A selection of posts from the archives of twenty(or)something.
Wind in Sails
I have to dare and take that risk, find my strength and independence and embark on my dream.
After all, you need to leave the shore if you want your sails to take wind.
Suddenly, all of my plans, everything I’ve believed, have been questioned. I’ve had to find out how to completely rediscover and redefine myself. I am an adult…And still, I feel like a little girl playing make believe.
Wouldn’t A Fly Swatter Be Easier?
Every answer I come up with brings about even more questions.
I Might Catch A Glimpse of Me
Something happens when you lose all faith in yourself — it’s not just a loss of confidence in your ability, but it’s a loss of everything that makes you you. And if you can’t see how special you are, how are others going to?
The Water is Warm ‘Til You Discover How Deep
All those years of independence, of living on my own and feeling self assured, have seemed to disappear. It might be only for a moment, but right now, with this lack of faith and direction, it seems as if these moments are all I have.
You’re So Ambitious For A Juvenile
Maybe, despite all of the other lessons I’ve been learning these past few months, I’m still meant to be taught something else.
Maybe it was just time for everything to change.
Maybe I’ve still got a long way to go.
Just Get Yourself Free
All this time I’ve been rushing to get my life started, never fully realizing that I’m right in the midst of it.
Make A New Plan, Stan
You know those “bang head here” signs that you see taped to the back of doors and desks? That’s kind of how I feel when I think about the situation.
This is not Independent Susan. This is a Susan that is completely foreign to me, a Susan I don’t recognize.
Then You Can Start To Make It Better
That’s actually exactly how I feel right now — like I need to give up for awhile and just call it a strike. But how exactly do you do that? When do you say enough is enough? When do you just let it go?
Pack Light In Life
I need to take this opportunity to rediscover my passion and redefine myself, to recharge and step outside my comfort zone, to let go of all of the baggage I’ve been clinging to.
From now on, I need to learn to pack light.
The Meaning in the Rhyme
Yesterday my smile was genuine.
I’ve Got My Heart Set On What Happens Next
So while my present self and my childhood memories will merge this weekend as I move back to the place where I spent my childhood, I know that I can have confidence that this is only another stepping stone as I continue to grow.
We play a nice game of make-believe, but when it comes right down to it, we’re as similar as we are different.
So Hard To Stay, Too Hard to Leave It
I know that you take a piece of each place with you. But maybe, sometimes, you also leave a piece of yourself behind.
Thank God Even Crazy Dreams Come True
The idea seems so fantastic, so surreal, that I almost want to ask what the catch is. Only I already know —
the catch is the challenge to myself, the first step in becoming truly independent as I navigate a foreign land completely on my own.
Adventures In A Wonder-Land
So, I was patted down and asked to take off my shoes before we all realized it was indeed the laptop in the bag.
What Makes the Dawn Come Up Like Thunder?
What I’m finding in myself is something stronger and more incredible than anything I’ve ever known:
I can do anything.
Only An Ocean Away
This is where anxiety becomes overwhelming; where I fight or take flight and where I almost ran home.
Have Heart, My Dear, We’re Bound To Be Afraid
And maybe that’s the greatest lesson I’m learning: wherever I go, no matter the distance, love lingers with you.
With that, you‘ll never be alone.
And you’ll never, ever have to be afraid.
Today Is A Winding Road
I hold on to what is dear to me for fear that I will lose it, never realizing that I’ve cultivated such feelings of fear, not realizing that I can love just as much, even through letting go.
Dream On, But Don’t Imagine They’ll All Come True
Like most of my generation, I grew up believing that anything was possible…Anything is possible.
It’s just getting there that’s the tough part.
What Are You Working For
Sometimes I think that life is like a million-piece puzzle that you spread out over the landscape of your self, trying to figure out where everything fits to form your complete picture.
Everything Starts To Fall Into Place
Maybe this is why I’m so resistant to change. Because there’s a comfort knowing that you can’t fail, that you can’t get hurt. If you don’t let yourself be vulnerable, you can’t lose anything.
But what’s worse, you can’t gain anything, either.
I Owe You A Love Song
Yes. Sometimes, I’m afraid of finding happiness.
I’ve Been Afraid of Changing
I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready for the changes that are taking place around me every day.
I don’t know if I’ll ever not miss what once was…
Please Forgive Me For Taking So Much Time
This weekend, my past collided with my present, and I looked forward to my future. This weekend, I shook off the cobwebs of this past year, shed all expectation, and embraced impulse, adventure, independence.
