When I was a child I had thought that when I turn 25 I would have life figured out.
But when I turned 25 last month, I didn’t feel any better than I was the day before. Instead, I only felt a certain weight on my shoulders making me wonder, “Until what age is one considered a young adult?”
I looked in the mirror and tried to recall what I had imagined my 25-year-old self to be. Then I remembered imagining myself to be graceful, put-together and wise by this age. But how can I be when I feel like 6, 12, 18, 25 and 30 all at the same time?
I feel as free as when I was 6, as sad as 12, as emotionally mature as 18. Sometimes I feel as old as 30, or as exhausted as 100.
As a child I had set my goals ahead of me. I basically had my whole life planned out.
But then life had shown me many times that it doesn’t work that way. Many times I had been “betrayed” by life as it didn’t go as planned. Last year, my life had even took a darker turn. A series of unfortunate events made me lose my sense of purpose. It seemed as if I woke up one day not knowing where I was going or why.
So it is just fitting that I have spent my 25th birthday in introspection. Is life just a roller coaster ride in slow motion? What is in store for me? Where am I headed? What is life? Why am I here? What am I supposed to do? Where should I be?
It also hit me how difficult it is to imagine myself past 40. If not for Hope Edelman’s book “Motherless Daughters,” I would have thought myself hopeless. My mother died at 41 and it’s quite normal that I can’t see myself beyond that age. Well, for now, that is.
I have finally realized that I should stop planning things, that I should start embracing life as it comes to me. And more importantly, I realized I shouldn’t be too hard on myself, that I should finally forgive myself for not being perfect. I finally began to see admirable qualities in me amidst all my imperfections.
Yes, when I looked in the mirror I was reminded how I badly needed a haircut. But beyond that, I saw someone who had finally been my friend, someone who I had come to admire after all these years.
It feels good to be 25 and to be young. It’s good to have experienced so much pain, sorrow and darkness, and to still discover self-love. ❤