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10.04.2011

who i am at 26.






























i woke this morning exhausted and not feeling terribly well. something about too much bubbly and too much cake last night.

and not enough sleep.

but the incessant call of the buzzer roused me from my warm bed--me cursing whoever thought it appropriate to make deliveries at seven-thirty in the morning.

flowers. 

flowers at the door. a beautiful fall bouquet. 

a birthday.

i tried to climb back into bed, reappropriate sleep for myself, but there is something so holy about the quiet and early morning hours in new york (anywhere for that matter) that once up i am helpless against its pull, tired as i may be.

and so i made my way to the kitchen, surveying the empty wine bottles and glasses along the way, brewed a pot of coffee, and pulled from the cabinet a green mug--the plant-potter mug. 

morning ritual.

bare feet on wood. cool tin of coffee grounds. the hiss and spit of the coffeemaker. the selection of the mug. the settling into my chair just in front of the window. and all the moments between. the connect-the-dots.

i am both the ritual and the departure from it. 

that's what i came to this morning, thinking about who i am now, at 26. 

i am the product of 25 and 24 and all the years before. i am the rituals i have made my own. and i am the departures. 

the air is getting cooler now. brisk and breezy. and i have this suspicion it won't be long before  the people across the street who take their morning coffee on the fire escape disappear inside for the long winter months. already i am wistful for that image, sorry for the loss of their presence. but this weather--oh how this weather heralds a hope like no other. how the cool air carries on its back a sense of possibility and precipice and great joy--old joy.

today i am the girl who is better than okay. the girl with a flirting, passing love-affair with happiness.

sometimes i can feel the thing--that joy, that happiness--just beneath my tongue, or behind my eyes. sometimes it's right there where my ear meets my neck and every once in a while, when i least expect it, it is everywhere all at once. it is profound and all-encompassing--swaddling and lifting.

i am the girl who is just now realizing some things must be fought for. happiness, yes, and courage yes, and people, too. and that pride isn't too tremendously helpful. 

i'm pretty good at giving up. at giving in. at letting fear dictate. but i'm working on that. i'm learning to fight for myself. learning to fight for the chance to suss out who i love and what i love and what i'm meant to do. learning to fight for the right words in this world. and the courage to say them, aloud. not to write them, but to form my lips around them and feel them as they move up and out of me, physically. this is the world of light and speech. right? isn't that what george elliot said? this is the world of light and speech--i'm just now coming into that, owning that. 

just the other night my father told me that when i was a wee of a thing he'd arrive home from work and my brother would run hollering at the door, daddy, daddy! and as he did so, i'd run to the furthest room in the house, silently, and wait for my father to come find me. 

only now at 26 am i learning one can't always wait to be found. endearing as that hunt was, my brother kind of had it right. sometimes you have to run headlong and fearless into the arms of the thing.

so here i am attempting to make my way down. coming from that back room, down the staircase. welcoming myself. my arrival. my decision to finally show up--to become an active participant in creating a life in this world of light and speech and the space between. 




coffee photo
found via

65 comments:

Ana Magdalena said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
megan said...

"i am the rituals and the departures" -- i love that. thank you for making me stop and think this morning (and happy, happy birthday).

molly YEH! said...

oh joy! happy birthday miss meg!! this is a beautiful post.

Alex said...

Happiest of birthdays to you, Meg!! May 26 bring you all the happiness in the world.

Mary Grace said...

"i am the girl who is just now realizing some things must be fought for."

What a great reflection. I will take this especially that quote into heart. Though you may not know it, I learned so much from you.

Happy 26th Birthday! You are beautiful no matter what.

layne said...

tantissimi auguri! happy birthday and thank you for your inspiring posts. I hope this year is all you desire it to be.

Jessica said...

such a beautiful post.
inspiring.

Happy Birthday!

-Jessica

ana said...

feliz cumple.. and i stole some lines from you (and of course linked you to put on fb.. ) this is probably my favorite you've written. its m-o-v-i-n-g

Jennifer Rod said...

this entire post left me speechless. such beautiful place to be at on your 26th birthday. and 26 was great for me too, a year of discoveries and departures. trust me it only gets better from here, if you let it. happiness is yours to choose and work out as you see fit. and please keep fighting the fears, i have been inspired by you to do the same.

happy birthday. and i wish i could hug you. really. you deserve it.

Luisa Rodríguez said...

beautiful!



mustbeliberating.blogspot.com

thinkpriddy said...

this is beautiful! happy birthday :)

forward [e]motion said...

you are just so damn lovely.

this is such a beautiful post. and it somehow helped me map out my own rituals. my own departures - what they are and what they mean. and then finally, to ask myself: what's important? and what will support my happiness? how can i fight for it? because i know i will fight for it, i just need to find my way a little more...

good luck with your fight meg. breathe deep, fight hard. you deserve every bit of happiness.

bel. x

eclecticbeauty said...

