It's funny how life can change. Sometimes- most of the time- it happens slowly. Like looking in a mirror, it's less "change" and more "shift" in appearance- glacially gradual, but forever altering the landscape of your life. And then, there are moments I've come to refer to as "train tracks"- where like a freight train, loud, thundering noise and blinding, unavoidable light find you walking along the tracks of your life and illuminate things instantly, shift your course, insist upon a new paradigm.
One year ago tomorrow was my 28th birthday. It was uneventful and it was typical. Until it wasn't. I had been making glacial changes in my own life- I'd found crossfit, and in it, a strength I had forgotten I had. I had made new friends and lost old ones. But I was slowly shifting, fading in and out of my day to day. Honestly, I'd given up on a lot. I "dreamed" more than I "did", because I thought dreams were all I had left. I thought if I dreamt them hard enough, I might find them coming true in my next life, when I had the opportunity or the knowledge or the bravery or the freedom to do things differently.
But then, without trying, without looking, and without preparation, my train pulled in. It hit me smack dab in the middle of comfortable and it made me tell the truth about everything. It unsurfaced my hidden dreams and secrets, that were untold because I was afraid if I started saying them out loud, I would never stop mourning the fact that I couldn't find a way to make them come true.
I wasn't ready for that train. No...that's wrong. I didn't *think* I was ready for my train. But it found me. And it changed me.
My 28th year was full of everything. Everything I fear. Everything I want. Everything I've dreamt, waited for, prayed for, gave up on, or worked for. At 28, I decided I could love a man better by NOT being his wife, and be a better mother to our child by structuring our family by new definitions, rather than the old ones set forth by a blueprint I was desperately trying to follow. At 28, I gave up my Facebook-picture-perfect in favor of soul-stirring truth and messy, delicious, beautiful challenge. I walked away from a 3100 square foot house I'd dreamt of my whole life- a house that had every ammenity I'd wished for, but none of the substance and I took only the most precious items I'd collected and put them in a house smaller than the apartment I lived in in college. At 28, I demanded more of the people in my life. And I won't lie and say it didn't sting when some didn't rise to the occasion. But I lived. At 28, I stopped hating myself for what I wasn't yet and started loving myself for all that I was and all that I truly believe I'm going to be. At 28, I found my beauty in the strength of my body, my character and my soul and worked like hell on developing and being proud of THOSE things. At 28, I told my dead-end job they couldn't keep me anymore- not out of commitment, or fear, or a lack of self worth. At 28, I stopped thinking about what I might deserve in my "next life" and started believing in all I wanted, and deserved and could find and hold in THIS life. At 28, I wrote the stories of my soul in hundreds of songs and I found the courage to start to share them and bring my music back into the world beyond my living room. At 28, I faced the fear that I might never feel "cool" enough or pretty enough or smart enough for half the things I wanted, but that those were no longer excuses I was willing to accept for myself to NOT do them. At 28, I fell in love with myself and my life. At 28, I believed in love again and learned that the butterflies I thought were gone forever, and that "happily ever after" truly DOES exist. And it doesn't look like you think it will, and it's not seamless or easy all the time. But it's undeniably present. At 28, I learned that EVERYTHING you want exists on the other side of fear, and that when you refuse to let being scared govern what you do or do not allow for yourself, literally magical things happen. At 28, I learned to be lonely and heartbroken and scared and hurt. And at 28, I learned all of those paralyzing emotions could coexist with action and confidence and hope. At 28, many, many, many, many chapters- chapters that I loved and wanted and wished for- were closed and that was sad. But then, at 28, the Big Bang of my life happened and the chapters that have and could open are limitless, fulfilling, joyful, and robust.
28- you've been the hardest, the best year of my life. You found me again. The me I truly thought was gone forever.
And 29, you should know- I expect big things from you. I expect more, wonderful mess. More truth telling. Falling more in love every day. More dreaming AND doing. More bravery. More strength. More joy. More more.
My life changed forever a year ago tomorrow. That match was lit and that train was summoned by a couple sweet souls in my life, and I'm so grateful they rented that boat, and let me disappear, so I could resurface, and let me fall out of love, so I could fall in it, and let me lie, so I could tell the truth.
28, I'll never, ever, EVER forget you. You changed me forever, and for good.
On a selfish side note- this is my last mission for "28" and my first mission for "29". If you'd like to help me share my music on the scale it deserves, I would deeply appreciate your backing my record in exchange for some cool rewards. I have faith that ANYTHING is possible. Anything: