In which I celebrate 25 with Internet strangers and…

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. 🙂

Go!

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71 comments

  1. I’ve had that before – where I have friends but they don’t all know each other and you know what? After the first few drinks everyone starts getting on really well. 🙂 So I say go all out and throw a big grown up party. 🙂

  2. you’re inspiring, my love! i cannot believe you went up in one of those glider planes….i see them all the time here and it would freak me out!

    1. Aww thanks!! I can’t believe it either – I have a 15-second video from when I was up there and it made me nauseous all over again!! It was a battle between awesomeness and nausea – AMAZING views, but I guess the little air pockets made me a little queasy haha. But I did NOT throw up on that plane 😀

  3. You are an inspiration!! Thank you for sharing. Now you have me thinking of a 33 before 33 . . . Whatever you do, I hope you have a day as amazing as you are!

  4. Happy almost birthday! How to top last year is going to be tough, what with the flying a plane! lol

    My suggestion is go on tour- you have lots of little pockets of friends and family so start off the day with D, then have your friends treat you every couple of hours – go for tea, lunch, or have them share in any activities you want to do on your big day. Or you could do the same thing, lots of little activities, that are themed around your culture – have a Little England day?

    I’m sure whatever you pick you’ll have a perfect day =)

  5. I turn 25 on August 6th and I’m really excited about it too. 24 has definitely been my best year (for obviously reasons) and I’m excited to see what 25 holds for both of us (wedding!). My 101 list ends on September 28, and I’m planning on doing another one, and then when that’s done, doing a 30 before 30 for the year before my 30th birthday. 🙂 Yay birthdays and growth and awesome experiences!

  6. I completely agree that quarter-life “crisis” just isn’t fitting. Quarter-life awakening is more like it! Isn’t it wonderful to see so many amazing ladies coming into their own fabulousness? Exciting and inspiring. =)

    As for your birthday–and I feel like the biggest dork for saying this, but–a night of Cranium and Balderdash sounds like the MOST FUN! As does a mass group Skype date.

    I also love Kyla’s ideas of a sort of “tour” and a “Little England” day!

  7. i still can’t believe you’re only turning 25. your writing is so insightful and mature so often that i keep thinking you’re closer to 30!!! board games sounds like loads of fun, it breaks the ice too and when ppl are forced to be on the same team i think they’d loosen up a bit. as long as there’s plenty of wine i think that sounds like a great idea!!!

  8. I am so excited that this year has treated you so well… that’s why I have no doubt that your party is going to be a blast. For everyone!

  9. Aw, we’re not birthday twins! Mine is on the 11th. And I’m turning 28 *sad face*

    No, just kidding. About the sad face. LOL

    Well, anyway, you’re totally inspiring. I can’t think of any other suggestions because what they have suggested sounds awesome. And a mass Skype, I think, would be a blast.

    Hope you have a super fun birthday!

  10. Ah! Just do what makes you happy. I just had my birthday and I went straight to the people and things that I loved.. My best friends, my favorite coffee shop, my favorite restaurant, my favorite drink. Great!

    And I am so up for a massive Skype date! Who are you rooting for in the World Cup?

    Best,

    Hannah Katy

    1. England of course!! D is all about Italy… it’s okay I don’t have high hopes. We haven’t won a world cup since 1966!! 🙂

      Your birthday sounds like it was lovely!

  11. Yay for a 26 befoer 26 list! I did a 30 before 30 list (I have another three and a half years to complete it) and I love that I can check-in with it whenever I want!

    On your birthday do whatever makes you happy – like Hannah Katy said. If that means big fancy grown-up party, have it and your friends will come. Just because they don’t know each other doesn’t mean they don’t want to celebrate with you. And don’t forget, you are the reason they’re there so they have a fallback point of conversation. (Plus if they’re coming to the wedding they’ll see familiar faces if meeting before then).

  12. woohoo!! Welcome to the 25 club 🙂

    I think a cocktail party would be great fun…just make sure to invite the party-starters–outgoing, fun people that will be the glue to hold the party together. If you have enough games and stuff, people should remain entertained. This year, I went to dinner and a movie with all my friends (and many were in different circles). It all worked out and was fun…and wanna know where we went after? Karaoke!! 🙂

  13. This post ties in pretty perfectly with the Gen-Y article I wrote for Matador Life! Great discussion. You’re so right, our generation is gripping life by the horns and not letting anyone tell us we can’t do something. Love it.

    Hehe, I also did a similar list…30 before 30.

    Anyway, here’s to another great 25 years!

  14. Yay! I feel like I always say this (because I do), but 25 is a great year. You’re probably way ahead of me, but that was the year I finally gained some freaking confidence! Hope you enjoy, however you celebrate!

  15. Do you want to do something party-y, or something more low key?

    I agree with Sleepy Jane! Throwing people together and adding a few glasses of wine makes everything great. It’s a wonderful way to expand a social circle! Just make sure everyone knows one or two other people.

    Go to an exciting new restaurant! Get a manicure/pedicure! Spend the day lazily. It’s your birthday!!!

    1. Haha oh in times like this I wish the Illinois-Manitoba tunnel really existed lol….

      I am liking this idea of a little tour. Restaurants and pedicures and brunch AND a cocktail-games party 🙂 What are you doing for yours??

