 23 for 2 days and I’ve already let someone down, and I’m sorry for that.  So, I can think of one person who is not loving me at the moment.

Keep on keeping on.

Throughout the time of being 22 I did most things that I knew would still keep a flame inside of me.  I lived for me.

But, you know what this year, all in all, showed?

To just enjoy it.  Live it.  Don’t reach for anything more, don’t expect anything more.  Just live in this moment.  And learn the difference between things meant for you, and things you wish were meant for you.  Truthfully, I’ve just had so much fun.  I had a lot of experiences that I’ll carry with me for as long as I can.  I’ll keep on getting myself into shit that makes me feel alive so around this time next year I can have an even better mental compilation of how life is what you make it.  I hear it all the time: it’s your 20s.  Enjoy it!

And I am.


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