The West Coast

9:54 AM

Down on the west coast, I get this feelin' like, it all could happen --




Cheers to a week that is over. A week that punched me in the face, dragged me under the water and threatened to drown me. It didn't, and it's over, and it's never coming back. So, you know, positivity for the win.

Also, it's 11:30AM and I have a very full cup of kalimotxo in front of me. I am not shamed.

***

This week I get older, you guys. I'm pretty sure I received last week to make certain that I would feel older by the time my birthday rolled around. I remember back in January when I was very doe-eyed about making plans for 2014. Quite honestly, I think I was so dreamy about it because it had been a very long time since I'd experienced real challenge and maybe somewhere, deep in the back of my subconscious, I was looking for something that would ask me to change and grow. I wanted to tackle something that was difficult. I actually put it in words on NYE 2013 when I posted this big fat giant lie of a wish:














The struggles we need to grow. You guys, do not ever ask life to send you a shitstorm. Don't do that. Don't tempt karma to dump on you. That's like being asked if you want a warm brownie fresh from the oven, while it's being waved in front of you all steamy and whatnot. Karma doesn't think twice. Karma takes the damn brownie and scarfs it the eff down.

So, there's a lesson I learned this year. That's powerful, I guess. But you know, I wanted a challenge and just because I had to suffer to power through it does not negate the underlying reason for having sought it out in the first place. Things were too mediocre, and somehow I knew that. I needed something tough to shake it up, because that's another valuable thing to know: challenge always makes you better. Always. Always. Always. Always.



****

So, 26. I'm less, I don't know, fearful doesn't feel like the right word, but in any case, I'm less disconcerted by this birthday. I mean, here it comes.

I'm attempting to make my own birthday cake this year. Now there's a challenge. I fully expect to fail, but here's to trying. And tasting the batter. And growing, because challenge is good.

I wonder if I don't feel concerned by this birthday as much as I have in previous years because for the first time ever, I feel really good about the way this age and the life I live line up. Does that make any sense at all? I guess what drove me crazy about turning 23 and 24 and even really 25, was that I didn't didn't the way I imagined I would feel when I became those ages. I didn't have my life in the place I wanted it to be when I envisioned what it meant to be that specific age. I was still in college when I was 23, working part-time and spending most of my day with teenagers. It wasn't what I thought 23 was supposed to be. When I was 24, I had my first professional job, but I still felt separated from being an adult at an age that I thought was firmly rooted in adulthood. Today, a few days from 26, I feel very much like my life is exactly what I hoped it would be at 26. Things have sorted themselves out into a friendly little line up that is both manageable and stable, yet has the flexibility to remain intoxicating.

I don't feel so much like I am craving things that are so far off that they might as well be impossible. Rather, I have reached enough goals to know the strength of my engine and those things I still hope to achieve and capture serve as fuel. Fighter jet fuel, really.


***



I asked for challenges -- I got 'em. They came from all sides and I feel very much like I am different from the girl who hyperventilated over 25, last year. You likely don't know this about me, but I am terrified of swimming. It is what it is and I'm not really embarrassed about it anymore, but a few years ago, I was peer pressured by some well meaning friends into jumping off the pier at in Pentwater, MI. One friend calmly held my hand, held it tight even as we plunged to the water -- he's a good friend. It was for a photo and I'm not sorry that I participated because I wanted to be a part of that, but what remains is a picture in which I am clearly beyond fear. That said, I am there, in the picture, with my best friend holding my hand. I'm not doing that shit again, but I'm glad I did it when the opportunity arose.

And I'm glad I plummeted off an imaginary pier on January 1, 2014, begged for challenges that would take me off the monotony of a concrete pier and plunged me into a darkness that would shut off every sense except intuition. I know that I have not escaped the water yet, but I am letting intuition guide me back to the surface, so I can swim to a new understanding of safety.

It could be years before I jump again, so I'm just hoping to enjoy the experience while I'm brave enough to give it another go.


***

26, may the sailing be smooth.


***

If you are interested, the lyrics posted in the first line of this post are from Lana Del Rey's album Ultraviolence. The song is titled "West Coast." 

Also, the photos were taken at Point Betsie. 


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