An instrumental version of the “Twelve Days of Christmas” is blaring on our Bose speaker. It’s a Saturday night in early November. I’m nestled on the chaise with a good cup of tea and a bad pain in my shoulder. And I couldn’t be happier.
Because I’ll be 28 in a week, and I’m not-young.
Twenty-seven has been a seminal year for me. [Insert humble-brags about my career, relationships, fulfilling hobbies and personal growth here]. Twenty-seven is the first year I’ve kept a New Year’s resolution. At twenty-seven I’m more in love than I’ve ever been.
I always thought I knew my insecurities, but I hadn’t looked at them straight in the eye until this year. It was like being afraid of the dark, but when you turn on the light you see that you’re actually afraid of a very specific monster that is mean to you who hides in the dark.
It’s ugly. This year for the first time, I turned on the light and I saw my personal Demagorgon. I have struggled with my failure to be perfect for some time, but at twenty-seven it turned into an anxiety and obsession. It has taken everything I have to learn how to identify my self-critical thoughts and re-wire my behavior before they snowball. I’m not there yet, but I’ve started.
It’s part of the reason Matt and I started this blog. We’re documenting our experiences and experiments in the hope that we’ll break the perfectionism habit that has been running the show for too damn long, and choose to be happy. Imperfect.
It’s fitting that we’re launching it a week before I turn 28. At twenty-seven I was not young but at 28 I’ll be not-young. In my book, you earn that dash when you’ve confronted your weaknesses head-on and decided to love yourself anyway. That is hair-graying wisdom right there.
Happy birthday to me!