I have this friend who is twenty three and going through the whole "he loves me, he loves me not" debacle. He blows her of, then acts like he cares about her, then sleeps with her, then blows her off again... Y'know the drill. My drill when I was twenty three, the drill of a bunch of other people I know when they were twenty three. The difference between twenty three and twenty five doesn't seem that big until I watch her go through her work day, depressed and angry. Until I listen to her bemoan putting herself through the same shit over and over and I just want to hug her and say "Honey, life doesn't have to be so hard". And no, I don't usually call people "honey" but it's what I want to say to her. I want to say "Michi, I love you to death, but you're doing it wrong". I know she won't listen because I've tried to talk sense into her. I know she won't listen because I didn't. But maybe that's the thing, maybe that's what your early twenties are for.
If you don't do it wrong, how will you know when you're getting it right?
I had it right. I had the job, the roommate, the apartment, the boy, but I didn't know it was right, so I couldn't be happy with it. I hadn't known wrong. Or at least wrong on my own terms, based on life decisions I made, not somebody else's. Now I know wrong quite well, wrong and I are on intimate terms but now I can say "ummm, no, no thank you" when wrong enters my life. And more importantly, I can look at my arms covered in sheet pan burns and hands with the nails cut short and more nicked than whole (the arms and hands of a baker are not pretty) I can look at my hair cut short and dyed dark instead of kept long and light for somebody else and say "Yes, yes this is right, this is who I am". Because at the end of it all, no matter in what ways I've grown and matured, I am still me; somewhat impulsive while taking life far too seriously, harsh to strangers while overly compassionate to friends, a little punk rock with a penchant for pearls and secretly ready to fall in love with everything and everyone, always. And I am happiest when I am ok with all of those things. And I am happiest when I remember that just because I made the same bad decision before, doesn't mean I have to make it again.
Some parts of me are set, and other parts of me are fluid. I only get to choose which is which for some of them, so I better make damn sure the things I have a say in make me happy because, ultimately, I'm the only who's always going to care.