I just turned 24. I hear it’s the either the last year of my early twenties or the first year of my mid-twenties. I guess I haven’t thought about it too much. I decided to fly to Los Angeles for it. After growing up in a two-block town of West Virginia and traveling for years to developing countries, it either makes sense I was drawn to a place like LA or it doesn’t at all. I guess I haven’t really thought about that either.
The truth is I’m pretty open to all the options. Maybe it’s my last year of my early 20s or maybe it’s the first year of my mid-twenties. I don’t know, but I suppose I’m 24 either way. And maybe it doesn’t make sense to spend this unknowingly relatively significant time in a huge city where I know very few people. Or maybe it does.
But I’m open. And if I’ve learned anything in this past week it’s that people are generally kind. Not overly kind, not always kind, not willingly kind. Simply: generally. And honestly, that’s enough. People are drawn to people who radiate happiness. It’s noticeable, it’s intoxicating and it’s contagious. The newest fashion trend. The whiskey on the rocks. The pesky cold being spread at work. Desired, addictive and always taking over.
But why? Because we want it to. So we allow ourselves to be just the right amount of vulnerable to be just the general amount of kind.
So yeah, I spent my 24th birthday on an empty beach with a group of people I met no more than a week before. Having always been an advocate of quality, everything, I’m constantly having to reevaluate if I’m doing things the “bigger” way while losing the quality things in my life. So though I might not do things the best way, I make sure to always prioritize the good people in my life. But I was in LA. And my friends weren’t with me, and that was okay.
So I sat on the blankets dusted with the cool sand of 11pm. The voices of the people who a week ago I had never heard had now become comforting. I stared out at the Pacific Ocean and realized I was exactly where I wanted to be. I drank whiskey from a bottle. There’s no other place I would have wanted to spend the end of my early twenties, and the beginning of my mid twenties. The coast is heavy for me. The ocean makes me sane. I felt another year being pulled away as another one was drifting closer with the tide.
I was brought there because people are kind. and as I sit on yet another plane going back to the place that holds my heart with it’s consistency, I reflect back on just how good life can be if you let it. Let people be kind, and let yourself be kind back. Then let yourself smile and feel genuine happiness. It feels really, really great.