22, WHAT’S NEW?

What does 22 feel like?

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I remember turning 21 like it was yesterday; I remember waking up and feeling older.

This year? I feel different again, but in another way. I feel like I’m under construction in my little cocoon by myself and I’m hoping I can turn into a butterfly one of these days.

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It always amazes me how different everything was just a year ago. I’ve lost a lot of friends and I’ve gained a few new friendships. I was a busy college student and now I’m a college graduate trying to find my footing in the “real world.”

The only similarity is that I still feel very much alone. I am grateful for the special individuals that I do have in my life, but as someone who enjoys being surrounded by people, I can’t help but feel like there’s a little too much space around me these days.

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If you’ve wandered through my “Thinking” category, you may have also picked up that I struggle with my emotions. Over time, I’ve realized I’m the type of person that feels everything strongly. I feel love, pain, happiness, and sadness with all my heart, so much so that it physically hurts at times.

It’s an ongoing process to balance my happy and sad days. Sometimes I feel lost and I want to stay in my cocoon; other days I find a little sliver of hope and I hold on to it for dear life, hoping it will be the push I need to grow my wings and fly as high as I can. I’ve noticed that I’m genuinely happier around people, so that’s another reason why I wish I had a few more friendships to lean on.

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I believe that your birthday is the one day out of the year where you should be selfish, and I find this especially important for me because I usually spend the other 364 days putting others before me. It’s just how I am. But I hope that in future years, I’ll find the people I’m meant to celebrate my life and their lives with.

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With all of that said, I am grateful that I get to spend my birthday with my family and that I’m healthy. I’m grateful for the friends I do have and for all the love that does exist in this world. I’m grateful to have food and shelter and that I continue to fight for myself even when I was on the verge of giving up.

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Happy 22nd birthday to me; even though I might be spending this birthday alone, I’m not too lonely. I’m trying to learn to love my own company and work on myself first; eventually, everything will fall into place. ♥

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