The Reason We Are Here
Tomorrow I turn 39. For those of you who are behind me, I completely agree: 39 sounds old. And strange. And in between. I’m not joining an awesome new club where my awesome fortysomething friends will welcome me, and I am no longer the poster girl for my decade. The more I think about it, the more this also sums up my life right now. I’m in the space between. Where once the path ahead seemed so clear and concrete, it’s now a big question mark. Where I used to be so CERTAIN about everything—from my career path to how I take my coffee—I’m re-assessing who am I and what I really want, what matters to me most and whether my choices truly reflect that. When I’m not having a mild panic attack about the unknown, it’s actually a very good thing.
Until this year, I was perfectly content living my Type-A life, attacking whatever project I thought would bring me success or approval or the contentment I so craved. Some things did, for a while. But I still felt frazzled and more full than fulfilled. Then I fell in love. Suddenly, I found myself wanting to simplify everything so I could be more present in my relationship. I wanted to cook dinner rather than read one more tweet. I wanted to go on a walk, not work late. I wanted to dream big about our new life, not bring my laptop to bed. I didn’t know this was a THING. Not really. I have always believed in love but didn’t know how much it could change me or my priorities. And so I find myself in uncharted territory. Everything looks different. I feel different. I am different. Love is creating a safe space for me to be, but I’m only just beginning to understand what that means. A few weeks ago I was unpacking a box of old journals and found notes from a conversation with an intuitive named Phyllis whose round, tinkling laugh sounded exactly like my deceased grandmother’s. She told me that it gave her great peace to know that the reason we are here is to learn ourselves. It’s not an easy task, but it’s a simple one. We only complicate matters by reaching outside ourselves for answers and validation, when they—we—were right there all along.
I’m looking forward to meeting my 39-year-old self.
photos // eliesa johnson