I'm Turning 21 — And I'm Ready To Be Engaged

Photo: Fahroni / shutterstock
woman overlooking gorgeous view

By Rachel Connell

I’m turning 21 next month.

I’m turning 21 and I finally feel at home with who I am. I feel successful in my job, and content with where my free time goes. I feel like my friends are for keeps and my outlook on life is positive.

But I’m missing one thing that, to my core, I know is the next big step for me: I need to get engaged.

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Now slow down, I’m not talking about with a big rock on my left hand or fancy invitations in the mail, but I need to get engaged with the world around me. I mean, it’s about time I was engaged, isn’t it?

The other night I got thinking about how much of my week is spent brushing my eyelashes back with mascara or shifting between filters on my next Instagram post.

I got thinking of how many friends I’ve substituted my attention for in the consequence of multi-tasking, or how many times I’ve let my job and school take priority over my self-care.

It’s time I became engaged in the world around me because there’s an awfully beautiful life waiting for me beyond the comfortable digital portrayal I’ve inhabited. 

I want to be engaged in the smells of the pine trees as winter approaches and the dwindling shade of green from the grass in my front lawn.

I want to stop and pet the stray cat that roams my street without a home and buy myself flowers because they glow a shade of red that I’ve never quite been able to scan in a photograph.

I want to engage with my neighbors and peers in my classes and immerse myself in a new book, one that smells of vintage vinyl.

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I want to be inspired by nameless paintings hanging from the walls of a local coffee shop and flattered by the complimentary smile of a passing stranger.

I want to establish my sense of belonging — not only with myself but with the world around me.

I want to connect spiritually with something, and I want to break the mold that terrifies my being. It’s time to understand my purpose and create meaningful relationships that morph me into a truly unidentifiable creation.

I want to engage with my unique qualities and accept them for the art they bring to the world. Because after two decades of trying to pave the path that I thought I should be living, I need to engage in the wind and where it’s chosen to sweep me. I need to drop living through distractions and start letting myself focus on what’s in front of me. 

I want to be engaged with the invisible walls that will crumble once we each accept the challenges before us.

I want to see the world come to life in the midst of ending our habitual ways. For we wake up when we engage, and the clarity of what we’re missing just might be found at any moment.

I don’t want my eyes closed or glued to a screen when I feel the heart-wrenching belonging in falling in love with your new favorite place on earth.

I don’t want to miss my chance to be engaged because I’m ready for that next step.

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Rachel Connell is a writer who focuses on relationships, social media, and entertainment. For more of her content, visit her author profile on Unwritten.

This article was originally published at Unwritten. Reprinted with permission from the author.