There are plenty of people in my life who warn that turning 28 is the beginning of the end. 30 is stalking me like a future ex-boyfriend around the corner. A homeless man waves a sign that reads, “The End Is Neigh.” A clock ticks. Lines are drawn in the dirt and gosh, those lines will take me anywhere but backward. Memory is not like water; it is lacy swiss. Everything will become gray.
There is a poem in my pocket that talks of lines and creases, crinkles that cannot – will not – be ironed out.
There are plenty of people in my life who warn that turning 28 is the beginning of the end but you see, I do not share this sentiment. If I have learned anything about myself, it is that growing older does not scare me.
Dying scares me. Knowing I will never understand all the intricate details of my past that molded me into this person, scares me. The very thought of not being able to write or read terrifies me.
Regrets are inevitable. I’m human and I will never be able to do everything I desire in a single lifetime but I’m not afraid to grow old. It is with age that I have become who I am. It is with age that I found the courage to not capture but live my dreams. It is with age that I can acknowledge and appreciate the complexity of my relationships – and their value to me. And it is with age that I embark on all the journeys of my soul, my life, my heart.
Because age is not a number. It’s a flag staked into the ground that shouts, “I am here. I am living.” It’s a street sign in the middle of a crossroad that reveals where I have been and where I am going and all the other places I can choose to go. There are innumerable paths around me and it is with age that I can say I have found the road to which my heart belongs.
So, Happy 28th Birthday to me. Happy birthday to anyone adding a year to their lives, not sensing the end but a beginning. Thank you for being here with me.