A week and a half ago I turned 27. I celebrated by throwing a myself a party, dancing suggestively for Luke Bryan at a Luke Bryan concert (I don’t give my bedroom eyes for just anybody) and by going to therapy.
Sure, I was surrounded by great people and felt an incredible and overwhelming love from my family and friends but if I’m being honest (and that’s the title of the blog) turning twenty-seven sucked. It sucked hard.
Before you put on your judge-y jeggings, let me first say this:
1. Yes, I know growing old is a gift. I’m healthy, I have a great support system and there are many people who don’t live to be twenty-seven. I acknowledge all you people and to you I say: You’re right. So stop reading here.
2. I know that I’m part of a generation with an inflated ego and incredible sense of entitlement. I can’t and won’t say that I’m any different from any millennial. Instead I’m acknowledging this and choosing to continue complaining anyway.
3. Spoiler Alert! I totally understand that nobody really has their shit together. That’s is why I’m writing this piece. I feel we need to be more open about our imperfections and struggles otherwise we’re going to continue believing bullshit about how we’re not good enough or how new shoes and expensive jeans (even expensive judging jeggings) will make us happier. So keep reading now that you’ve ruined it for everyone, Judge Judy.
Now that THAT’s out of the way…
For a full month leading up to my birthday, I was an irritable mess. I was asked several times by several different people if I was on my period. A thirty day, crampy, emotionally blood clotted period.
Like most people, I’m terrified of failure. I know, I know: there’s no such thing as failure. That’s great, and most likely true, but when I’m alone at night in my mother’s house (Yes, I still love at home) thinking about the job I have, the job I wish I had, the husband and kids I don’t have and the last ten pounds of fat I can’t seem to lose, I feel like a failure. It’s not like I sit on my ass doing nothing ( although doing nothing is my favourite…maybe do nothing with The Bachelor on? Sweet Jesus, that’s my idea of paradise) I made changes to my life: I went back to school for my post grad , I hired my expensive and wonderful shrink and I highlighted my hair. I basically did what any girl would do to turn her life around.
I tried. Nay, I try everyday to fight that feeling of not living up to the expectations I have for myself. Most days, I succeed. I actually do. I listen to my Eckhart Tolle, I have my subscription to O Magazine, I exercise once every six months, for the most part, I want for nothing.
Even though I’m relatively happy with my life, whenever my birthday approaches I start doing a year-end inventory of my life and I’m overcome with case of The Shoulds: I should have made more money this year. I should have moved out into a Pinterest worthy house. I should have been married by twenty-seven, I should have an instagram-ably cute baby of my own. The Shoulds only seem to get worse the older I get. At 24 they made their first appearance. By 25, I felt the Shoulds kick me in the ovaries. At 26, I bargained with the Shoulds to leave me alone for one more year while I got my life together. At 27, they came to collect. Anticipating their return I made an appointment with my shrink for the morning of my birthday, August 18th.
My mother and co-worker was disappointed. “We’re having a birthday lunch for you and now you won’t even be here?” I politely told her that if I didn’t have a mental massage on my birthday they would have to call a medic because I would suffocate myself with chocolate cake. Dramatic? Yes. Effective? Yes.
On the 18th I sat in Dr. Kevin’s office wearing my ridiculously bright Von Trapp curtain dress. After we exchanged pleasantries and I sank into his leather couch the floodgates opened. I put my waterproof mascara to the test. “It’s my birthday, and I tried dressing up to feel happy, but I’m not happy at all!” I cried for my bare ring finger, my unemployed uterus and my DIY Pinterest board that served no purpose. Basically, I cried about everything I thought I ought to have. There’s nothing more unattractive than a girl having the ugly snotty sobs about how she’s scared that by the time she gets married everyone in her family will be dead and won’t be able to see that she went with the naked cake and midnight sliders. Trust me.
Over the next hour he talked me off of my metaphorical ledge. I would tell you what he said, but then you would have to pay me $185 dollars an hour.
The Spark Notes version is this:
I’m ALMOST done school. I’m doing everything I can to prepare for any opportunities that come my way.
I’m nowhere near ready for marriage or kids. I’m little in the middle but I got much back
We made a plan to work on defining what I want, what I think happiness is, and ways to practice mindfulness.
Why am I telling you this?
It’s been a little over a week since my 27th birthday and three friends have already come to me echoing my fears. These are people who I thought had it together and they were being vulnerable with me, the crazy crying Sound of Music dress wearing 27 year old.
We didn’t solve each other’s problems. That wasn’t the point of our discussions or late night texts of frustration. All it did for a brief moment was show us that there was someone who could say, “I hear you, I know what that’s like.” And for that moment, it was enough .
We’re fed bullshit on a daily basis. All of that noise will drive you insane if you let it. This year I say we get rid of the expectations, stop comparing ourselves to others and ban the word “should” from our vocabulary. I’m tired of living my life terrified of aging, worried that my 30th birthday will be like New Years Eve 1999 and that I should stockpile canned food and bottles of water.
You and me? We’ going to be OK. If you find yourself needing a little connection or a break from your own thoughts come pay me a visit.
That’s what this blog is for! To get out of my own head, create something and exercise my sass muscles.
Turning 27 sucked.
Being 27? Doesn’t seem so bad.