Something About Turning 27

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My feet are on a different sidewalk of solid ground. I don’t know when it happened. It seems foolish to say that there was something about turning 27 a few months ago that picked me up from the rubble of earlier days and dropped me in this newfound place. Because there is hardly anything special or magical or definitive about turning 27. I am still new. Green. Young. Impressionable. Prone to making mistakes. I’m still following a compass that sometimes sends me into deep seas and dark oceans.

So, yes. It seems foolish to say there was something about turning 27 that reshaped the world and my precious place in it.

And, yet, there was something about turning 27.

There was something about driving up to the sunset of this first decade of adulthood, something that has pushed me to trim the fat, face the facts, and apologize less for the spaces I inhabit. There was something about this age that yanked the curtain up on the woman I am instead of the woman I spent one too many years trying to be.

There comes a point where you can’t run away from yourself; that point both liberates and elevates you. Maybe that is the something about turning 27.

I’m through with running away from myself. I am through with sitting under dim lights as I lean coyly over the table, saying one thing to a man while my spirit screams another. I am through with barricading myself behind walls and praying they won’t crumble. I am through cutting emotional deals with the devil or pouring gasoline on my wildfire heart just to keep up appearances. My portrayal of the cool girl while I was in my early twenties deserves a standing ovation, but she has performed her final act.

Sometimes knowing what you’re not is just as important as knowing who you are.

I am dense and intense, fragile and flammable, a woman with her heart turned up two volumes higher than recommended. I am the sum of all of the goodbyes I ever said and all of the scars they ever left. I am equal parts concrete and shattered glass, whole and broken, complete and wildly unfinished.

And, yet, here I am. Because there was something about turning 27 that summoned me to start singing all of the notes on my staff.

I want to fall hard. I want to dig deep. I want to dive under. I want to taste love on my lips. I want to live big. I want to apologize less. I want to take up all of the space the Universe already carved out for me. I want to stop wanting and instead start soaking up the distance in between then and now, before and after, the things that were and the things that will be.

Maybe therein lies the sweet something about turning 27.


It’s Not Complicated, We Just Like To Complicate It.

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Fuck Facebook. Fuck it for making everyone on planet Earth believe that every matter of the heart can just be plopped into this category of utter and hopeless complication.

You and I aren’t a Facebook relationship status. We are people. And sometimes people have the grand and inexplicable impulse to destroy things. We get selfish and we get greedy and we get needy and we can only think about one thing, no matter how out-of-reach that one thing is.

I don’t think things are ever quite as complicated as we believe them to be.

You want me to provide you with a real life example. Turn my ambiguous “you” into a true story and yank my skeletons out of the closet. Show you my screw ups and tell you how many situations I have messed up, chalking them up to things being “complicated.” You want me to tell you that my stories are covered in sin, that I drink until my lips turn purple thinking about the men I have loved or liked or lusted after (or, in a few rare cases, all of the above) who slipped through my pretty little fingers.

All true. All there. Take note.

But, I had to stop telling myself that things were complicated. I had to stop using that as an excuse to behave like a complete and unadulterated jackass. At some juncture, I had to take ownership of how I felt, of the situations I put myself in, of my part in letting some things spiral entirely out of control.

See, things are not complicated. But, people? Oh, people are complicated as all hell.

Things are usually very simple. Black and white.

“We are friends; that would ruin the relationship.”

“No, he has a girlfriend.”

“This situation is going nowhere.”

“I don’t like him.”

“My friend already dated him or my friend already likes him or TERRITORY TERRITORY TERRITORY.”

Those are all things, unwritten and written codes we live by so we don’t litter our relationships with the filth of selfishness and short-sightedness.

Yet here we are, complex creatures, trying to live our lives by seemingly simple rules. And we just want to throw out that “it’s complicated” but it is so fucking not. No, we are the complicated ones. Every thing or relationship I have ever messed up in this life, I knew from my gut that I was messing it up. I knew what the run rules were and I knew at the very moment when I stopped playing by them. I knew exactly when I said something or did something or insinuated something that lit the torch. But, sometimes it felt good to stick my hand in a fire and get burned. Sometimes the burns remind us that our skin is there. Our heart is still racing. The heat still exists. Sometimes we forget. It shouldn’t require a burn. Unfortunately, it usually does. Life starts feeling so stagnant and colorless, and sometimes the wrong people remind us of the right things.

Stop saying it’s complicated. Stop reducing your whole life to a trite Facebook relationship status. It is not complicated. But, you, my love, are complicated. You are fragile and complex and sometimes stupidly selfish. You are hungry and you are human and fully capable of pure fuckery. You are animalistic and impulsive and unpredictable. Sometimes you follow your heart, sometimes you listen to your mind and sometimes you give in to your libido. You are beautiful and layered, a frenzied body of glowing contradictions. You are dynamic and ever-changing. At any given moment, there are 100 different truths inhabiting your tiny, beating heart. The things are not complicated; don’t give them so much credit. But you are complicated and will, by nature, complicate it.