Just another reason to make a wish

It’s the eve of my 26th birthday and it is by far the least excited I have been yet to turn another year older. This year is a big one for me. 25 seemed like a milestone, and passing the quarter-century point is something of a feat in adulting. This is the birthday the government gives us newly turned 26-year-olds the stiff-armed pushed into adulthood. This is the year they say “hopefully you have your shit together, we know your joints are starting to hurt more than they did in your early 20’s, your hangovers only seem to be getting worse, and gray is now part of the color spectrum on your head, but even so, you can’t mooch off your parents forever, get your own fucking health insurance.”

There are only a few circumstances that newly turned 26-year-olds find themselves in. They will breathe a sigh of relief, wake up, and roll out of bed to the job that is providing them with a health plan. Or, they will reach a little further into their pockets to pay for their own insurance. Or, they will risk it and go without. Those scenarios have been sitting on my shoulder this whole past year whispering their sweet anxieties into my ears.

The last week has felt heavy. The last month felt heavy. Hell, 25 has been a heavy year for me.

Minutes before it turned 12 am, marking my birthday—yes I paid attention— I’m trying to remember some of my recent past birthdays. Some I could remember easily, some were a bit foggy as to how I spent my day. I thought that was odd, not remembering. But, I do know that each one of them I had some type of plan that included celebrations, usually which involved drinking adult beverages and inviting friends to spend the day with me. This year is by far the tamest, and I am so ok with that.

So, it’s 12:07 am, newly 26,  and I’m flossing my teeth. Just 10 minutes earlier I was looking into the dance moves in Fortnite with my little brother.

Life as of recently has been felt nothing short of a rollercoaster ride. Specifically, the kind that takes you up and down and turns you upside down to the point where if the seatbelts malfunctioned you’d definitely find yourself catapulted out of your seat. Even so, grateful is what I feel, and there has been a growth within me that I am proud of.

As daunting as 26 has been, I do feel a lightness that is unexpected and welcoming. 25 was challenging and this next year maybe even more so, but it provides some changes that I have been desperately grasping for. I’m not sure how long this lightness will last for, I’m only one hour into being 26, but I’m going to fly with it as long as the magic carpet will let me.

I don’t want to say that I’m ditching all that has been, but, really, yeah, I kinda am.

 

Insert cheesy “happy 1st of the month” line here

Chugging. I’ve been chugging. And not the fun stuff either. No, I’ve been binge drinking the fruit punch flavors of the month. Last month was “crunch time”, aka, working my life away. Which, unfortunately hasn’t proven to show its worthiness. The month before last the flavor was “positivity,” because shit, I needed a lot of that after the month before that was “emotional.” Good news though, the flavors do seem to be getting better. I started off with grape, and this next month is looking like a solid cherry.

It’s like that bright green button that’s been off in the distance, flashing, taunting me, is finally in arms reach for me to smash my fist into. The restart button. Oh buddy, I’ve been wanting to push it. Honestly, the only other thing that could satisfy me to the same extent would be peeling like 1000 plastic screen protectors off new appliances.

To restart. It sounds easy, but I’m guessing, ok preparing for, something resembling maybe Hell. Ok, so obviously not quite Hell. Restart does has a very positive outlook and feeling to it…But if I shoot low, I can only be pleasantly surprised, right?

For real though, putting aside the fact the I quite literally mess with my own mind as a defense mechanism, a restart is exactly what I’m looking for. Which is funny because knowing something, hell anything that I want, is a feat similar to my last journey across the desert, which never happened…case and point. Restarting is going to be hard, and there’s no easy way around it.

I have a tendency to try to look into my future, play out scenarios, imagine and expect certain things. But that tendency has given birth to a whole new level of anxiety and disappointment, so I’m thinking for this restart it is going to be best to just go with the flow. Like really, I’m going to jump on my inner tube, let my ass sit in the water, and float down the unknown river. Mind you, I’ll have a big stick to steer and poke away stranger dangers, but floating is what I’ll be doing. Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t have goals or wants for this restart, because I got a hella lot, but it does mean that I’m going to surrender the parts of myself that have been afraid and unsure. Looking back, everything that I have truly cherished has been unplanned, so there’s no use in worrying and trying to be my own fortune teller. What I’ve done is guide myself in a direction, following my heart if you will. Corny and cliche as some of my beliefs, life has a way of working out. The shit you go through makes you something—at first maybe mad or sad, but then maybe strong.

You can’t go into a restart and think it’s going to be like Willie Wonka’s edible park. That’s when one of those “life lessons” hits ya square in the vagina, rain starts pouring, and “giving it time” makes you want to vomit in your mouth.

I’m choosing to restart. And it’s going to stem from a foundation of simplicity. I’m being positive. I’m being optimistic. I’m being ambitious. I’m being aware of my past, and enjoying my present. Knowing what I want doesn’t have to be a one word answer. For me what I want is a picture, you know because a picture is worth 1000 words. And I’m ok with the complexity of my happiness and the complicated definition of Emily Sage Pineda, because truthfully I never want to be fully defined. I like to wiggle.