What I Learned When I Turned 25
As soon as the calendar flipped from October to November, a sadness washed over me. Instead of my typical birthday countdown where I tell anyone who will listen that my birthday is coming up, I kept quiet. I didn’t know how to feel about my 24th year coming to a close.
Some people don’t sweat birthdays because they see age as just a number. Others stress out about bigger birthdays such as 30, or 40, or 50. The people in my life have never seemed to bat an eye at turning 25, so why was I so scared? It only meant that my body has been part of this world for a quarter of a century. And not everyone even gets to celebrate turning 25 so I should just be grateful. But at the same time, there’s this finality to turning 25. It’s a quarter of a whole. If I’m lucky enough to live to be 100 years old, this means I’ve already gone through a quarter of my whole life. That’s pretty scary to think about, because 25% of my life is already over. But that’s the negative way of looking at things, and my view changed after November 18th hit. All of a sudden I became the age I was so scared of. I didn’t feel any different. I was the most shocked about how different I didn’t feel.
Growing older still scares me because of this pressure I put on myself to be a “real” adult. On my birthday I spilled a full cup of Sprite all over my kitchen counter. It went down the side of the cabinet, all over the floor, and in my silverware drawer. My first instinct was to cry. My second instinct was to actually clean the damn mess up. I ridiculed and beat myself up over this because a “real adult” would never behave the way I did. I had a temper tantrum like a child because I knocked over my drink. It’s actually pretty funny looking back on it, because who’s to say that my reaction was wrong?
I think what I’ve learned the most by hitting this intimidating age is that I need to not take myself so seriously, or anyone else for that matter. So instead of pressuring myself to be a “real adult,” I’m going to continue to cry about stupid small things, and wear fuzzy socks with frogs on them, and laugh at my mistakes and the embarrassing situations I get myself into. Instead of worrying about how much growing I still have to do, I need to look at what I’ve already accomplished, and who I’ve become. I need to continue with self care and writing as much as I can, and keeping my curiosity going. Life is a learning process, and I’ve learned so much so far. But I also know that I have a long ways to go. In the grand scheme of things, 25 years is nothing.
I’m sad that my 24th year is done because so many great things happened during it. I started my journey of self-love and healing, I’ve done a lot of soul searching into who I want to become, and I’ve grown up just a little bit. But I’m also excited for the potential growth and knowledge that I’ll continue to acquire in my 25th year on this planet.
Glass a quarter empty, or glass 3 quarters full? It’s all just perspective.