Tuesday, February 21, 2006

...And I LOVE Being 25

Historically, I have never been a fan of getting older. Anyone who knows me knows this. Call it nostalgia, call it rebellion, call it whatever, but I always seem to long more for the careless, golden days of my childhood than for the responsibilities and demands of "growing up." It's gotten so bad, actually, that every year since I turned 19, the approach of my birthday has been met with more tears than smiles.

One of the wisest women I know once told me, "Darlin', it's all down-hill after 18. It just gets worse from here." Somehow those words burrowed themselves deep into me, and I couldn't seem to help but look forward to each coming year with more and more apprehension and trepidation.

No more! My 25th birthday was a couple of weeks ago. I am officially a quarter-of-a-century years old!!! I don't know if I've somehow grown to be more wise, or if I just finally got sick of myself and my fear, but this year, I welcomed my birthday and this momentous milestone with open arms.

It's been quite a year for me. I feel that the Lord has led me on a most unpredictable path, often meandering along in an almost aimless fashion, sometimes careening wildly ahead. The path has been anything but straight. Instead I've followed twist, turns, and even several loops that have doubled back on themselves, leading me back to the same place, it seems, that I started from. There has been no steady uphill climb, but rather a series of dips and ascensions....a roller-coaster ride of highs and lows. There've been bumps and bruises. Some scars have been healed, and others are just beginning to bleed. But somehow, here at 25, I've stopped and looked around long enough to find myself on a summit and it is undeniable how much higher and farther and better I am now when compared to a year ago. There is a sense of having been led out of the mists and allowed to stand in the full sun, at least for now.

An even wiser man once said to me, "Life is so beautiful. You remember that. It just gets better and better. This life is so beautiful." As I round the corner of a quarter-century, I find that this is my mantra. This is what life and experience have made true for me so far.

A friend asked me to choose the song for my "24." The song that encapsulates the last year of my life. I love and hate these kinds of questions, because invariably if I scramble for an answer that sounds impressive and profound I will get it wrong. But if I give myself the time to steep over it, I will somehow stumble across the answer that is absolutely and irrefutably just right. This time I did. I'm not sure if it's really the song for the end of my 24, or the more the song for the beginning of my 25. All I know, is that right now it is the truth of my soul.

Brand New Day

When all the dark clouds roll away
And the sun begins to shine
I see my freedom from across the way
And it comes right in on time
Well it shines so bright and it gives so much light
And it comes from the sky above
Makes me feel so free makes me feel like me
And lights my life with love

And it seems like and it feels like
And it seems like yes it feels like
A brand new day, yeah
A brand new day

I was lost and double crossed
With my hands behind my back
I was longtime hurt and thrown in the dirt
Shoved out on the railroad track
I've been used, abused and so confused
And I had nowhere to run
But I stood and looked
And my eyes got hooked
On that beautiful morning sun

And it seems like and it feels like
And it seems like yes it feels like
A brand new day, yeah
A brand new day

And the sun shines down all on the ground
Yeah and the grass is oh so green
And my heart is still and I've got the will
And I don't really feel so mean
Here it comes, here it comes
0 here it comes right now
And it comes right in on time
Well it eases me and it pleases me
And it satisfies my mind

And it seems like and it feels like
And it seems like yes it feels like
A brand new day, yeah
A brand new day

-Van Morrison