I am now 25.
The first momentous birthday since 21 and the last until 30.
I remember when I turned 10 and it was a big deal because that’s two whole hands of counting on your fingers. That night when my dad tucked me in, he told me to slow down growing up, because before I knew it I would be 13, then 16, then 18, then 21, and soon I’d run out of important birthdays. I remember that late night talk clear as day. He was right in some ways, it all went too fast.
Time goes by and before you realize it you’re turning 25; a full quarter of a century; officially in your mid-twenties. All this and I’m still figuring out to properly “adult”–a phrase I have come to hate and believe no one ever figures out, but more on that later.
Since August, whenever age or birthdays were mentioned, I flinched. I didn’t want to be 25. I felt similarly about 22 because it’s a bit of a dumb year. You’re still considered young, but the excitement of being 21 has started to wane. I wanted to skip 22 and head straight to 23.
I mentioned the dread of turning 25 to a college friend, Olivia, while we met for dinner on her recent trip to Paris (yes I meet up with friends in Paris–how very bourgeoise of me). She felt the opposite about turning 25; she felt excited.
She told me not to think about the number in terms of aging, but to think about what the year itself has in store for me. Looking at your birthday in this new way, gives a positive outlook. I thought back to the excitement of New Year’s Eve, standing around with my friends, listing out our resolutions, talking about how great this year would be for all of us. Can’t this same idea be applied to birthdays? This was Olivia’s point: it can and it should.
Instantly I changed my mind. 25 is going to be a great year for me and many people in my life. I have some secrets up my sleeve I can’t share yet, but here are some parts I’m looking forward to:
- I have family and friends planning to visit Paris; which means members of my family will get to meet members of Julien’s family for the first time
- April will mark a full year at my current job, which excites me since I’ve yet to do that post-graduation
- There are three weddings to attend this year: one for my best friend and two for my cousins
- I’m going to see the Eagles and Hamilton in London all in the same weekend (Go Birds!)
- We’re mentally planning a mini-vacation back to Malta, because Malta is just incredible
- And there will be at least one new baby joining our family, but it’s not my place to say who or when so you have to wait to find out if you don’t already know (don’t even think it, it’s not me)
When I think of all these things, I smile to myself. Yeah, the number 25 is big and can be scary and make you question everything going on in your life, but there are 364 other days to worry about that. On your birthday, celebrate yourself, celebrate another year of you. Everyone looks forward to the New Year with excitement, not focusing on the negative of another passing year, so do the same with your own life. Bring out the champagne and fireworks, set a resolution, look forward to another year of existing! Thanks to Olivia, this is certainly going to be my new outlook on birthdays.