It’s been close to 10 years that I have been a blogger or regular writer of some sort, and I think this is the first year I didn’t write a single thing on my birthday or anywhere near it. I still like thinking of myself as a blogger, even though I blog so rarely these days, and after celebrating one whole month of being 25 on Sunday, I felt it might be time for a real, proper, 25 year old update.
Regardless of the season, it seems I’m still managing to be keeping plenty busy. The strange thing about not blogging much anymore- despite still writing plenty everywhere else- is that I feel a little bit out of practice. It feels strange putting a post together even now, knowing I have so much to say and talk about.
25 started off being really scary and I didn’t want to talk about it much. I spent a pretty solid 3 months making jokes about it like “oh god I’m so old, you’ll find me in my room crying with a tub of ice cream on my birthday” but the truth was, it wasn’t all that far off from what I thought I might end up doing. I wasn’t looking forward to my birthday- and I ALWAYS look forward to it.
I spent the months leading up to my birthday doing a few important things:
1) Taking some time away from school to decompress from my year of crazy
2) Figuring out what kind of vacation I could take to really, truly clear my head
3) Falling back in love with my part-time job because I didn’t know when I might be able to leave it (following my loss in the elections, I had stopped loving a lot of the things I used to, like my job in a bookstore)
4) Looking for a real, big girl job, because I knew that I needed to move on to something challenging again, and because I need real adult amounts of money (now that I was becoming a real adult, in my eyes, anyway)
5) Re-focusing my energies on the things that mattered most to me; family, friends, Confront Magazine, reading, doing fun carefree things I had stopped doing last year when I was too busy for much of anything
Following these five important inner-goals, I managed to quietly accomplish some really great things, and stopped being so terrified of a number. Okay, well truthfully, I was pretty scared right up until 12:01AM on my actual birthday, July 10th. Some friends took me out after a meeting on July 9th around 11pm, got me a lot of drinks, and by 11:58PM I was pretending I wasn’t completely terrified of being a 25 year old. I took a couple shots, made a few more jokes about being old, and before I knew it, it was my birthday. The world didn’t end, my life didn’t suddenly become meaningless, I didn’t suddenly wrinkle up and become THAT old. I just got to celebrate my special day for another year, with some really great people.
I started reading again, did my best to enjoy my job and make some money, and persisted in the search for a new job. I knew it would happen when it was time, and so it did. The week leading up to my birthday I had a 2 hour interview with a company that I immediately felt a strong attachment to. The week after my birthday, I heard back from them saying they wanted to do some reference checks and potentially make me an offer. Another week after that and I was handing in my notice at my job of nearly 6 years. Today, I’m starting said new job!
I knew I couldn’t afford to go on a big, fancy trip like I had so many other years, but I heard about Girl Guides needing some volunteers for their Provincial summer camp this year. I had been looking for a reason to get back involved in an organization that I really loved, and after growing up in Girl Guides, this seemed absolutely perfect. I was placed with a team of 5 other leaders, and just a couple days after my 25th birthday I packed up and spent 7 days as a leader for 21 7-9 year old girls, sleeping in a tent, making food on an open fire, and clearing my mind of absolutely everything. It was fabulous.
I came back home just in time for midterms in the second summer semester; I had let my studies go during elections in the winter semester and failed a class that I really disliked, which I am now retaking. I spent an entire week studying for the exam, and ended up doing really well for the first time ever in the class.
I’ve spent more time outdoors reading, feeling nostalgic about a workplace I grew up in but was ready to leave, and going out with friends- just because.
It hasn’t been an epic summer spent traveling like the last few years, it hasn’t been a summer of romance and crazy excitement. But it has been a summer of immense change. I feel more uncertain about myself than I have in a long time, and yet more confident than ever before. I’ve taken new opportunities, met new people, taken myself out of my comfort zone career-wise, and taken leaps of faith when I wasn’t sure I wanted to. I took 5 big steps back from working crazy hours. It was time to re-connect with my passions, and do things for no one but myself. Despite getting a little lost along the way in the last few months, I think I’ve managed to find my way back to steady ground.
I learned that just because you turn 25, it doesn’t mean your life is supposed to be perfect. At any age, your life can be turned upside down. The unfortunate number of break-ups I’ve witnessed lately are a testament to that fact. It’s about making every day count in a way that is important to you, always taking a step out of your comfort zone (just to keep things interesting) and continuing to move forward in a positive direction.
I’m nervous, but excited to see where this new direction leads. I may not be quite where I thought I would have been by 25, but that’s all just part of growing up. I think this year will be about learning more about myself, becoming more independent- especially financially- and figuring out what it’s like to be on the edge of being a real adult.
Here’s to another interesting 11 months, hopefully I’ll be a lot less scared of 26 when it comes around!