Yesterday was my birthday. Hello mid-twenties!
After spending both my 22nd and 23rd birthdays alone in random cities, celebrating my 24th with my friends in Washington D.C. felt pretty wonderful. I hadn’t even been looking forward to the milestone, but as the day unfolded and I started getting spoiled by various co-workers and aquaintances, I remembered just how much fun birthdays could be. I’m such a fan! I can’t believe I have to wait a whole year until my next one!
A few lovely things that decorated my 24th birthday: pastel paper chains, “ninja” bread men, giant sunflowers, someecards, hugs, pink bows, perfect weather, peanut butter chocolate cookies, Matthew Crawley’s blue eyes, inside jokes about sinks, a kick-ass vegan “bacon” burger, mango sorbet, a cupcake mailed from Portland, old friends, and the epic reinstatement of Teresa Sullivan as president of my alma mater. Yesss. T’was an excellent day.
Yesterday one of my co-workers informed me that I was “no longer in my early twenties.” Judging by the congratulatory tone she used, I’m guessing that the announcement was not meant as a “aging” insult, but more of a “Good for you. You survived!” type of thing. I can understand her sentiment. Though I loved my final years of college and generally enjoyed the years immediately after it, I have to admit that I much prefer my life now that’s I’ve settled into adulthood. I think my outlook on life has fine-tuned and, over time, I’ve collected several very important lessons which I’m sure will keep me company in my mid and late-twenties.
Lesson #1: I shouldn’t compare myself to other people. I no longer participate in a structured, conveyor belt-like system with set, shared milestones. From here on out, my peers and I are on unique paths…and it’s better that way.
Lesson #2: Career-wise, instead of fixating on the cliche “What do I want to be when I grow up?” focus on “What do I want to do everyday and who do I want to do it with?”
Lesson #3: College was not and will never be “the best four years of my life.” I hate that phrase. Shouldn’t we always assume that “the best four years” are still to come? Stop missing college and start realizing the “real world” is/can be better.
Lesson #4: I should do something everyday that scares or intimates me. I should also do something everyday that forces me to step outside myself – whether it’s a small favor for a stranger or a bigger gesture for a friend.
Lesson #5: I honestly don’t want it all. I honestly just want some of it all in whatever combination works harmoniously for me and those I care about. Oh, and I’d rather have a wonderful some of it than a sucky and complicated all of it. If this makes me less of an ambitious female, feminist, or potential role model, then oh well.
See how wise and brilliant I’ve become? Modest, too. I think my 24th year and I are doing to get along very well. =)