So Long 27

Writing to Remember

On my last night of 27, I write a letter of thanks.

Dear 27,

I thought you would break me. I thought you would crush me the night you arrived. You found me on the floor at midnight on November 12th, and I was crying and screaming, screaming and crying. It was as if all of the pain, all of the sickness and death and grief and anger from the last two years welled up inside of me and broke the emotional dam that I had built to cope. The result was a soundtrack of cries and screams on repeat from a bedroom floor unable to move, not conscious of anything but the pain.

The dam broke when I was at home with my roommate and a friend who had come into town on a Tuesday afternoon just to be with me on my birthday. I remember my friend crying with me while my roommate held me. At 27, she held me until I stopped crying. And I don’t know how long I cried, but I know it was long enough to make me wonder if I’d ever stop crying again. It was my low point. The emotional dam had broken and the waters of fear and loneliness were flooding in, and I was convinced this year would break me.

I walked around in the fog of resentment for a few weeks after that night. I resented you, 27. I resented life moving forward whether I wanted it to or not. If only I had known what you had in store for me. I didn’t know you would change me like you have. I thought my pain was unchangeable, that the waters would keep flooding me on the inside, but I was wrong.

When it gets down to it, I owe you thanks. Somehow, some way you moved me forward, and I’m amazed. I wanted to believe it. I wanted to believe that time would heal, but I think there was a part of me that always doubted it would happen for me. You changed that.

You’ve given me a year where I started picking up my Bible consistently, and not just to find verses that made me feel better, but to finally understand what it means to live for His will and not my own. You’ve managed to strengthen friendships I’ve had for years—friendships that I thought were already impossibly strong—and you’ve given me the gift of being vulnerable and real with some new people you’ve brought into my life as well. You’ve given me a sense of freedom. And you gave me back something I had been looking for relentlessly—you gave me a key, the letters, to unlock some memories that needed unlocking. Some memories that allowed me to reconnect with my mom’s memory. For all of that, I’m grateful.

I smile a lot more because I’m thankful and because you’ve shown me that I don’t have to have it all figured out. He already does.

I’ll give 28 more of a warm welcome because you taught me that, 27.

So long,