What kind of blogger/writer would I be if I didn’t make a post reflecting on the past year of my life on my birthday?
What kind of Lawson would I be if I wasn’t a day late on writing this blog post?
What kind of millennial would I be if I didn’t link this post to this amazing, iconic song? Listen, I can’t control the fact that I’m five+ years younger than Taylor so this song is now five years old. Blame my parents.
But I am feeling 22. This birthday is one of the first where I can answer “Yes” truthfully when someone asks me “Do you feel older?” And that’s not because my mom was a beast this day (yesterday, I’m late) 22 years ago. This specific day doesn’t have anything to do with it because I didn’t grow a year older over night. I grew a year older over a year.
Wow, science is cool, isn’t it?
But the reason I answer “Yes, I feel older today” truthfully is because I reflect. I look at the fact that for the next 365 (364 – again, I’m late) days, I will be telling people I’m 22, not 21. April 30th might be just another day, but it does mark the day my mom was a beast 22 years ago. And because of that significance, I am more aware today of how much has changed over the last year. Of how much older I am. Of how different I am.
I moved cities and states, lost friends and made new ones. I transferred schools and joined a new church. I became a runner and lost ** pounds (number doesn’t matter). I got some much needed counseling and started planning the next chapter of my life after I finally graduate from college. I got a new job and wrote a book and worked through some really difficult moments. 20 years old wasn’t a grate age or year. The past year has been one of the best years of my life and I know 22 is going to be just as awesome. Busy, different, life changing, yes, but awesome.
I’ve talked a lot about the stuff I’ve been going through. Some of it was very specific stories and some was more vague. Some things I wrote about because I knew I would get 300x the amount of readers if I did. I’ve also left a lot out because maybe I’m not ready to talk about specifics and maybe I never will be but writing has always been my gateway into understanding. I work better on the page than I do in person. I make sense of things when I write them out. And I share better when someone has their eyes on a bunch of written words, rather than locked with my own. Vulnerability has never been easy for me, but sharing has really helped that and I know because people have told me, it’s helped other people too.
I share steps because sometimes we get discouraged that we can’t see three steps ahead. I can NEVER see three steps ahead and I rarely look because I get anxious I’ll trip if I’m not looking straight down. (And writing a blog post about whatever step I’m staring at) Sometimes I don’t even see the entire step that I’m standing on but I know it’s there because I know the King who created not just that step, but all of them.
I share because in sharing I remember that the next step will be there, maybe before I share again.
At 22, I look back at all the steps I’ve taken. I can still see those. Some of them are smooth and I remember when I rested. Some steps go straight up a mountain and I remember how tired I was when I was climbing them. Some went under a tangle of thorns and weeds and I can still feel the sting from all the cuts I got while struggling through those thorns. I still have bruises from where I fell off the path because I got too scared to take the next step.
I look down at step 22 and smile because I can’t see 23, but I know it’s there.
I’m new, I’ve been made new.
A year older, a year wiser, a step further.
I’m feeling 22.