I’m 26, that sweet spot in your life where you’re starting to become who you will always be. And, to be honest, I’m not sure I like who I’m becoming.
You see, I’m messy and chaotic and always have a little bit too much to say. I get lost in my mind far more than I’d like to admit and I don’t own a bed frame. I care too much what other people think. My savings are laughable or pain-inducing, depending on how you look at it, and I call my mom way more than I should. I drink too much and workout too little and feel like I’m constantly on the edge of breaking even when everything seems to be going right.
They say your 20s are the best years of your life, but I constantly feel like I’m coming together only to fall apart again the next day. But maybe that’s just part of the process.
I don’t know.
But there is a certain hope that lingers in your 20s, the idea that you still have time to become who you want to be. The best version of yourself, as it were. And when I start to think about the woman that I want to become, this is what comes to mind:
I want to be chaotic but in a positive way. Not so self-destructive or so self-loathing that it’s difficult to get through the day. I want to be the woman who knows how to take care of plants and not kill them within three days. I want to host Sunday brunches in my airy apartment that has a bookshelf with an impressive collection of books that I have actually read and don’t put off reading for months after I buy them.
I want to be the woman who owns a yoga mat and understands what it means to be mindful. I want to be the woman who takes care of her mind, body, and spirit and not in an obnoxious, Instagram way but in a genuine, purposeful way. Subtle. Not showy. Only doing so for her.
I want to be the woman who her friends and family can count on. I want to be the woman who understands politics and isn’t afraid to admit when she doesn’t know something so she is then able to learn. I want to be a woman who can discuss the finer details of film, who can actually sit through a movie without having to take 10 breaks and play on her phone because sitting still is just that hard for her.
I want to be the woman who recognizes good wine and coffee and conversation. I want to be the woman who has a dog she loves the absolute shit out of. I want to be the woman paints in watercolors and goes to museums and knows basic art history. I want to be a woman who hikes and looks up at the sky and appreciates that she gets to be alive.
But I also want to be the woman who is just a little bit hard to swallow. Rough around the edges. The one who thrives in chaos and feels most alive with things are little off key and a little too bright.
I still want to be me.
Because I don’t want to be the perfect woman. I will probably always accidentally kill my plants. I will probably always continue to be overly ambitious with the books I buy and will always be afraid to admit I know far less than I give off. I think my heart will always be a tad too heavy for my bones and I’ll sometimes wish things were different, that I was different. And maybe this woman who is flawed and lonely and too much and too little all at once is still okay.
Because ultimately I just want to be the woman who loves hard and is loved in return. And I think I already am her. And that’s more than enough for my lifetime.