It has come to my attention that within a matter of weeks I will be turning 25 (contrary to popular belief – when asked how old he thought I was, my stepmum’s son replied “16”!!). Since my last birthday, I’d like to think of the year so far as the year of finding myself in this world. It sounds dreadfully cliché, but I feel like I’ve really been… awakened? And maybe even grown more in the last 365 days than I have in my entire life. I’ve been reading a lot of blogs recently that talk of new chapters, of goals and determination, awakenings and realizations, and it makes my heart happy to read that so many of us are going through such positive transformations.
I’ve heard the term “quarter-life crisis”, but I don’t think the word ‘crisis’ is that fitting at all. It would be fine if, upon reaching our mid-twenties, we all went into a panic about time running out and not having long before thirty and OMG what do I do with my life everyone else has a degree and a house and a baby on the way and WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME. But these days, instead, it seems this generation is waking up. Questioning and exploring and pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones. Not being content to settle, or let people tell us we’re not good enough. Proving our capabilities to the world and learning to love ourselves. Maybe it’s just a blogger thing, maybe it is generational, but whatever it is, it’s making me smile.
Since my last birthday, I’ve been on a mission. I’ve really tried throw myself into terrifying situations, knowing that the only way to overcome them is to take a leap of faith and throw myself in headfirst, assured by the hopes of coming out the other side unscathed, and for the most part, relatively untraumatised. Learning to weigh my priorities, and realising fear is never going to outweigh the desire to grow, to serve, and to inspire. I’ve added to my education, I’ve had doors close and new, shinier ones open. I’ve grown in my faith and been amazed at the unfolding of the grand plan in front of my eyes, but I still have so much to learn. I’ve come out of my shell of an existence and led meetings, taught classes, and serenaded the Internet, Broadway-style. (I’m sure that’s going to resurface on my wedding day.) I’ve learned to give myself a break and actually have a little bit of self-belief – an ongoing effort that I hope one day may become effortless. It’s been a year of a 180-degree change, and so many amazing things, and for all of the above I’m eternally thankful. But I’m still fuelled by the desire to keep learning and growing, and I want the year of 25 to be even better. I want to continue this journey of learning, of growth, and of becoming someone who’s capable of contributing something good to the world. To continue to document my story in the hopes of encouraging others to begin theirs.
In the next couple of weeks, I’m going to come up with a new list. 26 before 26. Twenty-six new things I’ve never done before that will keep my horizons open and keep pushing me forward. Twenty-six dreams to achieve and twenty-six experiences to make my little corner of the world that little bit better.
Looking back at this past year, the ups, the downs, and the incredible difference a change in attitude can make just fills me with excitement at what 25 could bring. But first, I have a question for you all. After seeing what you guys got up to in Vegas, who else could I ask how to celebrate? Last year I was put on a glider plane, taken shopping, and ended the day with friends at a local wine bar, surrounded by laughter and sparklers. I do have a handful of wonderful people I love dearly, but my relationships with them are separate of their relationships with each other. Ideally I’d love to have a costume party, or a posh wine and cheese cocktail night like a Proper Grown Up where everyone got dressed up in dress shirts and cocktail dresses. With endless rounds of Cranium and Balderdash, surrounded by great music where everyone would get along with each other like a house on fire. But I don’t want to put anyone into an awkward situation where they don’t know anybody. And I don’t want to force anyone to do something they’re not interested in! (Like a cheese rolling competition – you can’t tell me this wouldn’t be the funnest thing EVER!! Anyone? Hillary? :))
So how do I celebrate 25? My birthday falls on Father’s Day this year, so naturally I’ll be spending most of the day with my Dad. And two nights before, I’ll be meeting a bunch of awesome Internet strangers – apparently the city has a group of local “creatives” who meet up at a local pub monthly and share projects and drinks – which can definitely count as part of the festivities!! But SATURDAY NIGHT is still open… and your thoughts as to how to spend it would be greatly appreciated! And yes… a mass group Skype date definitely counts as a suggestion. As does a one-man World Cup party. 🙂