Another year.

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Ah! Tis that annual event where at the end of the day I stop to look back at my life, contemplate the lacking in my past & look forward to future prospects. Otherwise known as wondering how the hell I’ve managed another year where I haven’t murdered anyone & whether I should have added “yet” into that sentence. I’ve made it to be another year older which marks the start of the last year of my twenties.

This brings up some anxieties around whether I’ve achieved enough or figured out enough to take on the next decade of my life. And if not – what work lies ahead of me. (Of course, these rounded zero-ages, like New Years, are arbitrary markings to remind us to reflect on our lives, but they, nonetheless, do make us reflect and look forward.) It makes turning another year older that much harder to bare as I think with every year that I grow older, have I also grown?

Currently, heavy self-criticism, anxiety and unfounded regret is coming up as I reflect on my life. It’s an emotional time so all the setbacks I’ve faced are that much more evident. With all the changes, I’ve emotionally adjusted to increasingly rely on myself – which has made it much more tempting to notice my inadequacies rather than my accomplishments. When things get hard and we start to feel low, how quickly we forget all the times we were totally on top of it.

I realize, though, that the emotions I’m feeling are probably just growing pains. Building up a life from scratch isn’t easy. But it’s full of lessons, adventures, and moments of incredible self-pride and found inner-strength that follow every single time you successfully make it out of a deep emotional rut and rise from a dark place – like a sprouting seed in the soil, bursting, cracking and striving towards sunshine.

The growth has been gradual, making it hard to see. But I imagine with some distance, I’ll be surprised when all of a sudden, I notice some new thing in bloom. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, maybe I’ll see it myself with time when I’m older.

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