• Laura Brzyski

26 --> 27

Two days ago, I turned 27. With a birthday (as with a new year) comes a looking back. And when I reflect on 26, I find much of my life changed: our 6 year relationship dissolved; I finally moved out of my shitty studio apartment; my bank account required more from me; we discovered red stars. Even the urge to go out for Sips every Wednesday ceased (who am I anymore?!).

But, as I look back, I also find that my body has surely slowed down. I know I shouldn’t be shocked over this–I know that getting older means bodies don’t work like they used to. But man, I didn’t realize how soon it’d happen & how much it sucks. The food I eat & the ‘social bevs’ I consume now go directly to my stomach (not my thighs). When I was 22, I could drink my weekends away & wake up looking…well, emaciated. I’d hit the gym post-hangover & be in tip-top shape. Even though I don’t drink like I used to anyway, I still can’t get over the fact that a consumption even less than my previous level will yield this joey pouch as if I have become semi-kangaroo. I am a firm believer in “don’t complain, change,” especially when it is something within one’s control. I know I can get my body back, or at least something close to what I used to have. But there is no denying the fact that it will not be as easy as it once was. It will be a laborious undertaking, if only because growing up changes movements and results.

With these changes and reflections, I feel an enormous sense of urgency. Not long after I turned 26, the biggest part of my life ended & began again. It was a very quick & unexpected turnover. Before, I felt I had a lifetime for us to do things we always said we’d do when we were older, out of school, established, with money. And then, that vision was no more. Once a new one began, I felt like we had to do everything at once & make up for all this lost time. I still feel that way. I get anxious about making sure trips are booked, as if not having them booked means we’ll never get the experience. I also have found this overwhelming desire to involve myself in my passions. I write conference papers for fun, choose yoga over happy hour, volunteer as a reader for a really rad literary magazine. Overall, I have this screaming NOWNOWNOW rattling my bones.

For me, I think 27 will be a transition year. It is scary, even when exciting. I know this will be the last year I live alone. Being an only child, that is frightening. Soon after 27, I presume engaged. Then married & the rest of the story. And I know this will all go slow & fast simultaneously. 27, it seems, is a catalyst.

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