This one’s ALL ABOUT ME.
On the eve of my 25th birthday, I can’t help but think about what “25” has symbolized to me in the decade leading up to it. For the many of you thinking “But you’re still so young!” – think of it from my perspective: this is the oldest I’ve ever been! My intention here is not to whine, but to remark on the perception of “25” I have held for most of my teens and early 20’s. The long and short of it is, in my mind, I feel like I should already be more of a grown up!
The 25 Things I Thought I Would Have Achieved by 25:
1. An Adult Job
I have had a lot of difficulty with getting jobs in the past year, as documented by this post.
Perhaps this was naïve of me, but I always thought that by 25 I would have a decent grasp on what I wanted to do – or at least be on the path towards some sort of greatness.
Instead I have felt more often like Marshall from How I Met Your Mother.
Except he, at least, gets interviews.
2. Irresistible Good-Looks
Ok, so this is absolutely naïve, but every time in my early twenties I ate half a cake, or decided to have nachos for dinner AGAIN, I always thought to myself, “This is ok, when I’m older I’ll know better and I’ll be fit and sexy.” That hasn’t happened yet. Also, subjectivity plays a heavy hand, as I’m beginning to learn.
3. A Life
I have had a life in the past. When I moved countries twice and I think I must have dropped it out the window over the Atlantic Ocean. I’m not a strong enough swimmer to go looking for it, so I have to start from scratch. As a 25 year-old, back living with my parents, with a lot of student debt and low income, this feels like a daunting task. But the process has happily begun!
4. My Own Place
I am so lucky to have the parents I have. I love them, and if they hadn’t offered to house me during this period of my life, I would have been stuck in Edinburgh at my terrible job that was sucking out my soul. But at this point in my life, I thought I would at least be independent enough to have my own place.
You can’t hurry love, no, you just have to wait.
This requires many ingredients. One of which is money.
7. Financial Stability and Debt-Free Status
I think this goes hand-in-hand with the desire for an adult-job, or maybe it will never be? I worked so much the past year, especially in Edinburgh, and it made me even more financially unstable than I ever have been. It was a terrifying glimpse into how some people (which could still include me I suppose) live their whole lives. I don’t know why, but I thought my student loans would just magically disappear with all the money I was going to suddenly come into.
Most awful and pajama-looking uniform ever!
8. The Perfect Wardrobe
I expected to have a perfect grasp of what I look good in, in synthesis with current trends. I still, however, occasionally commit fashion faux-pas!
Again, this has a bit to do with money. Specifically, I would love to have a car and just be able to drive wherever, whenever.
This would be good too.
I understand now that happiness isn’t something you ‘achieve’. It’s not an equation: a + b = happiness; happiness is fluid and constantly in flux from day to day, hour to hour. I believe “being happy” means that your flux remains in the happiness range more often than not – that is a good place to be. I want to go to there.
11. More Travel
I suppose that would require money. Or I need to take my own budget travel advice. I guess I can wait!
12. A Reclaimed Youth
Actually, I guess this HAS happened a bit…
This will come – I hope!
14. Better Habits
Waking up earlier, eating less cheesy popcorn, watching less tv. These things are in the early stages of happening. Also, the past 3 months I’ve written a weekly To-Do list. I know I’m capable of a lot in very little time, but I’m one of the most lazy and scatterbrained people I know. A To-Do list helps focus me.
15. Acceptance of Mortality and Old-Age
I put this on my To-Do list last week. I wasn’t able to check it off.
16. Perfect Health
I have started eating much healthier (except for the cheesy popcorn) and it feels amazing! My insides sing and I don’t feel heavy or bloated as often. Health is a fluid state and can never really be “achieved” without continuous maintenance (and lots of fluids – ha). But I could certainly have it much worse!
17. Cool Gadgets
Again, a thing remedied by money. However I just got upgraded by my network to a Galaxy s3 so I shouldn’t complain!
18. A Following
I am very grateful to the handful of people who read my blog. Please continue and share with your friends!!!
19. A Novel
It’s in the works, but I was hoping to have some sort of significant accomplishment in this area by 25.
20. The Opposite of Loneliness
I have lovely, amazing friends. BUT NONE OF THEM LIVE NEAR ME. I miss them, and I have only just begun to meet people in my new home.
My 23rd birthday in Victoria, BC
21. Perfect Skin
I’m not a teenager anymore! When do pimples stop??
22. Even Longer Hair
How long does that shit take to grow?
23. An Understanding of What My Body Needs
I know I have a gluten issue, but there’s something else ripping my insides to shreds. It better not be dairy or I will cry forever (I love cheese).
I have always been fairly successful, and I guess this last year of non-success has brought me off my pedestal. Perhaps that will be a good thing!
25. An Idea About What to do in My Late-Twenties, and Goals for Thirty
My Identity is largely based in my youth. I KNOW I’m still young, and, for now, I’m grateful for that. Yet, I also know that I have to start thinking of myself as an adult who needs to start planning for the future – or at least thinking about planning for the future! This is a step I’m not sure I’m ready to take, but I’m afraid to avoid it any longer.
I find it funny how we seem to project increased wisdom and general betterness onto our future selves; it always seems to end up being in a different way from what we expect.
I should say that these are all things that are in progress. Even since I started writing this post a several weeks ago, things have begun to turn around! Of course, at the end of this, I have shifted all of these expectations onto “30.” That’s healthy, right?