You May Say I’m A Dreamer
Once upon a time.
Where did our once upon a time go?
It’s All A Matter of Trust
“Sometimes I feel like I walk around with an energy that says ‘stand back, keep your distance,’ I admitted.
“Yeah,” said Jersey friend, completely serious. “You even do that with me.”
I’m No Super[wo]man
And I think I thought that I had to carry all that myself, holding up my world, trying not to bend and break from the weight of it all, trying to still be there for others as I struggled to keep myself upright.
Lights Will Guide You Home
If there is one thing I will always be grateful for in this life, it’s the fact that I always got to say goodbye to the people and animals I’ve cared about who have passed. This was my goodbye — I don’t think I realized it then, but I think, somehow, we both knew.
I wish I could say that I’m proud of what I did today. I wish I could say that I stuck it out for at least awhile. I wish I could say that I would do it any differently. But I can’t.
You Gotta Be Still Before You Can Get Ahead
There, on that mountain, it was just us and time and a chance to appreciate the fact that we had both.
There’s Never A Wish Better Than This
We’re so different for all that we have and haven’t done. And yet we’re still there, in that same place — a place of uncertainty and a bit of fear and loneliness and confusion.
These Are The Times of the Everyday Hero
There are ordinary people who do extraordinary things and there are extraordinary people who do ordinary things.
Maybe, then, there are both.
Going Back to the Start
A new ride is about to begin. And for the first time in a long time, I’m excited to see what this one has in store.
You Will Not Be Forgotten
I push myself so hard because I’m afraid of not being good enough. And I’m afraid of the day when I’ll have to watch someone figuratively or literally, by choice or by chance, leave me again.
I Still Believe In Love
There will be laughter. And honesty. And trust. And love. I can promise you that there will always be that.
Life Is What Happens
How do you say no to something that feels like such an important step to achieving your goals? How do you take care of yourself while still maintaining responsibility? How do you stop feeling selfish in needing your loved ones when you want them there for you?
Don’t Worry, Be Happy?
Anxiety is a change itself, though. It changes your life, turns it upside down, turns you inside out, threatens to keep you a prisoner in your own house, your own skin. Until the one day you push through it.
Taking A Stand: We Are Their Voice
Love a dog and you’ll experience love in one of the purest forms.
Apparently the Universe Has Hijacked This Post
You are making a difference just by being who you are, by the words you write and the stories you tell, by the hugs you freely offer and the shoulder you provide, by the love that’s in your heart. Stop smirking, will you? I’m being serious. For once.
Wild Horses Couldn’t Take Me Away
But just as I learned to smile again, just as I learned to trust and let go as a child, so, too, am I learning as an adult. Though she will always be with me, I’m not that same little girl anymore who hid away beneath the coats in a cubby. I’m learning to do now what I couldn’t possibly have done then…
The Art of Letting Go
There are times when you have to ask for help and times when you have to help yourself.
When We Begin To Let Love In
So this is what healing feels like.
Never Stop Believing (Part I)
And while tears are being shed today, I know the reason behind it, know that maybe it’s not my fault, know that maybe that’s just the process of healing, getting better — maybe that’s always a sign of healing and getting better, no matter what journey we’re on.
On A Day Like Today
Little by little, day by day, they say. Soon you’ll have more good days than bad, soon you’ll find yourself back to your old self, full of hope and wonder, willing to take chances, waiting to step outside and embrace the world.
Letting Go of Yesterday
Loss doesn’t mean then and now, but rather a blend of them both. Because those people, places, objects, feelings, memories? You carry them with you, into a future that’s still there, still waiting.
Life comes minute by minute, hour by hour, and day by day and sometimes that’s exactly what it takes to get where you want to go. Sometimes, it takes a lot of just getting through, just getting by. Sometimes, it takes more than words of inspiration.
Sometimes it takes all you have just to walk out the door in the morning.
Finding Courage in the Everyday
There’s courage in acknowledging fear, walking side by side with it, then finding the strength to bid that fear farewell. There’s courage in looking at yourself – all your flaws and insecurities that hold you back, the regrets that linger, the memories that last — and loving yourself regardless.
Maybe there’s even courage in a smile, when that next one once seemed so far away.
Resolution For Happiness
I’m learning, yet again, how to emerge from my comfort zone and let life pleasantly surprise me.
