Thought Catalog
May 17, 2017

23 Was The Year That Almost Broke Me (But Here’s How I Didn’t Let It)

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Jason Blackeye

23. The age I tried to start all over. The age that I almost lost my courage and strength, but also the age where I found it. The age that changed everything. A year that I gained a new perspective and an age that I’ll never forget.

23 deserves to be written about. It has been a year full of note taking, lessons learned, heart aching moments, and ugly cries. 23 has been a journey of its own.

The age where I traded some cups of coffee for pints of beer and some nights in, for Monday nights out. I spent a lot of time falling apart on the bathroom floor. This was the year for tears, the year of being lost, the year of feeling like it never gets better.

What a time to be alive. An awkward age, a very trying year. It feels like the year of the almost adult, the almost job, the almost relationship. Everything was almost, but not quite.

23 felt like I was getting my heart ripped out of my chest. All my dreams were beginning to shatter. What once felt possible, didn’t anymore. This year wasn’t a perfectly painted picture. It was hard and unfiltered. There were many gaps and lose threads.

This was the year of trying and fighting, for things I wasn’t even sure I really wanted. The year of figuring out. The year I wanted to find something so badly to believe in. I wanted to find something to consume every ounce of my being. The year I wanted to make someone stay, to fight for me, to choose me.

I lost myself as many times as I found it. I fell as many times as I stood. I walked away and came back again. I found comfort in my tears. I found freedom in the confusion. I found beauty in the pain.

I was brought to my knees many times. My faith was tested. My mind grew tired. There were mountains and valleys that had to be traveled. I was thrown out into the world with no life preserver to safe me. Reality wasn’t what I had heard about and seen on TV. Reality was discouraging and disheartening more the less.

Maybe I’ve been a little picky, a little indecisive. But, I get to be, right? This is my life. I thought I was ready to fly, but the world decided against that. My feet wouldn’t let me leave the ground.

23, I let you steal my happiness and my courage. I let you get the best of me. You changed me. You challenged me, and in a way, you set me free. You brought me to my weakest and from that I learned who I am; who I can be at my strongest. You have been an age of endless effort. An age of longing for something more. A yearning for what lies ahead. You have given me no choice but to yearn for the unknown. I became a cup half empty, when I had always been a cup half full.

I’m looking forward to you 24. I hope you’ll be a breath of fresh air. I hope you’ll be good to me. Kinder, gentler, sweeter. However, I will be taking all that 23 taught me along for the ride. I’m hopeful for 24. The comeback year. The year of me. The bravely and unbreakable me.

The unapologetically me. Unfiltered, unprocessed. The version of me I’ll never forget and always want to remember. The me who has broken the chains and crossed all the lines I once drew.

I hope you are brave without your armor. I hope you always show up willing to fight the good fight. More than anything, I hope you aren’t afraid to fall, it’s only then do you learn you were always made to fly.

23, you’re almost gone. It’s almost time for me to say goodbye. I don’t think I’ll miss you. You weren’t one of my beloved years. Thanks for the company, but I think I’ll be happy to see you in the rear view. TC mark

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