I finally hit the quarter century mark on September 16th. For the longest time, I was dreading my 25th birthday. I looked forward to double digits, sweet 16, adulthood of 18, & the big 21. Birthdays are special to me because it’s another year I lived & another year to live. But the anticipation of turning 25 scared me & caused me to be sad. The biggest factor that impacted my feelings about turning 25 was my own expectations of where I saw myself at 25. As the date got closer, I became more overwhelmed especially since I haven’t figured out my life or lived up to society’s expectation of starting the American dream; perfect job, perfect life, & being the perfect human.
As I lounged in my room listening to Eternal Sunshine by Jhene Aiko, her singing “I’ve lived well. Maybe I have made mistakes & have been through my fair share of pain but all in all, it’s been okay, I lived well” caught my attention. That’s when it dawned upon me that I really did live well & I have been very blessed for the last 25 years. Even though there were some down times such as heart breaks, disappointments & death, there were also happy moments, but that’s all part of the life cycle. I realized there’s no reason to be sad about turning 25 but instead to actually be happy because of all that I have been through.
I am blessed with great friends & family & with all of their help, I was able to celebrate my birthday for a few days. I celebrated in NYC with close girlfriends. My coworkers surprised me with an ice cream cake, making me feel like an important teammate. I went clubbing & danced the night away. I had an intimate moment with close friends at a small gathering. With all of these celebrations, I began to feel so much better about turning 25. I am very fortune to have such great people to help me celebrate a new chapter in my life. Most of all, I am grateful for is my health because in the end nothing matters more than that.
A few years back, I envision myself in a certain place & as of today I am not even halfway close. At first it was disappointing, but then I realized that just because society puts the pressure on me to be at a certain place in life, doesn’t mean I have to be there. 25 is just a number, & all that matters is how I viewed things. I decided to channel society’s expectations out of my head & made a list of my accomplishments thus far. Even after graduating college, working a corporate job, volunteering with teenagers, I am still unsure of what I want to do with my life.
But what I do know is that I am still young & trying to figure out my calling. I know I shouldn’t rush things but at the same time I shouldn’t just sit there & do nothing. In the end what matters is that I attempt new things, learn in the process & most importantly grow as an individual. I know I need to take chances, welcome opportunities, make connections, think thing through & do what I find best fits me. In the end I know things are interchangeable & anything can happened in the blink of an eye, so I have to be ready to adapt to the changes.
The pressure of society, family, & our own thoughts can be scary especially when one feels like they aren’t where they should be. The clock will always be ticking but who’s to say where & what we should be doing? As individual, we all have different goals & dreams, so why should we let another person’s set points control us or have society depict our life? Adjust your perspective & take time to reflect on things. When in doubt about time or where you should be, write out your accomplishments you completed so far & make a list of many more you plan on completing. Time isn’t something you can get back, so make the best of everything. Start do things whole heartily, invest time in things, work hard, & laugh more. Remember we are all different & do things at a different pace, so don’t feel pressure to fall into society’s guidelines but instead focus on the one you created for yourself.