26 [twɛnti-sɪks]

I can't juju on that beat.
I still say fleek.
And apparently basic is too basic to say.

So what is it? Extra? Now that's a bit much.

Oh. I get it. I really don't though.

I do all of that while trying to convince myself that I'm still cool. I'm hip as my dad would say. The truth is, my hip hurts because I ran into a table today while trying to get dressed for work. Don't ask. I was late.

I'm also 26 and for the last two weeks the thought of turning 26 gave me really bad anxiety. The quarter life crisis I didn't have last year was settling in and it came in tough.



Oddly enough, a kid at work told me that 26 rounds up to 30 because, "If it's 0-4 you round down and if it's 5-9 you round up."

I know kid. I learned how to round when I was in 2nd grade.

And for the first time ever, I found myself using 30 in a sentence about myself. That scared me because for the longest time other people were closer to 30 - not me. For the longest time the idea of 30 was marked with much more wisdom than I possess currently. I digress though. 



Who am I kidding though? Twenty-six scared me because there's this expectation to have it together. And the truth is, my twenty-six doesn't look like how I thought it would go.

That's where the anxiety comes in.
That's where the quarter life crises settles.
My life didn't turn out how I thought it would.

I'm supposed to be in my 4th Year of Dental School.
I'm supposed to be living in Seattle
I'm supposed to be engaged, if not married

I've got none of that and because of that stark reality I got worried that I messed up.

I thought it was a mistake that I studied Communications in grad school to help with my photography business that exponentially grew this last year. Don't even get me started with 2017 and how awesome it's going to be.

I thought it was a mistake that I lived in Tacoma even though I have a life and community here. This place is home. My friends are family.

I thought it was a mistake to find someone that I truly love and call him my boyfriend. Hell, he's been so supportive of everything this last year that I can't be upset with that.

I thought it was all a mistake, but in reality my life turned out to be much better than I planned it to ever be. Thing is, I still spent these last two weeks really believing that I messed up and that my life would've been better off the way I had imagined it to be. But in the midst of worry, tears, and hurtful things I said to some people, I sit here really proud of myself because the life I have is the life I made with the decisions I chose to follow through with.

I took some risks. I did things differently. And you know what? It was worth it. All of it.

The years since graduating from college are years I don't plan on trading in. Each year has brought about new lessons and new adventures. Twenty six is going to do just that. I know it and I'm ready to take them on whatever they may be.

There will be new stories and memories to share. 
There will be new people I get to meet and do life with.
There will be new ways to learn how to keep my room clean.

Haha. I kid. That last one was a joke, so you should laugh. Too much? I must be extra.

Haha. Now that's funny! ...

Here's to twenty six and all that it has in store for me! Cheers

- Rick Baleros 

#FirstSelfie #IWas12 #CampMoran #DisposableCamera #GetLIT

#FirstSelfie #IWas12 #CampMoran #DisposableCamera #GetLIT