I believe this is my 8th or 9th birthday, and we went to see Hercules in theaters. My mom drew popcorn and a soda on my cake in keeping with the theme, and I have a lady bug embroidered on my shirt. Just livin' the dream.
Today is my 25th birthday.
If you're astute (and have heard of such a thing), you will also note it is my "golden birthday," which means I am turning 25 on the 25th. I don't know what significance this has other than the fact that I get to make a bigger deal out of it. I love birthdays so this is good news to me.
Turning 25 seems like kind of a milestone, so I thought it warranted writing about, and it also allows me to shamelessly announce that it is my birthday.
One of the strangest things about being 25 is that I was in high school TEN YEARS AGO. TEN. Honestly? When did that happen? When I visualize my life on a timeline (does anyone else do this in their head?), I pretty much always view high school as my most recent era of life. BUT IT WASN'T. I've done four years of college AND THEN SOME. This is odd to me.
I think time goes by faster the older you get. Not that I'm "old," per se, (though please see the aforementioned high school distance), but high school felt like it went slowly. Each year was its own story and I remember minuscule things that happened on random days in a classroom.
Now I turn around and it's been another year and I'm trying to remember what I even did last weekend.
The last couple of years have not been easy, but I feel good about where I am now. I feel like I have a good sense of who I am and what I am good at. I have friends who care about me and the best husband I could ask for. I have internet friends (THEY EXIST, OK?) who like to spend valuable time pontificating about the same nonsense on TV that I do. Sometimes people actually read and like things that I write. We just bought a new house that I am so excited about. Yes, life can be considered "good," I think.
In light of this milestone, perhaps I will share with you some things I have learned in my 25 years of life (including a whopping 2.5 years of marriage) so far. Some of these did not originate from my own brain, but were taught to me by someone wiser (if it's remotely profound, that is likely the case).
- Mayonnaise is better than Miracle Whip. It just is.
- Plane tickets will always be more expensive than I want or expect them to be. Same is true for hotel rooms.
- Therapy is not just for crazy people. Everyone should do it. I truly believe that.
- Cereal is satisfying at any time of the day or night.
- Working out is much easier with podcasts. Also, NEVER forget your headphones when you go the gym. Never. It is terrible.
- Never turn down a free cookie.
- I have a theory that all anyone ever wants out of life, when it comes down to it, is to feel loved and known, and the reason anyone does crazy or destructive or wonderful things hinges on that one fact. Of course, I could be wrong.
- Marriage is hard, but totally worth it.
- Cupcakes cover a multitude of bad days. (Related: I may use food as a coping mechanism.)
- Sometimes experiences that are supposed to be great are actually the worst. It's ok.
- Feeling pain and sorrow is better than feeling nothing at all. You cannot fully experience joy without also embracing pain. People will walk with you through it.
- Turns out I actually like cream cheese.
- Feelings are not unimportant or illegitimate. Speak them honestly. Most times, feeling "felt" is more important and satisfying than getting your way.
- Not all coffee is created equal, but vanilla almond milk helps. (P.S. I've recently become the person who asks coffee shops if they have almond milk. I'm not proud of it.)
- Cats are not all bad.
- Don't eat Twix and Mountain Dew every morning during "break." Your body will not thank you. (Looking at you, high school me.)
- Keep journals. They are entertaining and insightful later.
- Sometimes ignorance is bliss when it comes to pregnancy and birth. I fear I know too much.
- Being clear about expectations will save you from a multitude of tension-filled arguments. (This statement is not a guarantee that I have mastered this principle).
- Always carry fingernail clippers, Advil and chapstick.
What have you learned in your [insert age here] years of living?