The same fall that I turned twenty, Taylor Swift released the Red album and I first heard her song "22". I remember wondering whether the song would be irrelevant by the time I caught up to her.
Two years later, and Taylor Swift is still relevant, 22 is still on the radio, and I resonate with the lyrics in the same way I did when I first heard it.
I was in San Diego that year. Last year I was in Albuquerque. This year I woke up in Nashville. I love that my adult life has brought so many opportunities to move, to travel, to explore, and to add new people to my list of favourites. I refuse to believe that life has to get boring as you get older. And yet, this quote rings true for too many people:
It seems as if in the process of growing up we lose the ability to wonder about the world. Jostein Gaarder, Sophie's World
We lose our ability to wonder because we see more and more of the hurts and pain within the world. We lose our innocent view of our world, and we are quick to become jaded and bitter.
We lose our ability to wonder when we demand to know and understand everything. Part of being in awe is not being able to understand.
We lose our ability to wonder because we settled for the American Dream and forgot our own along the way. We lost sight of the things that set our hearts on fire.
I wholeheartedly reject this. The more I grow up, the more I "mature", or whatever word you want to use to indicate getting older, the more and more I value maintaining a strong sense of wonder. Maintaining wonder, staying in awe... it keeps us awake. It reignites something in our souls so that we do not fall asleep and lose our dreams in the day to day cycle of work and sleep and cooking and cleaning.
Twenty one had a lot of things that left me jaded, broken, and more than bitter. But it also had a lot of moments of pure bliss, excitement, and awe. And now, twenty two brings a fresh start, a new season, and another opportunity to fall back into wonder about the world around me, the city I get to live in, and the people I get to know. I don't think I could maintain that kind of excitement about life if I had stayed in the dark places.
We're happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time.
It's miserable and magical.
But mostly magical. Mostly wonderful. Here's to another year of wonder.