  16. I think doing a 26 before 26 list is a great idea. It was empowering to do my 30 before 30 list. It’s always good to focus on what we can control & achieve! 🙂

    I think a cocktail party on Saturday sounds fun! I had a get together like that for my 29th birthday. I had groups of friends from different corners of my life, but everyone got along super well & it wasn’t at all awkward! I think games help! 🙂

    1. But some of them really don’t LIKE games… that’s my worry!! Maybe I could do wine tasting (and cheese!) and bring out the games once everyone’s had a couple… 🙂

  17. Yeah! 25 has been awesome for me so far, and I’m only a couple months in! I wish I had some suggestions for you…but your cocktail party sounds amazing! That is my vote. 😀 I think if you add a little alcohol in there, people will start to bond well enough. I wish I had a better suggestion for you…I am horrible at planning these things.

    I’m so glad it’s been a great year for you and I know it will get even better! Horray! Here’s to your continuing journey of self-realization. 🙂

  18. 25 was a really great year for me. I was very fortunate in that my bf threw me a surprise party. Had that not happened though, I think getting out of town would do the job!

  19. I just turned 25 last Friday. I’ve been blogging about it as well. Congratulations, welcome to the quarter-century club 🙂 I randomly found you on Hannah Katy’s blog and I’m very intrigued by you! I had an awakening as well, a little over two years ago. Shortly before meeting my husband and my entire life changed. Very much and rather quickly. Perhaps there is great change for you on the horizon?

    I would also agree that this greater consciousness that our generation seems to be finding is absolutely wonderful and is the key to changing the world for the better. I can’t wait to see what we accomplish!

  20. p.s. I meant to say a little less than two years ago. September 2008 to be exact. Not that it matters, but thought I should clarify 🙂

  21. Happy birthday, lovely! I’ve only just joined the sidelines of your journey- but I’ll be around cheering you on to beyond 26!

    What a wonderful look-back and an even more exciting look-forward!

    And. I’d do cheese rolling! xxx

  22. I definitely agree that we are a generation of people who are waking up, questioning things, not accepting the norm or low standards, longing for more than a life confined to office spaces and domestic walls.

    I definitely run into the quarterlife blues or panic or whatever it is that it should be called because I have so many places I want to go , so many things I want to do but how in the world will I accomplish it all!?

    1. I love that so many people are wanting to push themselves forward!! I think the best thing for achieving everything is just make a big list and come up with a plan, instead of being overwhelmed by everything put things into bite sized, more tangible pieces with deadlines. That way they don’t quite seem so out of reach. Also? We’re MID TWENTIES. We have LOTS of time!! 🙂

  23. Wow! First of all, thank you for thinking of me and my humble little post!! Second, you should do anything and everything you want on that day! Manicures? Sure! Cheese Rolling? Sure! Cocktail Party? Yes Please!!! Just celebrate the “you-ness” of you!!

    And what is with this Skype business and why am I not involved? Uhm…I want in on a Skype party…just sayin’

    You my dear, are fabulous…bring it on 25!!

  24. I totally LOVE the idea of grown up parties, wearing heels and makeup, fancy dresses and drinking cocktails and eating from cheese platters . . . Happy Birthday pretty lady! No matter how you celebrate I’m sure it will be brilliant 🙂

  25. …AND THEN you come to Texas! WOOT! I agree, here here!

    Actually, we do monthly Balderdaash/Quip It/Etc. If only you were closer!!!!!!!! ::shakes fist::

  26. Lady, good for you! I am all for lists (as I’m sure you’ve noticed, hee) and I think that they’re such a good motivational tool.

    You’ve done some awesome things… and I’m sure there are only awesome things to come.

    Although I am SAD that the serenading post is PROTECTED. (Aka hint hint, TELL ME, I want to watch it!) 😀

  27. I’m one of those people that wants ALL my friends to meet and get along and love each other. And usually it ends up working relatively well. Once they have a few drinks it’s all golden.

    At least your birthday is this month – mine isn’t till September and I’m already talking about it!

  28. I think you are so right about the quarter-life crisis being more of an awakening than a crisis for most of us. I had never heard it put that way but it’s a great description! 25 was a good year for me. A year of growth. I know it will be for you too. I believe that once you have ‘awakened’ and are passionate about growing, you will continue to do so more and more throughout your life. Perhaps there are times when you take a little nap but for the most part the flame of transformation is lit and it’s not going out easily. Happy Almost Birthday and Congrats on becoming the best you you can be!!!

  29. Happy almost birthday! I definitely notice this generation waking up, at least in the blogger world. It makes me happy too! Love the “crisis” as an awakening instead! So true.

  30. Hi there, fellow Gemini! 🙂 It seems like our birthdays are only a few days apart. Mine is on June 13. 🙂 But I’ll be turning 26. It’s weird because just a few years ago, I was one of the young ones in the blogosphere, now I am the old one. Haha. And you know what, 30 is the new 20. So no worries there. 😉

  31. I am sure you will find the best way to celebrate your up coming 25th birthday. Good for you for pushing yourself this year. I think that’s definitely something a lot of us are doing.

  32. happy birthday or belated birthday – whichever it is, happy birthday. also, I’ve given you an award. I tweeted about it (I’m following you on twitter) and I blogged about it too – so be sure to check it out to pick up your award!

  33. I’m going to turn 25 in a few weeks and I must say how scared I am. Reason being my delighful fiancé is a few years younger than me, still at uni and even though his mind is thinking of marriage and babies, we both know we won’t be able financially until I’m about 30. I would just love to make my age stand still while he catches up!

    But then, my 25th year on this planet will be a big one (big move to Sweden) so maybe I should indeed look at it as an inspiring time. OK, you’ve converted me! And well, the 26 before 26 in my life, I think it won’t be hard in Scandinavia!

    Really lovely blog, well done you 🙂

  34. Pingback: Twenty-Five «

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