Don’t You Love In Vain
Hold on. Love now. Love always.
Because it does matter; it is enough.
And that love that you feel? That will never, ever leave you.
Clinging To A Past That Doesn’t Let You Choose
There are memories stored in places, moments frozen in time and marked by the structures that housed our dreams, our laughter, our tears, and ourselves. And while someday I know I’ll love another place, while someday there will be another home, there are these moments and memories I’ll always return to.
If I Could Change The World
What if we believed in each other. What if every person we saw or met — even just in passing on a city sidewalk — added up to a moment in our life. What if everything, including that mere moment, had its impact on us, even in the vaguest of ways.
Captive On A Carousel of Time
Maybe we longed for this time because every memory that makes you smile or laugh or cry or cringe is a culmination of you. Maybe looking back to then helps us better understand our now, to see how far we’ve come and how far we want to go.
The Things We Carry
And so, as these moments come and go, though they may be fleeting, we smile to ourselves, close our eyes, and imprint the moment on our memory with a whispered reminder:
Losing My Religion
Over the years, though my belief in religion faded, my spirituality only continued to blossom. And while there were times when that belief wavered, when anger and pain clouded my personal faith, there remained, still, a lingering sense that there was something greater than even ourselves, that there was something timeless and beautiful and full of hope and purpose.
It’s Kinda Tough Getting Older
You know where you’re going and who you’re becoming. You’re an adult now — isn’t that what this means? You’re ready for it, you’ve prepared for it, you’re eager for an entire future that lies ahead, just waiting for you. You never stop to think that life can turn out so differently than what you have planned.
Maybe, just maybe, thinking fondly on the past helps us look forward to a better future.
I Really Don’t Know Life At All
If there’s ever one thing I know for certain, it’s this simply stated fact: the more I think I know about life,
the less I understand.
The Love We Take, The Love We Make
Love is everywhere if we choose to look hard enough.
As Our Lives Change
People come in and out of our lives and there’s no one to blame — least of all ourselves. Yet there are those who will always remain, no matter how you change, no matter how far apart you are, no matter how long it has been.
Time, Be My Friend
Sometimes I think I would give anything to go back to that time — those years when, for three months, time stood still. It seemed so simple then. So light, so easy…
The Writing’s On The Wall
Yet, never once, despite all of these emotions, has there been even the smallest shred of doubt that this isn’t the right decision, that this isn’t meant to be, that this is the next step on my journey.
Life and Love and Why
And I begin to think again: Soon. Soon, I’ll be happy. But not yet. Not now.
Where The Heart Is
And though dinner times may change and place settings will be added and taken away, while new voices will join that chorus and old ones will fade, I know that I will always have a home here.
This House Is Now A Home
Love resides here in this house…
This house that is now a home.
Where We Love
Little by little, though, I know that distance will feel less and less. More and more, I’ll find that familiar comfort here. Soon, this homesickness and loneliness will fade.
Conversations With The Universe
I know how you work, it’s that whole “get it out, then figure it out” reflex of yours. And you know what? That’s ok, too. Because this life? It’s not easy. It’s not designed to be that way. If it were easy, we’d all be partying it up with cheesy popcorn and Chex Mix and those really, really spicy Doritos and tootsie rolls.
Somewhere I Belong
Every step takes me closer to the knowledge that I’m living a dream, surrounded by people who help make that dream a reality; every wave, every chat, every warm, smile-filled greeting alights my heart and tells me that, yes, maybe this is what I’ve been waiting for.
And Sometimes You Cry
But an hour ago, I felt lost. An hour ago, I felt low.
An hour ago, I cried.
This Is Not Goodbye
I used to think that goodbye meant goodbye for now, see you later, I’ll be back soon…
Until the day I began to fear that goodbye meant forever.
Until I realized that goodbye still means goodbye, for now…
When You Come Undone
I refuse to guide my life by that fear; I refuse to look back and remember my life as filled with anything other than love and happiness. And I refuse to accept that life is anything less than beautiful.
Life and Love and Now
But something is changing, understanding is growing, and I’m still learning.
Stop This Train
I’m growing up. I’m growing up and as much as I want this, as happy as I’ve been these past two months, I’m beginning to realize that there’s no going back. Time is still moving forward for both of us, and though he is my hero, he is still human and life still happens.
