Twenty-Three Years Wiser

Twenty-Three Years Wiser

Mes chéries, this girl is turned one year older last Monday, April 2! This birthday was important to me since it was my Jordan year birthday and first birthday on my own as an grown woman in my dream city. Twenty-two wasn’t necessarily a terrible year but it was definitely a rocky transitional one. The last 8 months truly tested me. The last 3 were close to breaking me down. So, I was incredibly excited to leave 22 behind and look towards a brighter and better 23.

Birthdays are supposed to be a time for renewal, happiness, and celebration. Yet the start of my Jordan Year was nothing but a mess. It was and still is an assortment of drama and heartache. Even though I’m not a huge birthday person, I wanted to have a classy meal, have fun with my friends, and celebrate the end of a tough year. What I got was 12 days and counting of stress and pain.

I mentioned in my last blog post that I want to open up about what has been going on my life. I apologize for taking a while to write this. So many things boggling me down are incredibly personal, making it hard for me to share without breaching people’s privacy and trust and write without exiting to avoid crying mid-sentence. Please forgive me for not going into details.

So far, 2018 has not been pleasant for me at work, with friends, or in love. I feel like I’ve been constantly losing something. I’m at a point where things are supposed to be steady and settled for the most part. Instead, I am in a perpetual state of suffocation. I’m just content enough to not feel too upset but just upset enough to not be entire happy. Then every time I get a good breath of fresh air, someone or something comes in and sucks it out all over again. What I am learning is transitions are hard and take much longer than you would expect. They can cause anxiety and discomfort, present challenges, and even change a person and friendships/relationships. As if that isn’t enough, everyone transitions and matures at his/her own pace.

Let me be clear: I don’t think I’m the most mature person, nor do I believe I have it all together. I am very proud of how I’ve managed the things life threw my way although I’m also very upset about the lack of progress I’ve made recently. A part of the blame is absolutely on me, but it took me 8 months and terrible birthday that toppled a few friendships to realize the other part lies in who I surround myself with.

If you and the people around you are not growing at the same pace, the relationships becomes incredibly taxing and unbalanced. While growing together and teaching/learning from others is immensely rewarding, at no point should you be stunting your own growth to make a U-turn and go backwards to try and elevate someone else. It will only weigh you down and slowly make you resentful. The second a relationship becomes jarring or yields more negative return than positive is the second you have to step back and either take a break or walk away.

Lately, I’ve been slowly walking away from a lot of people. Some know I need space; some will have no idea until I’m gone. It breaks my heart because these people have shaped me significantly over the last few years whether they know it or not. Many were my biggest cheerleaders. They accepted me and my numerous negative traits as is without asking me to change. They loved me when I wasn’t very lovable. But the past is in the past. You cannot always use the past to judge the present or even predict the future. People, circumstances, and relationships change. You should never judge a person immediately just because of his/her past. You should never use your past to judge someone without giving him/her a chance. You absolutely should never use the past to guilt yourself into staying in friendships that are turning toxic just because they did a lot for you once upon a timeIt’s simply unfair and mutually destructive.

Last month, someone retaught me three vital lessons that I seemed to have forgotten over time:

  1. Everyone is selfish, and that’s ok. At the end of the day, you need to look out for yourself and you can’t resent someone else for doing the same. You can resent them if they either intentionally or recklessly and maliciously hurt you in the process. However, you cannot guilt someone for prioritizing himself/herself when needed. It’s not a personal attack on you if people don’t put your emotions first sometimes but rather something they need to do to survive.
  2. Everything has a price to pay. I’m not talking about money but rather a weight in value. You need to decide what is worth your time and energy and what is not. You need to decide what sacrifices you’re willing to make to get where you want to go. You also need to be realistic and ask yourself if the price you’re paying is really worth it.
  3. Timing is everything. Everything.

I’m hoping that taking a break saves these friendships. Maybe it’s selfish for me to not come out and tell some of them directly, but to be honest conversations are only going to exacerbate situations. I care for them, but I desperately need to save my own mental wellbeing and just walk away from people I’m not growing at the same pace with anymore. I’m changing and growing myself, and I need to move forward in the best direction for me.

People don’t fundamentally change, but they grow. As they grow, you’re allowed to outgrow them. That’s why you always hear the phrase “People come and go.” If they are meant to be a part of your story, you’ll find your ways back to each other. Timing is everything, and right now I need to celebrate myself for once and the people who are in my life and get back on track to ruling the world. 👸🏻

Happy birthday to my fellow Aries. May you grow steadily this year, achieve the goals you’ve been reaching for, and take one step closer to finding your place in this world.

Until next time, bisou bisou…






Erica Huang
Erica Huang

Based in New York City, Erica Huang is the creator and voice behind Bouge & Rouge. This blog is a playground of her thoughts where she invites you to join her on her journey through her 20s. Erica shares her lifestyle, fashion and beauty tips, adventures, and personal thoughts with the goal of inspiring others to always persevere and be unapologetically yourself.

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