Edge of thirty-two

last weekend, 2:30am, las vegas
Warning: emo thoughts ahead

I can't believe tomorrow is my birthday. And that I'm going to be 32. That feels insane. It feels insane enough that it's been two years since I turned 30. I remember writing in my online journal (remember, this was pre-blogs) fifteen years ago today, about how I was about to turn seventeen, and I couldn't believe I was about to be "so old." Oh my gosh. This stuff is hilarious. A year after I wrote those entries ("edge of seventeen" -- a shout-out to my high school spirit animal, Stevie Nicks) I wrote some melancholic entries about turning eighteen -- at least they were more well-written?

As with most things in my life, it all seemed bottom out with this really sad and depressing nineteenth birthday post. I often say that being 19 is the worst thing ever, that nobody should really be allowed within several yards of a 19-year-old, and the sentence "no one but Tori understands what I mean when I say that I am lost, desolate, and broken" should explain everything you need to know about that! 

I can (sort of) laugh about that, and all of this, now, but the truth is, that was my life I was living. It was as real at the time as my life is now. And though I've changed and grown so much, my heart is still the same. 

I'm not going to lie: I feel really raw right now, having reminisced like that. 

Something about this birthday doesn't feel right. I don't feel right. Maybe I'll snap out of it later and I'll have a great birthday and everything will be lighthearted and fine, but I don't feel very lighthearted today. Even after all these years, I still overthink everything, I still take myself (probably) too seriously. 

What are we, but the sum of our memories?


OK! I just declared on Twitter that I'm done with being emo about this birthday. I have so much to be grateful for in this life, after this unexpectedly tumultuous year. One thing my father's death eleven years ago taught me is that no matter what is happening in your life, there is always something to be grateful for, some kind of silver lining, something about each day that you can enjoy. I'm actually proud of the way I've been able to utilize these skills during the last year in particular. A younger Amber would have completely crumbled, but this Amber -- she's struggled, but she's also continued to thrive. Somehow.

I could chalk it up to being older. To having some key friends and companions around me. I can't thank them enough for being here for me during the last year. I had no idea what would happen during my 31st year. There's no way I could have predicted it. But here I am, on the other side, of 31 at least, and all I want to do is embrace being 32 with a new outlook, less fear, less terror on a moment-to-moment basis.

I want to be happy. I want to grow. I want to understand and be understood.

I want to metamorphosize. I want to experience tough things so I can break through the ties that bind me. I want to be a different, and better, person at this time next year. I am so determined. I can do this.

After all, it's not like I don't have anything really fantastic in my life right now, anyway. Because ... I do.
friday night photo shooting / photo by geoffrey smith 



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