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Looking back on my twenty-seventh trip around the sun:

I graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara & got to celebrate with my
family (& friends who’ve become family).

I began a full-time job in the Mental Health field working for a company I adore.

I accepted an offer to join a Master’s Program at Antioch University in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Somatic Psychology.

I live in a breathtakingly beautiful town & share it with some of the best people I’ve known.
For all of these Facebook-worthy accomplishments I’m grateful.

I also hold gratuitous space for the uncomfortable experiences I’ve moved through. I
celebrate every tear, every panic attack, every skipped meal & every “lost day” when I
simply couldn’t make it out of bed.

The ability to hold space for multiple emotions at once is unique to the human experience,
and this year I began to truly embody this concept.

It felt like:

The simultaneous wave of relief & sudden rush of emptiness after crossing the stage at
graduation.

The warmth of the adrenaline & the sting of the cold ocean surging through my senses
(jumping off the pier after midnight).

The fierce anger towards my dad for dying & the deep comfort knowing he’s always with
me.

Itching to evolve out of the “old” me, but feeling frozen by the uncertainty of who the “new”
me is.

The fear of growing older without growing “up.”

To be human is to experience it all.
To be ALIVE is to feel it all.
I’m human.
I’m alive.
I’m 28.

Thank you. I love you. I’m ready.

Author, Danielle Sharkey

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