My quarter-century birthday is nine minutes away from its completion. I am now working on my 25th orbit around the sun. 9,125 days ago, my Mom went to the hospital. A quarter of my life is over.
I have 25 birthdays under my belt and this may have been the best one.
I spent my 22nd birthday in Prague at a chic restaurant next to my flat. My friend Keenan ordered a bottle of champagne for me without me knowing. My 21st landed in Boulder. I woke up the following morning so hammered I could barely get on my Southwest flight to Vegas where I was to meet up with my parents. When I turned 13, we went rock climbing and had a giant sleepover. For Sweet Sixteen, we all went ice skating at Horton Plaza and “partied” in a limo bus. Is it bad that I can’t remember what I did for 18 or 19?
A bird flew into my room at 6:30 this morning with my cat chasing after it to kill it. That’s how my birthday started. Me screaming because I thought I was going to see this cute little bird die at the paws of my cat. Other than that, I wouldn’t say that anything extraordinary happened today. I didn’t go to Hawaii for my birthday, I didn’t have tickets to a U2 concert. Maybe this was the best birthday because I like the people in my life so much right now and all of them were reaching out to me today. My best friends are home finally, my co-workers did some really touching things for me, and I received some very heart-felt text messages and phone calls. Not your run-of-the-mill “happy birthday” type stuff. Although, a “happy birthday” from an ex or someone I haven’t spoke to in a year means just as much to me. To hear from people I love, but never get to speak to, that made me feel really good. For people to tell me what they appreciate about me helps when it feels like I’m floundering.
When you turn 25, you’re not supposed to have your life figured out, but you’re supposed to be working on it. To have my parents (my roommates) remind me that they are proud of me, for simply trying, that makes me happy. 25 seems like a good time to re-evaluate my priorities. I have made “Before I die” lists in the past, and this one, in all honesty, won’t be the best one I’ve ever made because I’m exhausted, but I still think it’s pretty indicative of what I’d like to do.
What do you want to do with your wild and precious life?
1. Find my life’s passion.
2. Compete in a surfing competition.
3. Publish a book.
4. Climb Kilimanjaro (the whole thing).
5. Hike the Appalachian Trail.
6. Go canoeing.
7. Learn to play tennis.
8. Go ice fishing.
9. Go deer hunting.
10. Ski the Alps.
11. Learn to defend myself.
12. Learn archery.
13. Teach English in a foreign country.
14. Go to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee.
15. Go snorkeling in a shipwreck.
16. Go on a helicopter ride.
17. Ride the Orient Express.
18. Read all the classics.
19. See the Northern Lights.
20. See the Great Wall of China.
21. Scuba dive.
22. Know God.
23. Be at peace.
24. Be a mother.
25. Learn to play chess.
26. Go to India.
27. Read “War and Peace.”
28. Wear a wedding dress.
29. Own a home.
30. Ride in a sleigh.
31. Milk a cow (I’ve done this one, but I want to do it again)
32. Brew my own beer.
33. Have a garden.
34. Learn to cook well.
35. Have a writing home.
36. Own a woody.
37. See New York City.
38. Do a cross-country road trip across the states.
39. Great Barrier Reef.
40. Rock climb real rocks.
41. Be the bread winner.
42. Be confident.
43. Jump off a cliff skiing.
45. I want to go to the Louvre again so bad, it hurts.
46. Be a sick shortboarder.
47. Be in love with someone who loves me for me.
48. Read something I wrote in a magazine.
49. Stop sweating the small stuff.
50. Get a barrel.
51. Ski Whistler.
52. Have a personal trainer.
53. Drop _____.
There’s still a hell of a lot I don’t know. What I have learned in 25 years:
You are what you think.
I cannot be anyone but who I am, and there are some things I am simply not good at.
The time is now.
You need to be your own best friend. Love is great, it’s a huge part of living. But ultimately, the greatest relationship you’ll have is the one you have with yourself. No man/woman is worth your happiness.
Enjoy the little things.
Celebrate your successes.
Believe in your dream, refuse to believe in the barriers.
There is beauty in everything.
Something I’ve learned recently: try to see yourself as others see you.
Like Yoda says, “Don’t think, just do.”