I’m a quarter of a century now. I don’t know what makes this harder to believe – the fact that I look so young that I still get carded at R-rated movies, or the fact that just a little more than four years ago, no one thought I would live past twenty. In both instances, it’s nice to be able to prove everyone wrong.
I will admit that I was depressed about turning twenty-five. Last year was my golden birthday (24 years old on August 24th), and it was also by far one of the greatest birthdays I ever had, complete with an Italian dinner at Pazzo, dancing with my boyfriend, lunch at one of my favorite restaurants, quality time in nature, custom tie-dyed vans, and even a mini family reunion. So with the advent of my twenty-fifth, I may have had a minor quarter-life crisis – and I may not actually be completely over it. After realizing that I was not going home to celebrate with my family at my favorite Italian restaurant, and then finding out that my boyfriend also wasn’t going to make it to Bryn Mawr for my birthday either, I knew I absolutely could not spend the day alone. So I planned a little get-together to cheer myself up. My party was nothing extravagant, just an ice cream sundae bar and champagne with a few of my closest friends, but it was exactly what I needed. That morning I woke up to a flood of Facebook posts and text messages full of “Happy Birthday!” and an early-morning phone call from my boyfriend, to which I irritably replied, “It is NOT a happy birthday.” I went about my birthday morning cleaning and preparing for company, but still feeling awful about my new age. Literally overnight, I was suddenly hurtling towards thirty and what felt like far, far away from twenty. I felt like I had accomplished very little in that long span of time, and also that my time was running out to accomplish more. I couldn’t see how my mood could possibly improve by 5 pm, and I worried that I would be a terrible host because of it.
And that’s where friends come in. My mood instantly changed almost from the moment I picked up one of my best friends from the train station. Maybe it was the Hello Kitty gift bag she toted along with her, or our plans to go ice skating the next day, or just the fact that now I was no longer alone in my misery. As my friends showed up, I felt more comfortable, more relaxed, and definitely more excited about my birthday. I want to thank them for making my birthday a happy one. (I also don’t think the copious amounts of ice cream, hot fudge, sprinkles, and whipped cream hurt.)
I’m still trying to accept twenty-five. This year of my life is going to be so important – I graduate with my Master’s in May; I’m taking real, tangible steps with my book; I even applied for a big girl job (although I never heard back, and that’s okay too). I’m making a list of crazy things I want to do this year. I have the best, most supportive family and friends. And I am dating my soulmate, a man who encourages me in everything I do and loves me unconditionally (including when I am panicking irrationally about my age). I’m twenty-five, and finally know exactly what I want out of life; now I just have to figure out how to get it.
So here’s to twenty-five and wherever it may take me.