Last week, a coworker said to me: "Let's just erase 2010 off the books for you, Kelly." And there is a part of me that wants to agree, to say "2010 did me wrong" and forget it. But to delete a year's worth of memories is no easy feat, and my 24th year did not come and go without meaning.
I might, in a melancholy mood, try to count the days I spent lost in bed, my feet kicking through the sheets, my head spinning, my body an entire reaction to itself. But it's not my way to look at things in terms of years, or seasons, or segments of time. Because every minute I was sick, I was thinking about something else, and so the sickness wasn't the only thing. It was happening but I never thought about that until later, until the consequences had taken root in my life, changing things.
Some of these changes were for the better. I'll never forget living at Grandma's for 2 months, dancing to Sam Cooke in the kitchen, exploding wine bottles on the porch and reacquainting myself with the Dewey Decimal system at the OB Public LIbrary.
I spent a summer sick, surrounded by my cousins. I swam for three straight months. I danced at Moe's wedding. I took trips. I memorized faces. I taught Emma to say "Beer me!" I met people in unexpected ways, people who changed my life.
I ran when I needed it and slept when I had to.
I did what I wanted and I showed up, even if I wasn't always on time. I made a thousand mistakes and tweeted approximately 5x time that amount.
When I was 24, I was better and I was worse.
And things are different now.
I had dinner with the family I used to nanny for in college last week. As I put on my boots and prepared to leave their apartment, Emily stopped me. "25!," she said. "Do you feel any different?"
I paused for a second. I thought of the changes I had made, the changes I was making and the path I am only beginning to carve for myself.
I smiled and looked up.
"Yes. I do."