Happy Birthday, meg. You're such a beautiful person inside and out. Your blog gives me hope and inspires me to be better. I wish for you love, peace, and happiness.

Anonymous said...

You are a beautiful writer and, I suspect, a beautiful person. Happy birthday, and thank you for so often saying what so many of us are afraid to. You are inspiring!

Alivia said...

Whenever I need to be brave, I think of you, friend.
Happiest of birthdays to you!
xoxo

Ro said...

Happy Birthday:) I hope each year gets better!

emily janette said...

"one can't always wait to be found...sometimes you have to run headlong and fearless into the arms of the thing...creating a life in this world of light and speech and the space between."

this is beautiful. absolutely beautiful. happy day to you!

Mal Mecham said...

a) Happy birthday, dear!! b) you're simply amazing. No, really. Don't be modest. Own it.

Amy A. said...

Happiest of days, Meg. :)

Taylor Yves said...

one thing i've learned from you is how truly long it takes (and should take) to heal and blossom. i can't believe how long i've been reading your blog! but i've seen you climb slowly, slip back, and keep climbing. so i love what you said about being the product of 24 and 25, but also their departures. you are a dear, i wish you the most MAGICAL year.

MVN said...

beautiful. beautifully written.

happy birthday! x

Erin said...

this post really made me smile. like...just at my desk, smiling. :)

Brittany said...

happy birthday meg! it's going to be a great year, i just know it.

Madeline said...

That may well be the most beautiful thing you have written. Oh, what a way with words you have. Happy birthday, by the way. You're amazing. And inspiring. All in one.

heatherhxo said...

Have the happiest of Birthdays! You so deserve to be surrounded by only the most amazing people in your life and all the love in the world. Your writing makes me see things so differently and I am grateful for that and the things you say here that I relate to so closely. Happy Birthday!

Lottie said...

Happy Birthday Meg...I hope 26 is even more fruitful than 25!

And you have it right sometimes you do have to do the running.

kristin said...

yes! so lovely and brilliant and true! happiest of birthdays to you!

Shal said...

Incredible as usual! Happy Birthday beautiful Meg :)

Ashley said...

Happy Birthday Meg! I have a feeling that your 26th year might be the best yet! =) enjoy all your celebrations and flirt with strangers today... why, because you can! =)

Carrie Rosalind said...

Beautiful as always! May you always run with open arms to every situation that greets you.

Happiest of birthdays, Meg! You are amazing at 26!!

the soft soled said...

This is just beautiful. Happy Birthday!

Johanna said...

Happy Birthday! I hope it's wonderful.
Your texts always cheer me up and make me more hopeful than anything else, so thank you.
And I hope you've had a lot of cake.

debbiecutieface said...

you are such an amazing writer.

viktorija said...

aww, glad to know we share 1985! I'm an odd numbers sort of gal, so it was a tough transition for me to leave 25 for 26.

Kiki said...

Have a wonderful birthday. Here's to another year of wandering and becoming. xx

Sara B said...

happy happy birthday beautiful! thank you for what you add to this world! xo

katie said...

Meg,
Your blog is beautiful and inspiring. I'm not quite sure how or when I came across it, but I'm glad I did :)
The last paragraph of this post really resonated with me. I feel exactly the same. Ready to come out of hiding and live life they way it should be lived.
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, whether they be fears or dreams. It is comforting to read the words of another young lady living in this crazy city.
All the best,
Katie

Allison said...

freaking awesome. your posts lately have left me speechless.

www.agirlandherscout.blogspot.com

Keiko said...

these words sent chills down my spine; even still as i write they linger. i'm am sure i'll think of them as i walk around my college campus seeing the leaves fall off the mountains; i'll have one of those moments... "sometimes you have to run headlong and fearless into the arms of the thing." You speak right into my life, always; how do you do that? HOW DO YOU DO THAT?

i am so in love with this, and so in love with where you will be...where you are, where you're going and "everything in-between"- yeah, everything in-between...

i pray you so many happy thoughts, Meg! So many!

Jaraka Drew Hansen said...

absolutely beautiful. that last bit just got me. gosh. i just love it. thanks for inspiring me.

Kate said...

Happy Birthday!

Emily said...

Happy Birthday, Meg!

24, 25, 26... I wish I had found your blog years ago; I would have adored you each year. Thank you for opening up parts of your world and parts of who you are again today and this year. I know what you mean about needing to show up (I know because I'm not particularly good at it), but you do show up here time after time and that, too, is important, brave, and lovely.

