An ode to 26

They say, you should never write in a flurry of emotion, even if you may make your decisions in them. In the whirl of an age that ends, and one that begins, I am wired, tearful and enthused…but in the end twenty-six has served me well.

The day I turned twenty-six wasn’t a very happy day. I was still recovering from a nastily and hastily broken-up engagement, and on that very morning my father was found slumped in the bathroom, head between his knees. In the months that followed,  I realized it could have been worse: he could have not made it through the series of operations, he could have not made it through that long and lonely night, and I could have not made it out alive. Changing the way I looked at everything, opened my eyes.

Through the year, my eyes have opened wider still. At twenty-six I learned to lose, to fail, to not get what I thought I deserved, to be alone, to watch from the sidelines, to wait. I learned to walk in to a party alone, brave my fears, stand in the middle of nowhere, alone.

I also learned to know I was not so alone, after all. More often that not, I woke up to happy messages from friends and strangers, came to work to find a box of chocolates waiting at my desk, and there was never a lonely Saturday.

In my deepest moments of despair, I turned to all the things I loved: books, and swimming, and kickboxing, and the same song on loop- and found new solaces too. Running, and smiling at strangers, airports and allowing life to run its course.

Of all the ways an age can teach you, of all the ways a year can break you, twenty-six meandered through many downs. But, I can only remember the highs.

I can only remember fighting, I can only remember believing. I can only remember dancing, and making friends with strangers. I can only remember finding all my friends all over again. “When you’re open to the world, the world is open to you.” And, I can only remember learning to be, once more.

Here’s to twenty-six. Here’s to the year that helped you be a better you. A bigger you. Without the hurt, without the pain, without the disappointment you will never know what it is, to come out of it. You will never know what it is to believe in the bigger that is waiting. You will never know, to believe in time that evens everything out.

And mostly, you will never know what it is to know that twenty-seven will be beautiful. For you have earned it.

And then you call me and it’s not so bad, it’s not so bad and
I want to thank you for giving me the best day of my life
Oh just to be with you is having the best day of my life.~ Thank You, Dido


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