Breathing In The Moment
I want to feel connected to something, to something bigger and greater than myself, to something that’s greater than any one of us could ever be. I want to understand — to really and truly understand — and study and observe and learn by experience and feel, oh, to feel so deeply, as you uncover that meaning, that purpose, that one question that only living can answer.
A Young Love Story
It was especially hard, not just because he was that first love, but because I had been surrounded by loss then — permanent losses — and, somehow, I think I wrapped them all up together in my mind, like one vast void of abandonment, an emptiness in my heart that I wondered would ever fill back up.
Awakening To An Embrace
But most importantly, I’ve found myself again. I’ve reawakened that part of myself that has always found beauty and passion in everything — everything. I’ve rediscovered that girl who thrives on independence but values the comfort of those she holds dearest, the woman who knows her heart is sensitive, but can find a strength there just the same.
Someday You Will Be Loved
Finding love — and inevitably losing love — has taught me more about myself than I believe any other experience thus far: how to love, how to be loved and that I can be loved, am even worthy of it, flaws and all.
A Heartbeat At My Feet
What helped me heal this year? Riley.
Portrait of A Young Woman
Susan, I have something to tell you. I have so very many things to tell you — that you’ll meet your best friends in college, that you’ll go back to France as you’ve always dreamed, that you’ll find your place, buy a house when you’re still single (bet you can’t see that one coming) — but this is the most important, the message I hope you keep tucked away in that special corner of your heart, that part that is reserved just for you and no one else, to draw from its strength when you need it, to remember when you feel lost and alone:
I’m proud of you.
Keep Christmas With You
That’s the magic of Christmas. These memories of the past, these moments of this present, these feelings of wonder for the future.
Once There Was A Darkness
And I can’t promise myself that I won’t fall into a depression again — as someone who is sensitive and feels everything so acutely, I know that doesn’t pertain to just the good.
But I can promise to keep trying to open up, to show my loved ones how much I value them, to be me — always me, all of me. I can promise to keep fighting that fear and pushing through when it threatens to hold me back.
I can promise to always hold onto that light.
Early Morning Reminiscence
There can be peace in the passing; that time is meant to be savored and enjoyed; that love is everything –everything — and that it can come from anywhere, anything.
You Won’t Find Faith or Hope Down A Telescope
Sometimes, it’s about remembering that what you put out into the world is what you’ll get back, and if you do both — if you test yourself and believe in yourself, you can get that much closer to what you most want.
Three huge events that have changed my life so profoundly; three times I could have hesitated and held myself back as I so often do out of fear or discomfort or uncertainty of how it will all work out.
To Dream of Love
Last night I had a dream…A dream that I was in love.
Spending My Time
Every sunlit morning when I wake up and try, try again; every thought, daydream, and silent, secret wish; every word, written and spoken, every smile, every escaped giggle, every intake of breath, every sweaty palm, every “can I do this?”
and every answer: “yes you can.”
Welcome To My Silly Life
Maybe this girl is beautiful. Maybe she’s special, maybe she’s stronger.
Maybe all that matters is believing in it for yourself…
Maybe all it takes is believing in yourself.
A House To A Home
But right now, I just want to have this something to hold onto.
I just want this memory to remain.
Finding Faith Again
My word is empathy.
A Drop In The Ocean
And I barely know how to begin to explain it, which is why I’ve kept this so close at heart, which is why I’ve been so scared to even try. Yes, I’m scared. I’m scared now, I’m scared writing this. I’m scared that no matter what I write or how I write it, it won’t be enough and it will all be just wasted words. I wish I could show you who I am, just as I struggle to understand who that is…
Tears Are Not Enough
Maybe that’s why we all have our own causes, the ones that touch our hearts, the ones we shed our tears over, the ones that become so personal that we can’t believe others don’t feel the same way, the ones that make us want to build that awareness so that others can understand not only why it touches you so, but to encourage their participation, their own efforts for change.
Nothing Heals Me Like You Do
I’m learning. I may suck at these lessons and be flunking these tests that life is throwing my way, but I can promise with all of my heart…
No, self-esteem isn’t a switch you can flip, but it’s a battle against the voices that haunt you, the voices that sound so very much like your own, that threaten to spread it’s poison as it belittles you, as it demeans the goodness in who you are.
It’s a journey — a very personal and difficult journey — in discovering and rediscovering and discovering yet again who you are and why you are so loved.
Why you are beautiful.
And how you can love yourself.
Note: All of the beautiful pictures on this page are by Gabrielle Kai.