Sending you a hug and wishing you the happiest of years!

belldujour said...

Beautiful! Happy Birthday! I love that thought, ritual and departure. Made me happy with where I will be on my next birthday! Thank you!

tu y yo said...

i just turned 26 myself and so far it's been a good year. strange in some ways, but ultimately a chance to become stronger and wiser. i hope - and believe - that it will be a good year for you too!

Jessica Holly said...

I love this. "i an the girl who is better than okay. the girl with a flirting, passing love-affair with happiness." SO perfect. You've got talent girl.

Neen said...

A beautifully written post as always.

Are there blog awards out there? If so, you should win all of them in every category. I also think you should write a book!

I love your blog, I shall email you now to explain just how much :)

Meghan said...

Happy,happy birthday Meg. You have been such an inspiration to many. And among others, I believe Year 26 is an excellent year for a book!! You have all of us captured by your words. Enjoy not only today, but each day. For it's the moments in between that count the most!

wildchild said...

i'm in love with your words and your mind. hope your birthday was wonderful :)

Emily said...

I love this post.

And HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Really though, happy birthday. I hope you have the happiest year yet.

P.S. I love your links. And this week's were great! I especially loved the TED talk, and oh my goodness ELIC! I need to finish reading that. It's lovely so far.

Olivas said...

Happy Birthday and one day!!!!
I´m 30 years old and I like it!!!
Welcome to the better years!!!

Sorry, my english not is very good!!! :S

Louise said...

I just FOUND your blog and I believe I will stay. Beautiful birthday wishes from me to you and I will now enjoy my birthday when I wake in the morning; I wonder what 28 will bring?

Alisha said...

Meg, your blog, your writing, your inspiration, it all says publish me. Everything about your writing is perfectly fit for a book.

always love reading your blog. and happy birthday!
xoxo

becky said...

I've read a lot in my limited time on this earth, Meg, but this is some of the very, very best I've EVER seen. It is so outstanding. And if that--that writing--wasn't promise enough for this coming year, I don't know what is.

Happy Birthday you beautiful, beautiful lady.

Mackenzie said...

meg, your blog is basically becoming my daily cup of comfort. it's better than most pep talks given to me by friends. that last paragraph gave me chills, cannot even describe it. as i type this, i'm putting on my running shoes, i'm going to get ready to run headlong into that thing that i want so badly to greet me. thank you for this.

Valesus said...

Happy 26 and happy run!

Ramona said...

Awesome words!!! Happy Birthday, Meg!!!!

hey aster said...

I think that you are brilliant at writing and I want to congratulate you at opening up your world to this vast wide-world.
By the way, there is nothing more sound than the quiet morning in New York. You hit that on the nail.

I am 26, a title and a label, but I have been living here, this time, for 26 years. Your life will be blissful and beautiful because you are beautiful inside and look at all the friends who support you!
Happy {belated} birthday. Cheers!

Jo said...

This has really struck a cord with me. I can relate to this entirely - it takes all I have to push myself forward instead of hiding in the back room. It's so hard but I love that I'm not the only one - I hope you achieve everything you strive for. So glad I have found your blog!

Baltina Hong said...

Beautifully written, I can't wait to read on. I just stumbled upon your darling blog and am smitten from your about me. You are a beautiful writer with a loving little corner of the internet.

Chrizzle said...

Oh wow! Great words and very personal! Some people forget about the beautiful girl on the street that may look happy, but is fighting with her self inside.
But for no reason! Every one is unique and i think that counts!

Send you flowers in mind :)

stefanie hurtado said...

meg, i read this every now and then, when i'm thirsty for inspiration. you have such a brilliant way of saying what you mean so that it's full of imagery and specific, yet vague enough to be relatable to so many people.

and so very honest. that's a really special gift.

and i see you have another birthday coming soon! i can't wait to read who you are at 27.

Nanny said...

you are an amazing writer! holy cow... you made me cry tonight, "learning to fight for the chance to suss out who i love and what i love and what i'm meant to do. learning to fight for the right words in this world. and the courage to say them, aloud. not to write them, but to form my lips around them and feel them as they move up and out of me, physically. this is the world of light and speech", you put into words what i have been trying to for years now, thank you.

Ashley said...

HOW did I just read this just now? Gorgeous. Dying over this. Happy belated 26th and 27th, now, too.

Shawnee said...

wondering how i only just read this for the first time.. beautiful words, Meg. you are so good.

Rachel said...

I stumbled upon this blog after google lead me to your version of the banana bread, but this post left me in awe. A fellow writer, I could choose to be insanely jealous of your wordsmith, but I choose awe.

Beautiful writing, I was practically there with you, having coffee and reflecting.

Love it.