Thoughts on a Birthday

I am 26 and as this, my 26th year, comes to a close I see that I have learned a lot.

I have learned how to truly cry–to give a thought, image, or emotion the space to breathe and grow and bubble up into my chest, and then to let that physical sensation extend and deepen as it struggles to find physical release in the form of tears, whether a slow sole tear or a mighty torrent.

I have learned the dedication needed for consistent mental and emotional health–that health, true health, requires asking for help, leaning on others, recognizing and accepting fault and responsibility, and living and communicating openly and honestly.

I have also learned that I can and do struggle with depression, with the ennui that seems to settle into your bones. Blessedly, however, I have also learned that there is a beauty within depression–that seeing, accepting, and being affected by the true brokenness of the world and the people in it is a signal of a depth of spirit that is a blessing.

I have learned that not all stories play out like the stories our culture or our minds tell us; some stories end abruptly, in some stories the “bad guy” “wins”, and some barely look like stories at all.

I have seen and felt the deep human desire to be truly seen and truly accepted, and I have seen and experienced the near-universal drive to receive this without ever giving it to others first or ever.

Suffice it to say, it has been quite the year.