Today is my 25th birthday!
Twenty Five. Two-Five. 25.
That’s a…really crazy number, to me.
I’m sure plenty of people will look at that and say, Wow Nicole, you’re really not that old or respond with, Everyone thinks they’re super old on their birthday, it’s typical. Yet this one is both special and yet sad, I think, because, in my mind, I feel like it’s the last special birthday I’ll really have.
To me, 25 is one of those ages where you’re stuck in the in-between, yet it’s also more than that. It’s a birthday that really solidifies that I’m an adult, yet it’s one of the last milestone birthdays I have before I start wishing I wasn’t counting milestones (you know, when my next special birthday is my 30th and then every decade after that). Ever since I turned 18, every birthday after that has felt a little less special, compared to when I was a kid, yet this one really feels like that, to me.
I’m not really sure why.
Maybe that’s all just inside my head, yet that’s sorta what I’ve associated with my birthday, this year. It’s this weird, in-between age where I’m definitely no longer a kid, yet I’m still struggle staying afloat in the adulting waters (at least, I feel like I’m drowning more often than smooth sailing), so I don’t think I can confidently claim that I’m killing this adult life thing, yet. But I’m trying. It’s a cool age to be at, though, where all my bosses at work (who are in the 40-60 age range) think I’m really young, yet all my students (18-22) think I’m ancient. I think it’s also a really cool age because so many different people that I know that are my age are in a lot of different stages in their lives. I know people who are married with kids, those in school, those who have awesome jobs and those who are struggling to figure themselves out. The best part? All of those paths are okay to be on.
It’s all about where you want to go and what you do to get there.
Regardless of how you view it, old or young, I’m still really excited about my birthday. It’s corny, but I always get really excited about them. One, unabashedly, I love presents, so getting a couple presents randomly the start of every November is always a plus. Two, it’s an excuse to make my family and friends hang out with me, and I automatically get dibs on where we eat or what we do, without guilt or worrying (too much, because, yeah, I’m still me) about what everyone else wants, and instead can just pick my favorites, yet I’m not being an asshat in doing soth (this year, it’s bowling and Texas Roadhouse with the friends on my actual birthday tonight, then seeing Thor: Ragnarok and eating at Olive Garden with the fam and my man tomorrow). Three, being the lovely, over-thinker that I am, it’s just one of those days that you can’t help thinking back on the year you had and then getting excited about the year ahead.
Wanna reminiscence and dream with me?
A Glimpse at 24
- Started running and caring about my body more.
- Lost 30 pounds out of my 40 pound goal.
- Got two new tattoos, including (most) of the outline of my sleeve.
- Fought to get promoted to full-time at my job.
- Tried out a dating website.
- Open up a retirement plan.
- Traveled back to England with mi madre, my traveling companion.
- Worked two jobs for seven months.
- Binge-played Mass Effect: Andromeda and felt no regrets.
- Amped up my blogging output.
- Fell into a writing rut.
- Went to my second St. Louis Blues hockey game.
- Got ghosted on during my 24th birthday.
- Expanded my comfort zone. Like, a lot.
- Started playing DnD!
- Watched my ‘Hawks clench 13 straight Big 12 titles.
- Gave my heart away to someone else (and I want him to keep it).
- Started an amazing internship with Naomi Davis.
- