Just under 24 hours from now, the clock will strike midnight, and it will be October 1, 2011. Which means, I’ll be 25! It honestly feels like I just turned 21, but…that’s neither here nor there, now is it? Needless to say, I’m more excited about this birthday than I have been for any other birthday in recent memory. Could that be because I have friends coming from California, Chicago, Toronto, Pittsburgh, Hampton, North Carolina, Ohio, and from around the Washington, DC metropolitan area to help me celebrate? Possibly. Could it be because I can finally rent a car without paying that stupid underage fee? Maybe. I think a lot more of it has to do with the fact that I actually feel a shift happening as I approach this birthday. It’s been an interesting journey through the first half of my 20s, and I’m actually eager to see what the last half brings. I’ve learned a hell of a lot about myself, about people, and about life over the last 5 years. What better way to look forward to the next 5 years than to share 25 things I’ve learned before I hit 25…these are in no particular order, but they’re all important to me, so bear with me. Maybe you’ll see something you can relate to in this list…
25. Good food and good music always go hand in hand with each other.
24. Having shoulders to cry on is just as important as having shoulders to stand on.
23. Emotions are powerful tools when controlled and expressed constructively.
22. True beauty radiates from within.
21. Not everyone deserves more than one chance to get it right with you.
20. Heartbreak is but a stepping stone in the journey to happiness – better to experience it now than to deal with it forever.
19. Having good counsel around you proves to be more important the older that you get.
18. The music you listen to is indicative of the way you view life.
17. Laughter is one of the best experiences one can partake in.
16. A cute, short black dress really does make you feel sexy.
15. Perspective is limited by one’s life experiences, morals, and intentions.
14. The company of strong women is more edifying than is given credit for in the mainstream.
13. Your network really is your net worth.
12. Talking about ideas doesn’t really do much – the implementation of ideas is where the true success lies.
11. Dreams really do come true.
10. No matter how small the biological family is, it should never be taken for granted.
9. Physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health are all connected, and should all be taken care of with the same diligence and urgency.
8. The smallest moments with people you love will turn out to be the moments you remember the clearest.
7. Refusing to let your circumstances consume you may be the key to keeping a smile on your face.
6. Taking the time to let the people that you love know that you love them may benefit you more than it does them.
5. When people choose to walk out of your life, the best thing to do may be to actually let them walk. Fighting will only prolong the inevitable.
4. Aim to never be the smartest person in your circle.
3. Taking risks may blow up in your face, but it’s better to know than to walk around with the cloud of “what if” over your head.
2. Even when it doesn’t seem like it, your mother really does always have your best interest at heart and truly loves you more than she may know how to express.
1. God really does have it all under control.
I thank God that He is allowing me to get to 25…I hope that the end of my 20s proves to be as interesting, as fun-filled, as pleasantly dramatic, and as educational as the first half of my 20s have been. There were times where I literally thought that some situations would be the end of me, but it has turned out that they have only made me better. To those of you here to celebrate this with me, I appreciate you and love you from the bottom of my heart. Without you, there literally would be no me. You each mean something so special to me, and I’m extremely lucky and grateful to have you in my life.
I’ve come a long way from when I turned 20, and I hope that when I turn 30, I can look back at 25 and say the same.
Until next time, folks…