Last year on my 27th birthday I wrote myself some advice. I told myself to stop comparing my life to those around me. I told myself to start living and stop worrying so much about what the future would hold. Today, I am 28 and I’m trying to figure out where the year went and what I was doing that whole time. Did I follow my own advice? I’m not sure.
In October of last year, just a few weeks after my birthday, I applied and interviewed for a new job and got it. Since then the year has had so many different up and downs I can barely count them and some days I feel like I am only hanging on by a thread, and even then my hands are slipping because it’s actually really hard to hang onto thread. To say the least, its been a trying year. I won’t go into detail but here are some of the highlights—good, bad, and in between.
I got a new job.
I tried to work a full time job and two part time jobs and basically fell apart.
I went to the emergency room on January 1st because of an allergic reaction to medication.
My partner and I lost our house we were renting and were given less than 30 days to move.
We moved in with friends three months ago.
We are moving again in three weeks.
I’ll soon be working from home again and I am not 100% sure how I feel about that.
So, that’s it. That’s my year in a nut shell. There were lots of other things that happened. Lots of good things. Lots of love. But there were also lots of tears and fights and my realization that I finally did need to see a counselor. It wasn’t a bad year, but its maybe not a year I would choose to do over again.
As I approached my 28th birthday I keep wondering, have I followed my own advice? Have I stopped comparing myself to other people? Have I stopped wishing I was someone else, somewhere else? I don’t think I have. I catch myself looking at Instagram sometimes, at the lives of strangers, and wishing my life was like their life. Wishing that I could be part of their adventures. But then I have to remind myself that Instagram doesn’t tell the whole story. Social media lets us live two lives and I have to remind myself which one is reality. To look around at all I have and not wish it away, not wish it into something different.
This year I want to give myself hope as I go into the next year. Hope that I will make my life what I want it to be. That I will learn to be happy with what I have and change what I am not happy with. I see my own frustration mirrored in the lives of so many of my friends and I know I am not alone, even though some days it feels like I might be the only one in the world without my shit together. I don’t believe that next year on my 29th birthday I will sit here and write about how I figured life out. I think that I will have a new set of problems, a whole different adventure. When I look back at 2016 and my 27th year it has been one of deep learning, deep change, and even some pretty deep failures. But it has also been one of deep love, of great adventure, deep laughter, and even deeper self-discovery. Every day I am becoming more and more myself and I think that’s really the only thing that I can ask out of this life. That I am able to love myself and be myself no matter where I am in the world.
-Julia Nusbaum, Creator
Julia is the creator of HerStory Blog and currently lives and works in Nashville, Tennessee. She loves yoga, books, kittens, history, intersectional feminism, and telling your stories.