As I near age 29, I've begun to freak out about turning 30. I never (ever, ever, ever!) thought I'd care about turning 30. Ever. Because obviously I'd have it together by 30. That was the idea anyway. Now that I am nearing that sacred year, I've realized togetherness doesn't just happen with age. And if it does, I have a helluva lot to get done in a year and a half.
Don't get me wrong, I know it's not a requirement to have things together by a certain age, and that "together" is a very loose term that may or may not actually exist in the real world. But it doesn't change the fact that I want it. And that I want it at a reasonable age (any time now would be great). So I've been doing a lot of thinking. Thinking about why I long for this idea of togetherness so desperately. I started thinking about my existence, my choices, all the little and big things that have brought me to this big mess of a life. Then I started thinking about this messy life of mine. It's splattered and seeping with colors. I've spent a lot of time worrying about coloring inside the lines, freaking out when colors run over each other, fighting desperately to keep them separate and in their proper places. I've given up a few times, throwing my paint brush, knocking paint over and letting it spill onto everything. I get extremely overwhelmed when I look at the mess because I have no idea how to clean it up. Can I please just start over?! I scream at the skies, making promises of doing better if I just had a clean start. But then I started thinking about what I'd do if I actually was given a do over. I did a lot of thinking about this, but no matter how I tried to imagine different outcomes, I realized I wouldn't change anything. I couldn't change anything. Because when I took a step back and looked at my life, I saw this amazing, messy, chaotic, beautiful, and surprising picture. I realized my life is not paint-by-numbers but a canvas in the process of being filled. I see the places where I spilled, and where my colors ran together, I see the pain I felt then, and it still hurts, but I also see how those colors make my life what it is. My colors make me who I am. And for once, I kinda like me.
So I'm ok not being together. It still sucks when I get to thinking how much easier it would all be if I had a paint-by-numbers guide. But then I remember that world is a prison. Being free might be messy, but it's my mess. It will all still freak me out, and I might cry about it at times, but then I'll remember my canvas still has space to fill, and I'll pick up my paint brush again. Or maybe I'll get really adventurous and do some finger painting as well.