Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Nadia 3.0

Often, younger people speak about how 'old' they feel, sites like Buzzfeed post multiple nostalgia lists where Generation X/Yer's wax poetic about how ancient we are.

SRSLY THO GUYS, can you believe BSB is this old now?? WE R SO ANCIENT

There's a great quote that I read stating that "Growing old is a privilege denied to many".

I've lost enough amazing people in my life to realize that this sentiment is very true, so I will very much spare people complaints of how old I feel, since I'm not old...at all. That is until I hang out with teenagers and college students, because then I realize I just want to yell at them to turn down their music and get off my lawn.

Get away from me with your YOLO

What I will say is that I am happy my 20's are over...seriously, SO happy that it's over.

I feel like not enough people my age actually think that, most are pretty devastated that their 20's have come and gone. Perhaps because they held our college days, when people were young, sexy, wild and free? Maybe some people had hot love affairs, or just affairs, or traveled around the world, went to awesome concerts and partied their nights away?

I had an amazing college experience in my 20's, to this day it held some of my best experiences ever. I partied, not too hard, but yes had great social times.

But I'm going to keep it real, my 20's were HORRIBLE. If you asked me to define my 20's, I would say that that it was defined by trauma, uncertainty, insecurity, fear, heartbreak...and more trauma.

If I could go back in time and see my bright, shining, happy-go-lucky face as a 20 year old, I would grip myself by the shoulders and say "I am so sorry, but everything will go to hell, over and over again, and then it will go to hell again".
And if my 20 year old self looked to me for comfort or advice to rely on during these trying times, I would just say:

Because that's all I could have done is braced myself! There was no wisdom or good advice that would have made any of it easier to handle. Seeing my family go through unbelievable fathoms of despair for YEARS as my mentally ill father was set up and sent to jail for a victimless crime, from when I was 21-27 off and on, to going through intense romantic heartache and confusion, to having no economic or job security and private loans that threatened to financially drown me forever; I have to say that making it to my 30's has been an ACCOMPLISHMENT.

In my 20's I tried to hold it together as our systems worked to decimate my family, I tried to hold it together when I got a call from my fathers prison because prison guards beat him so badly that he almost died. I also thought that I would go to medical school, then law school before realizing (after taking all the important exams) that the reason I could hardly pass any of them was because of a long term undiagnosed learning disorder...due to, you guessed it, severe emotional trauma.

I moved cross country at age 26 for love. I thought coming to California would be a glorious adventure full of sunny days, warm nights and fulfilled dreams. Instead what I got was a completely collapsed economy and a very ill suited job experience that drove me into unemployment with no benefits until I fought for, and won them back myself (with the help of an angel from a local union). What I also got was no friends, no jobs, and backed up loans...oh yea and a father that was put back into prison by a corrupt legal structure.

my 20's

It's nuts to think that a good chunk of my 20's was me hoping to not end up homeless and crazy. I wish that was an exaggeration. The past decade broke me, plain and simple.

But I made it, know why? Because of people, because of people who loved me fiercely and completely. People who believed in me even when I was literally and figuratively scrunched up into  fetal position. People who let me live in their homes for free, people who paid for my therapy, friends who stayed up with me all night to hear the same complaints and fears over and over again without complaining...not even once.

Because of mentors and bosses who took a chance on me to hire me and give me the space to grow and explore my talents. Because of people who encouraged me when nothing I did seemed to go the right way. Because of a man who drove me crazy and who I drove crazy, but who decided that I was still the woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life with.

Somehow, it's worked out so far
These are the reasons that I am 30 today, because of all of the love, care, devotion and time from countless people who each gave me gifts of hope that grew big enough to give me the strength, perseverance and  fortitude that I hold today.

Sometimes you need people to tell you that you are good enough a zillion times when life is constantly beating you down and showing you the exact opposite of that. I was lucky to have those people. They helped me pick up the pieces until I become some half-healed cobbled up proverbial Frankenstein's monster. In pieces but at least somewhat put together.

As my 30's begin I have to say that I am relieved and excited. I have more confidence, I am in the best shape of my life (take that, hot 20's), and frankly I KNOW that hard times will be ahead, I know that life is full of landmines. But this time, no matter how bad the storm will be, I will have the support and love that will get me through. I will be faster, better, stronger, I will be Nadia 3.0.

I plan to evolve like a Pokemon

And more than that, I hope to be the one that pays it forward and supports others, who makes the world a better place, who is there for people that need it the most. I have gotten way too much love and kindness to not do this. Me not helping others would be a huge injustice to those who helped me survive to be who I am today.

This will be an epic decade, whether there be storms or sunshine, this time I know that I will not be broken.

And if I am, I will just have to patch up again, I've been put back together before you know...

So to recap, my 20's were like this:

And I hope to make my 30's like this:

So bring it on.