What’s strange about the way we measure age is that by the time you “turn” a given age, you’ve actually already completed that many years of life. So when I turn 25 tomorrow, I’ll have already been kickin’ around this ol’ planet for a quarter of a century. It’s a little unsettling to think about. I’m sure that all you, ahem, mature readers are shaking your heads and calling me a whippersnapper, but you’ve all been there. You’ve celebrated (or maybe tried to deny) a birthday that seemed monumental in some way, that made you step back and say, Wow.
For me, it was my last birthday. Turning 24 signaled the undeniable end of my early twenties, and the fact that I was in my mid-twenties seemed impossible and laughable and terrifying. When I was younger, I naively decided that 24 was the age when I’d have it figured out, it being things like A Job and Marriage and Life in General. I know, I know – laugh away. It’s silly to think we’ll ever have it all figured out, right? When it became clear that my grasp on it would be as tenuous at 24 as it had been at 23, turning 24 became something I couldn’t help but dread. I felt unsettled and, well, old.
I didn’t want to give up my early twenties. I associated those years with a sort of post-college, pre-adulthood time of fun and freedom before I’d settle in for the long ride of adulthood, for it. Not that my early twenties were all frivolity and fun; I got a real job and starting paying back my loans and bought a car and did all those big-girl things that, let’s face it, mark an unceremonious and undeniable entrance into adulthood. But I still felt young, fresh out of college and ready to take on the world. 24 meant moving into the years when I should start settling down and being responsible… or something.
But then I turned 24 and nothing changed and I realized that 24 is just like 23 and 22, except I more often forget how old I am and more of my acquaintances are starting to get hitched or pop out kids. So I decided to stop fretting about my age. And I shed the idea of setting what are inevitably arbitrary deadlines for myself, because life has an infuriating way of laughing at your deadlines, and those deadlines have a way of passing by while you chase something else. I haven’t figured it out yet, and I’m not settled yet (whatever that means for me), and I’m fine with that. I still have so many countries to visit and things to try and people to meet before I put down roots and stay put. And that’s okay.
With my new, refreshed, and realistic outlook, turning 25 is kind of exciting. While I’m a little shocked that it’s happening already and a little weirded out by the number itself, I’m also looking at it as an opportunity. I have a better sense of who I am now than I ever have before, in a large part thanks to S, whose candid, clear perspective helps me think about myself from a slightly less self-effacing point of view than I usually do. And I’m ready to try new things and accomplish so much.
With that in mind, I’ve spent the past few months compiling a list of 25 things I will do when I’m 25. Making it public is nerve-wracking for me, but I want to be accountable for it. I want to talk about things I accomplish, and I want to cross them off my list. And even if I try something and it’s a big, giant failure, that’s okay. I’ll still have tried it.
So here’s my list of goals, full of silly things and serious things and everything in between. And yes, I know that there aren’t actually 25 items on here – some of them just aren’t things I want to share with the whole wide world.
- Pay off a loan.
- Sew myself a dress.
- Blog at least five times a month.
- Drive in a big city.
- Send people birthday cards and gifts on time.
- Work out weekly.
- Learn how to use InDesign.
- Knit myself a sweater.
- Do more creative writing.
- Start making Christmas gifts during the summer.
- Make a pie with a lattice crust.
- Re-learn how to crochet.
- Get another tattoo.
- Read more poetry.
- Take the GRE.
- Try hot yoga.
- Start and maintain an Etsy shop.
- Consistently make some of Moria’s food.
- Knit a pair of socks.
- Call (or write to) far-away family and friends more frequently.
- Visit a new country.
- Do more hands-on volunteering.
There it is. Maybe this seems like an odd post for a mostly-food blog, but I think it’s relevant. There’s the accountability thing I already mentioned, for one. But I also just feel like sharing more personal things about myself here, not just meals I eat or desserts I make. My favorite blogs are the ones that seamlessly blend personal anecdotes with food-related musings and chatter, and I’d like to incorporate more of that on here. Plus, one of my goals is to post more often, as you can see. I’m excited to get started with my list, and I’ll check in when I accomplish a particularly meaningful or memorable goal!
If you’ve read all this, thank you! As a token of my appreciation, here’s a picture of Moria after her most recent (and most drastic!) haircut:
I swear she’s not really grimacing. She just has a snaggletooth.