If turning from 18 to 19 is crossing the transition between paragraphs, then turning from 23 to 24 is like flipping a page in the book of life. At this stage of life, every year counts. Merely one year could have brought me so far off from where I was at 23. I still remember how frustrated I was a year ago sitting at a restaurant and had no idea at all about life.
I have been on my own and have no need to report my grades to anyone. This year seemed okay from outside of the shell but actually a lot had happened. I learned to take care of my heart. I learned to speak up for what I stand for. I learned to keep my pace when people around me started to speed up. I learned to spend money from my own bank account. I learned to lose the interest in getting buzzed. I learned to not care about going to a social event which doesn’t have much space for any relationships to improve. I learned to jump start a car. I learned to relocate to a new living place. I learned to travel light. I learned to read the map and drive for more than 22 hours. I learned to communicate with sad families who have deceased children. I learned to trust God.
People now love to ask me about my plans for life. (Maybe they have nothing else to ask. Who knows?) They often say: “Grace, after this, then what?” However I am now comfortable and confident to answer them with a “Then whatever.” That’s true! Then whatever God brings me to. I trust He has best plans for me. A year ago I have such a firm mind wanting to move back to Taiwan, but now I’m at peace to go anywhere God wants me to go, even the places I never thought I would go.
23 to 24. I learned to move forward but at the meanwhile I also started to accept some facts that I used to dislike. It’s okay to be your true self with no shame. It’s okay not to explain details to acquaintances and not to justify your every feeling. It’s okay that some people will just never understand why you this and that and you really don’t have to make known to them about things under your skin. It’s okay to let some relationships run their course. It’s okay that people change and you don’t recognize them anymore. It’s okay to tear but it’s also okay to have nothing to cry about and simply let go. It’s okay if there’s a mental fistfight. It’s okay to be scared. It’s okay to not feel guilty. It’s okay not to move on and stay where you physically at.
I didn’t become negative on seeing things. In fact, I used to hold fast to things more than I should have and ended up getting myself stuck in nothing and lost the point. I learned to let go and therefore I was able to catch more opportunities on things than when I was 23. Being calm doesn’t mean to give up energy and hope.
Here are the beautiful lights hung at Evelyn’s patio for summer! They surprised me with a real surprise last night, and Jesse said: “You were born, and you made friends, and your friends celebrate your birthday.” I feel loved and spoiled by them. How lucky I am to have friends who spoil me.
It’s weird but amazing that I feel young turning 24. Let’s be open-minded and try new things out! We just about to start our life with frustrations left behind. It’s still wonderful when the path is not clear yet because I know time is on our side.
P.S. Happy Birthday to my dear Ya-Chen Jane, too! Celebrating with you is one of the best things every year.