This is the last weekend of my 20s.
I spent much of my twenties being incredibly uncomfortable. I worked jobs I didn’t like just so I could live in the city and not have to move home. I sang with a band at venues that didn’t pay very well. I tried to date people and get the attention of people who weren’t invested in me.
I babysat and worked with kids (which was honestly the best thing I did post-college. Those kids made me smile and laugh and sometimes I felt like they made more sense than any of my peers).
I got a job at a dive bar. I drank heavily for a period of time. I would literally stumble home at night, lean over on the side walk, throw up on the concrete, and then continue home. I did not like my circumstances, even though they were circumstances that I had chosen. I complained about them for awhile, then a good friend said to me, “Do something about it. Change your circumstances.”
So I applied to grad school. In a different state. I got in. I turned it down and moved anyway. I still drank heavily and dated the wrong people. BUT! The service industry job I worked didn’t suck. I worked with people I liked being around. I got a job singing with a cover band that paid pretty well. I was a performing, paid musician! I had dreamed of being able to sing professionally my whole life, and I was doing it!
I actually DID go to grad school. I dropped out. After one semester. I surprisingly didn’t like it. I didn’t feel that the things I was learning would help me make more money, or make me better at anything I actually wanted to do.
And as many musicians do, I dated an alcoholic. I had to decide to leave three times before I really left. That relationship was the saddest, most tragic, life-shattering thing I’ve ever been a part. I could not sleep. I could not eat. I could not believe he could do the things he had done, I couldn’t believe that that was the love I thought I was worthy of, and I couldn’t believe that there are SO MANY PEOPLE WHO LIVE THEIR LIVES LIKE THAT.
I felt like I was floating in some sort of spiritual purgatory after leaving. I knew I was free to be happy, but I wasn’t entirely sure what that looked like. There was a weight I felt still attached to him, but I felt it was a scary, dangerous weight that would drown me if I looked back.
I subbed with different bands. I met the man I will marry next summer because I left that band and that relationship.
I got hired to teach kids music and aerial yoga. Literally, I got to teach kids how to fly.
I joined a different band that paid even better because I decided to leave the one I worked with him. I enjoyed the songs more. I enjoyed my work.
I met the woman who would introduce me to a stream of income I had no idea existed. I found people who were working toward something bigger than themselves. I found people who spent their time getting to know people and seeing if there was a way they could make their lives better, instead of help them ignore their problems, or create distractions from their goals.
I stopped working that business for awhile, and went to work on cruise ships. One day, there will be a long entry about that because even starting to think about it makes me think that it will take a boatload of words to even begin to describe the ins, outs, awesomeness, and draining things that goes into working that industry.
But I have revisited that business this summer, and it’s something I want to do for the rest of my life. There is a culture and a specific type of person that looks for ways to help multiple people find a purpose in life. And not only find purpose, but breathe life, and energy, and positivity into others, and to help people believe that we always have more to give, even when we hear “no, you can’t,” “no I can’t,” “no, that’s not real,” “no, I’m just not interested,” “no, what are you even doing?” over and over again.
MY ENTIRE TWENTIES WERE A “No, I can’t” “no, you can’t” “no, that’s not real” ERA. And I am graduating from that course, and moving. On. Up.
I am so. SO. SO, SO so so so so so grateful for everything that happened. People, jobs, friends, relationships were there as long as they were supposed to be. I’ve learned to let go of the heavy, and move toward the light. There was a lot- A LOT- of heavy in this decade of my life. And I know there will be more. But I’ve also learned to be more aware of it and identify that I don’t have to stay in things/places/jobs that make me feel heavy.
I can move through the discomfort, and grow because of it.
You can too. We are all worth more, and capable of more.
There is always light up ahead. You just have to look for it. And when you see it,