In 2010, I vividly remember having a conversation with my late BFF about her and her best friend (sister) declared that 28 was the “perfect age”.
According to us, at a ripe old age of 18/19, you just needed ten years to kinda get your shit together. A decade to find a job, move cities, find love (optional) and somehow navigate adulthood.
And that’s an extremely 19-year-old thing to say. Because does anyone have their shit together, no matter what age you are?
But the one thing I valued the most from being young and “reckless” is how I wasn’t scared to try anything. Like anything. Under-25 Alyx had nothing but a degree, some hope and a lot of charm. I moved cities with no job and I didn’t have the option of returning to my hometown – and quite honestly, I didn’t want to. And while it hasn’t been smooth sailing at most points, there’s been so many blessings in the last five years.
However, as you start getting older – it feels like there’s so much more to fear. I know I’m not the person I was at 23. There’s been trauma, missed opportunities and honestly, a gal is tired. There’s only so much courage you can have when life is taxing and tiring.
Throughout all this, the one shining grace in my life has been my birthday. I never used to be a big birthday person bc we didn’t really have the money to celebrate. In the last five years, I just decided to make it a thing – because there had been so much heartache (from break-ups, to physical abuse and upheaval) that I needed one thing to dispel all that other shit.
In true Leo fashion, I celebrate it for the whole month, to the point that my own friends get excited about it. It’s a time to reflect on the year and how far I’ve come. And sometimes that’s what people in my life need too. Moving to a new city is fucking lonely and hard. Trying to make adulthood work is laborious and we’re all exhausted.
Each year, I try to pick a word that will sum the lesson or feeling for the 12 months ahead. In 2018, I picked discipline and this year, I chose abundance.
And then, I keep seeing the word everywhere. From reading Tamu’s article on All The Pretty Birds to picking crystals that resonated with luck and prosperity. I had to realise that my life, although not the one 19-year-old Alyx envisioned, was filled with abundance.
Along the way, friendships have faded and relationships ended. Change and growth happens whether you like it not. Like Gaga said, some women chase their dreams, and I certainly have. As I get older, there’s no age that’s going to be perfect or ideal – I’m surviving and growing as best I can.
While I don’t quite have my shit together, I do have a life I’m immensely proud of. My dreams all feel tangible and nothing seems out of my reach. I rise up in love, care and support.
And if that’s what 28 is about – then sign me the fuck up.