Thursday, May 1, 2008

13 Days 'Till I'm 25...

The time has come. With my 25th birthday now 13 days away, I'm ready to share some of the thoughts on my mind as I reach this milestone.

A milestone? I see you raising your eyebrow! But yes, a milestone. Think about it. I have to get my driver's license renewed for the first time since my 21st. I can now rent a car without paying a ridiculous mark-up for being "underage" in the car rental world. And the bigger thing that most people seem to start thinking about when we reach 25 is that we're now getting closer to 30 than we are to 20.

Over the past few months I have discovered the blogs of several fabulous ladies that are really perfect strangers to me, but as I read through their posts about their life around the age of 25 (even some that have just recently turned 25 and some who are soon approaching it) I feel so unbelievably connected to them. I'm not the only one who's wondering if 25 is a time to ponder some things... mull over some thoughts... ask some questions.

Of course, a lot of my really good friends have already turned 25. It seemed to go well for them. So it's not that I'm feeling all like "oh my gosh I can't believe I'm 25" and freaking out over it. I realize that it's just like any other birthday when it comes down to it... and my boss is right when he points out that on your birthday you're only a day older than the day before.

I know I'm young. I pray I have a lot of life before me to live. I'm not in any way freaking out over turning 25. Honestly, I don't feel so phased by the number.

But it has caused me to do some thinking. Now, I mentioned a while ago that I felt like enough time had passed since me and LTX (long-term ex) split that I could start referencing him. This post is one such post where I deem that appropriate. On LTX's 25th birthday (3 years ago), we spent a pleasant day with his family. Then we went home, and he broke up with me. The details really aren't that interesting and after 2 years together, you could assume how I dealt with it. I was devastated. But that's not the point. The point is - who breaks up with someone on their own birthday?!

We got back together.. and then later broke up again... and now I'm all certain it was for the best, but I don't think I ever quite figured out what about the 25th birthday is so scary that you'd break up with someone you had previously discussed marriage with. So I've wondered for 3 years. And now I'm here. No, I don't have a boyfriend right now so I guess it's a little hard to compare, but I don't feel like I need to have a quarter-life crisis right now like he did.

But at the same time, sure... I do find myself questioning my life a little bit right now. I've been done with school for 3 years now. I'm definitely engrossed in the "real world." I think the thing about 25 is that it leads a lot of us to questioning if we're doing the right things with our life. We wonder if we chose the right path or if we need to make a change. We daydream about the future. We try to understand the reasons why maybe we're not where we thought we'd be right now. So I get it. 25 can be an incredibly thought-provoking birthday.

My thoughts? They're not of fear or insecurity. I'm not freaking out. I'm not feeling the need to do anything impulsive or foolish. I'm not experiencing a sense of having wild oats to sow. But I am trying to be mindful of where I'm at, how I got here, and where I want to go next.

I was telling a friend the other night... I'm happy with where I'm at right now. I have a great job. I'm involved in some fantastic things. I love my gym. I love living in Nashville. I'm reaching personal goals. I'm setting new ones for the future and reminding myself I don't have to achieve them all at once. There are tons of fantastic people in my life. So I don't feel those feelings of "this isn't where I thought I'd be at 25." Granted, I'm not where I thought I'd be at 25. But I think I always knew that my plans were probably not going to go exactly as I intended since life is kind of funny that way..

However, I do feel really confident about who I am. I feel more sure of myself than I did when I was younger. I suppose I still have some fears and insecurities, but nothing that controls my life. I am confident about living my life and feel like I'm a pretty independent kind of gal. But I still want to be AWARE. I want to stay open-minded because maybe there is something else I should be doing. Maybe there is going to be a change of plans in the second half of my 20's. Who knows other than God? In fact, I really hope there will be some changes. I want to grow and evolve and try different things and experiences as the years go by. But I don't want to be so comfortable in my life right now that I miss out on any potential opportunities to do those things, whatever they may be.

So that's where I'm at as I approach the big 25. I'm good where I'm at, but I'm open to seeing where I might need to be. I don't feel like I need to make any big decisions and change anything right now, but I'm trying to be aware of things enough to recognize later if I should.

I'll even be a little vulnerable here. I never thought I'd be 25 and single. I thought for years I'd be married by now and thinking about when I might start having babies. I even thought for 3 years that marriage was something that was coming very soon. Here in the south it's just normal to get married to your college sweetheart. But things change. And I'm a little used to being the "last one" when it comes to such things. Even though I have a strong desire to be someone's best friend, companion, partner, wife... I also know that it just hasn't been right yet. I try not to let myself go down the path of "what happens if I reach 30 and I'm STILL single?" because that's not helpful. I'm certainly not going to go running down the aisle with just anyone... I'm definitely not one of those girls who just wants a MRS. I want to be with the right man for me, and I am confident he'll be worth waiting on right now. For everyone else out there wondering what day your prince will come, I'm right there with you. But I know he'll turn up when we're both ready... and knowing that makes me feel really confident that it's right that I'm not married yet. Besides, being single can also be a hell of a lot of fun so I'm enjoying it while I'm here. Make the best of it, right? :) Though I wouldn't complain if a hot gentleman wanted to take me out for a birthday dinner.

I have a tendency of turning like the whole month of May into my birthday, so please enjoy partying it up with me this month! Thanks to everyone out there in the blogging world who is in this similar place in life.. your posts have made me laugh and made me think and made me more aware that we all have some of the same desires and dreams and that we're all just trying to do the best we can to reach them.

And I say cheers to that!

More news about the 2-5 to come...


B2G said...

Wow, lots of thoughts rolling around in that head of yours! Good luck sorting it all out.

peachy perspective said...

25, single, lovin' life and Nashville, setting goals and reaching them ... girl, I'm right there with ya!!!

I don't even know you that well, but I DO know that you are an awesome woman who God wants to continue to bless beyond what you could ever think in your next 25 years!

Cheers to a great birthday! :)

Crazy Daisy said...

Thought provoking post! I had many similar things running through my head when I recently turned 25. It is a milestone. It is just a number, however there is a lot attached to that number. You mentioned everything from getting a new diver's license to looking at your goals!

For me it was that 2nd have of my 20's... creeping up on 30. I remember my mom turning 30! It is a strange feeling!

I think that it is awesome you are being introspective. It is a great way to move forward in accomplishing whatever is next in your life path!

smc said...

25 has treated me very well these past few months, and I hope it does you, too. I'll be sending your birthday present sometime this week (whatever day I stumble out of my finals-induced coma and into the light) but I'll make sure it's there on your birthday!