Today I turned twenty-nine years old. Over the past few weeks I had been brainstorming of the perfect birthday blog post. I thought about writing “29 things I would tell my 20 year old self.” I quickly realized, however, that I probably wouldn’t be able to come up with twenty-nine items without going too much into detail for them to make sense to you. Like this one, I have about four other unfinished posts that just did not sit well with me. The truth is that something about this week just made me lack motivation. Maybe it was that a personal endeavor on Tuesday did not go the way I planned; or that there was a misunderstanding at the firm that almost cost one of our clients his freedom; or well maybe I was just starting to feel twenty-nine start to crawl up on me. Unfortunately, when I go through a phase like this one, I tend to fixate on the bad aspects of the situation and completely forget of the good.
This reminded me of the “mid-life crisis” I suffered at seventeen years of age. I was seventeen years old and found myself in the longest summer ever, in between high school and college. I began to question what I was doing with my life. At least until my dad reminded me that I was not wasting my life away; I was about to start college. Looking back now, I laugh at how naïve and innocent my worries were back then. I put quotation marks around the words because to have labeled it as such was laughable. They were not indicative of what was to come.
My twenties were strenuous, to say the least. I lost, found, and lost myself again. They were set in motion by an uncomfortable financial situation that my family found itself in when my father lost his job of sixteen years. The company went bankrupt and with that our family’s financial stability went out the window. Unfortunately, said financial instability coincided with the start of my law school career. I spent almost day after day with peers who came from comfortable backgrounds while I did not know if I would have a home the next month. I endured a year or so of living paycheck to paycheck, each month wondering until the last day if my mother and I would be able to come up with enough to pay our mortgage. All of this, in addition to my two-hour public transportation commute to and from law school began to affect my performance. I began to question whether I had chosen the right path. For most part of this time I thought about myself as being selfish as I thought I should have been doing more for my family and less for me. The truth is that throughout this time, I never really did anything for myself. I lost myself. Finally, as I hit my mid-twenties things began to look up. I was able to take an amazing three-month trip to Spain where I found myself once again. Shortly thereafter I suffered the disintegration of my family, and life, as I knew it. Although an adult, like many kids do in this type of situation, I blamed myself. I let myself get lost in guilt and hidden sadness.
The latter part of my twenties has definitely surpassed the beginning. I graduated law school, began my career, and gave birth to my amazing son. I no longer doubt my worth or what I deserve. I know who I am. In the past, many times I thought I deserved all of the bad that was happening to my family. I began to accept them. Now, I accept all of the bad but I understand that these curve balls are being thrown at me because I am strong enough to handle them. As opposed to before when I merely accepted them. I believed that they were being thrown at me because I was meant to remain down.
I look back at all of this now and wish I could go back in time and tell that poor lost girl to remain calm. “You’re going to make it,” I would like to tell her. However, as we all know time travel is not yet possible. Instead, I tell my present self to stay calm. When I get into these funks, like the one I experienced myself, I have to remind myself of what I have gone through. I tell myself that as bad as it may seem, I’ve been through worse. Others have been through worse.
This last year of my twenties, I hope to be the best one yet. It is my greatest hope that I am able to close such a baffling part of my life on a positive note. I plan on making a bucket list of various things I would like to accomplish and/or experience this year. What are some you would recommend?