Byeee 25

by jeannabauer

It’s nearly 2 am, I just turned 26 (Thai time) & I can’t sleep – worried about visas & money & purpose & goals & … the future.

This afternoon, while enjoying the cool weather in a sweater, snacking on a sticky rice coconut dessert bar (5 baht bliss can be purchased at the Chiang Mai gate, find the man with a serious face & lovely smile – he knows you never want just one) I challenged myself to come up with a summary of yr. 25. All I could muster was, “nothing is predictable, but it all works out”.

& now here I am, I’m tossing & turning trying to repeat my yr. 25 mantra…

A year ago today – I had a nice day at KOM. There was probably cake. Or ice cream. I don’t remember. I do remember, very clearly – holding the hand of a woman whose life felt heavy. I remember the long minutes in the car – on the way to the emergency room, knowing each minute was one that my friends were waiting for me outside my apartment. I remember being both frustrated & sad that she couldn’t just see – things were going to be okay.

Then, the pizza farm. The streamers & sparklers & balloons & pizza & wine & the chill you only feel during Wisconsin summer sunsets. Best friends. & the mini band. The Shins, loudly – on the open window ride home.

I didn’t predict that in the months to follow I’d have to leave the job I loved. I didn’t predict the goodbyes would be so hard. I didn’t predict the loss of two grandparents. & I didn’t predict that red condemned notice on my apartment door either. No way. It all felt exhausting & heavy & never ending – certainly nowhere near okay.

… then, in the months to follow those, living & volunteering in Thailand became a reality. The support & encouragement I received from family, friends & the Karen was overwhelming. The emails from former colleagues – never seized. They still haven’t. I turned on some Hank Williams & long forgotten family stories came to the surface. I fell love with my last name & those who share it – all over again. & I got to cozy up in a small space with two of my favorite people (& their cats) for the winter. Things turned out alright. Better than alright.

So, in the end. I should sleep. I’m being silly. Because 25 was a year of surprises, but aren’t they all? 26, I’ve got this. I think. Nothing is predictable, but it all works out. Right? Right.

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