I read about age 27 being the year of crisis. I can’t quite remember the science behind that theory. It didn’t seem as entertaining when it actually started happening to me. I stopped writing for a long time. In fact, my website was about to expire and at the last minute, I renewed it with only a day to spare. I loved writing about pain and strength, and how ironic that during the most acutely painful time of my life, I couldn’t seem to find the words.
The changes I have faced this past year have been shared with some and assumed by others. I don’t have some crazy story to tell. I have no juicy details or confessions to spew. Yes, I am divorced. Yes, I was a newlywed and yes I built a new home from the ground up. I could sit here and go on and on about how and why my life was turned upside down. I could preach about courage and resilience and being true to yourself, but I think that speaks for itself and I don’t find sugarcoating such an impactful experience to be appropriate. I also know that I am just one of so many people in this world who have to cope with ruin, and my story is not at all unique. I wasn’t the only one who went through hell and I am certainly not a victim.
No one starts drawing out the map of their life and intentionally sketchs so many uphill roads and detours. You don’t just travel them for fun. This year has been messy. It has been one of those ‘you could never fully understand until you go through it’ experiences. Inspiration comes and goes like the wind and there were a lot of dark moments. There were a lot of moments that looked a lot like panic, like fear, like defeat, and like the deepest sadness you could imagine. There were a lot of blank stares into the sunset while I was parked at the grocery store, forgetting why I was there. There were a lot of cold spoons under my eyes the mornings after hard cries. There were names of people I was ready to tell, scribbled in the margins of my notebook. There were stacks of boxes and paperwork and bills. There were many nights when I saw the clock hit 3:00am and wondered when I would ever sleep well again. But that was all necessary. It had to get terribly horrible before it got better.
I learned who my real friends are. I also learned what a real friend is. I learned that for some, it is much easier to judge than it is to understand. I learned to accept that fact. I found the person that I am when everything else was stripped away, and I realized that I don’t need to apologize for who that person is or the choices that person makes.
Tomorrow I turn 28 and my life couldn’t look more different than it did when I turned 27. I kept telling myself, just get through one more hour, one more day. And here I am a year later. I feel like I experienced a lifetime’s worth of emotions in 365 days. I am moving forward, continuing to rebuild, and doing so with a more open heart. One that doesn’t so quickly judge the choices of others, as I know how painful it can feel to be judged unfairly. One that is more patient, as so many hearts have been patient with me. And lastly I am rebuilding with a heart that is more honest, more humble. 27, you shattered me and just about killed me. 28, lets pick up the pieces and do this.