Hello 24, Goodbye 23

February 21, My Birthday.

As I celebrate coming into another year of life, I reflect on my old one. 23? What have I accomplished at 23? Another year at school? A semi-decent love life? Hell, honestly I haven’t achieved anything. Or so it feels like. Almost everyone that I know at who is 23, has graduated from college and started their adult life. And just because I’m 23 and am technically an adult, I’m not adult in standards.

“Don’t let those standards define who you are…” blah, blah, blah. But we all do, to a certain extent at least. I never felt bad for being the age I am and where I am in life. Hell, I was comfortable with where I was in life the week before my birthday. People in my class found out it was my birthday, (maybe I dropped some hints) but when they asked how old I was, it was like the most ridiculous thing they’ve ever heard. “You’re going to be 24? What year are you? A junior? What have you been doing with your life?” And as I laugh it off, it stung because it’s been the question that I’ve asked myself the most.

What have I been doing with my life? Well I’m finishing up school, enjoying my new friends. Living life day by day, taking care of myself, doing new things. Stepping out of my comfort zone and that’s terrifying for me. I haven’t let my mental health issues define me and I’m going to continue to do that as I enter 24. 

I guess I’m in my mid-twenties and that terrifies me. As someone who is a planner, a person who has to follow some set of rules or guidelines, hell even do a step by step day planner, this terrifies me. I blame that on the structured childhood I had. Even though I try not to let labels or standards define me, I do it all the time but my way.

As I write this, I’ve been 24 a whole day and that’s scary but it’s okay. I expected it to be. I scared for what I’m going to achieve at this age. I’ll become a senior, I might be studying abroad, I might meet the love of my life. I might (finally) have sex. But the most important thing I’ll achieve like I did at 23, 22, 21, etc. I’ll achieve at being me, the best me I can be. And yes, that sounds so god damn cheesy but this me where I’m at in life with my mental health, it’s a good me. A me, I’m proud of.

And that’s all I can be.