There’s a lot of places I thought I’d see before I ever saw this year.
A college graduate, the occasional traveler, starting a life-long career.
But life doesn’t always go as planned, and that was my biggest fear.
There were many days I imagined that I’d never make it here.
I let the decisions I made with regard to others fill me up with grief;
I let it stagnate my life and ruin my happiness beyond belief.
I thought that other people’s success was equivalent to my demise.
And I cried so many nights until the tears no longer left my eyes.
I’m not sure how it happened, but those feelings I came to ignore.
For all that I’ve accomplished thus far, I gladly welcome you, 24.
Well first of all, happy birthday! May this year bring you much joy and peace. I feel this poem so much, with my own birthday coming up in a few months, it's usually a bittersweet time. This is such a reflective piece, and I seriously relate to the comparing, especially with those around our age who have those big milestones and we feel inadequate in some way. I am happy, though, that you seem to be content or at least grateful for all you have accomplished thus far as suggested in the last few lines. Because how often do we go back and think about what we could have done more of or what could have been? And we'll never find relief that way. We'll never make it to a point where we're at ease with ourselves. You wrote a lot of truths in this that I think many people can take something from. That fear of life not going as planned, then focusing on it where it ultimately brings us down, can be daunting... but we can overcome it and try to just "be" in the present.