Today I turn 25. A quarter of a century. I feel like I’m handling it fairly well. Besides thinking I look ‘old’ in my Facebook profile picture, cringing at the idea of someone telling me I look “28 or 29” and the ever-increasing pressures of real life, I’m of sound mind.
Birthdays have never really been a ‘reflection’ point for me, but 24 was so wonderful and 25 marks some huge milestones for me. I’ve come to grips with the how much I’ve changed and how much I’ve grown, both recently and as a whole on my first quarter around the sun. Some good lessons, others not so much. Regardless, a few perspectives I would share with up and coming early-twenties folk:
- First and foremost, formalized education doesn’t prepare you at all for the real world. The Masters is where my education space station stops. I’m done. Experience is my next money bomb.
- Titles are meaningless, success is relative and, like money, you cannot take either with you when you leave this earth.
- Friendships and laughter will always be able to fix everything- even if only for a moment.
- The statement ‘You are in control of your own emotions. No one can make you ‘feel’ any way” is truer than most of us would like to admit. We always have the option to remove negativity from our lives. We make the choice to let people affect us.
- Delivery of opinion is everything. I stand by everything I’ve said but there are a few things I would probably say more eloquently. You can dish it out all day (especially in politics) but bet your bottom dollar there will come a time when you will have to look them in the eye, say hello and pretend like you don’t want to crawl under the table.
- Dogs are the best judges of character. Untrustworthy, sneaky, smelly…they can sense it all. And they’ll let you know, too. You can’t get honesty like that anywhere else.
- You will always need your mom because life isn’t getting easier. ( I also, surprisingly, remember the “little things” she taught me, like, to make sure to go to bed with clean underwear and nice pajamas in case you have to go to the hospital in the middle of the night. This actually happened and I was pleased with my night-time attire in the ER)
- Your faith will never let you down.
Most importantly I’ve learned that you cannot determine anything. You can’t even try to steer the path. At 18, I was certain about what I wanted: job, kids, family, income, the works. When that plan didn’t work, I implemented a new plan. Then another. The only thing all this planning taught me is that the more you plan, the more out of control you spin. When I finally got out of my own way, the “right” things happened fast and just how it should. My ‘oopsies’ and ‘on accidents’ have become glorious achievements.
This blog has been a huge part of my ‘growing pains’. The confrontational aspect of it has pushed me to be confident in what I say, research what I hear and explain why I say things that disrupt harmony. The ‘public’ side of it has forced me to come out of my shell, which is much more fun than hiding behind a computer. And the ‘feedback’ side has ensured that I stay humble and grounded, but most importantly, true to my convictions.
It’s a big week for me. 25. Graduate school is complete. Lots to learn and a long way to go, but life’s been (overwhelmingly and undeservingly) good to me so far…
::insert liberty drum:: then, this: