Life ain’t always what you think it ought to be.
I promise this isn’t a morbid post, even if the title implies such. The title and the lyrics above are from a song that I’ve been listening to: If I Die Young by My Band Perry. Since hearing it on Nicky’s (my brother) Roadtrip Playlist a few weeks ago, it’s found itself on mine. I’m not sure if my reasonings make sense to everyone, but I’ll try anyways. For me, the concept of death- in whichever way it’s presented- makes me think about life.
I spent the past few days back in Cincinnati, Ohio with dear friends of mine- one being my lovely Adriana, as well as her boyfriend, PDoug. I also got the chance to visit with my friends Rebecca & Nate and their two little ones, Hazel & George. ♥ Quality time with friends and heaven-sent children like these two (pictured here) additionally had me thinking a lot about life, and more specifically my life. The life that I’ve led up to this point and the life that I continue to live.
That being said, my twenty-seventh year is right around the corner. Now let me say that I’m not a birthday celebrator nor do I stress about my age. (It really is just a number, folks.) However, for the past 3-4 years I have put a lot of weight on the age of twenty-seven, seeing it as the year that I wanted to have my s*** together. (To put it best.) See, when I first moved to Columbus about 3 years ago, I found myself meeting one 27-year old after another. Some of them were happy & sucess in their careers and/or relationships- cohabitating, engaged, and/or married. A few of their twenty-seven year olds even had kids of their own…and they were only 3 years older than me at the time! At that time, I was hopeful that that living would lead me to some happily ever afters at the age of twenty-seven. I think it’s safe to say that I’ve done a whole lot of living since that revelation, and much more soul-searching and dream chasing than I ever thought capable, and on my way to figuring things out…just not there yet. And that’s okay.
A friend of mine, Matt, has this theory(if I can call it that) that he is going to die when hes’s twenty-seven years old. “I just think I’ll die young,” he used to say. Not me, and in fact I sit here now, less than 24 hours before my twenty-seventh year officially begins, thinking about all the living I still have to do & all the unanswered questions…
I smile at that naive twenty-four year old girl that hoped to have her whole life figured out a mere three years later. Back then she mistakelnly thought that it was all about the destination (ie. her happy place). Now she knows that it’s all about the journey, and what a journey it’s been.
While I spent a lot of time with my friends this weekend, I also spent a lot of time thinking about life: the past, the present, and the future. I rummaged through photos of a childhood neighbor/friend’s wedding (via Facebook) on the bus trip back to Chicago, and found myself on another trip- one down memory lane. Soon I was recalling days spent in her family’s basement playing pretend-wedding with the neighborhood boys, (coincidentally I was always a bridesmaid, from what I remember) and those fictious dreams of when I grow up… that I believed in. Those days feel like nothing more than a distant memories to me. Memories that only photographs can remind me about because they are so far-removed from my present self.
Life ain’t always what you think it ought to be. True, because it’s so much more. Those dreams that I had as a seven- year old are different from those of mine at the age of seventeen. And now, with twenty-seven only hours away, my dreams are more goal-specific than they’ve ever been before. For years I would make far-fetched wishes as I blew out the candles on my birthday cakes, and this year, as Hazel and I blew out our candles over the weekend I didn’t even make a wish. Instead I looked at her and felt a sense of peace and the epiphany that this is what life is all about. The fact that the only wish on my mind was to feel this way forever, as well as hoping that Hazel will realize this sooner than I did.
I’ve set out to make a difference in my life, but sometimes you forget the impact that others have on you when you set out to do so. So today, I’ll end this post by saying that, once again, little Hazel & George made a difference in my life. They’ve helped me see that there is still so much beauty in the world today, but that we just have to slow down- maybe even take a roadtrip back to Ohio- to see it. But no matter what, it is always there.
If I were to die during my twenty-seventh year, can I say that I’ve lived enough to rest in peace? Maybe, but probably not. My theory is that I have a lot more living left to do- and live I will. The only way that wishes come true and questions get answer is to live. Live freely. Live without regrets. Take chances. Make mistakes. Follow your heart. Que sera, sera. Whatever will be, will be.
~Sometimes we need to stop analyzing the past, stop planning the future, stop figuring out precisely how we feel, stop deciding exactly what we want, and just see what happens.~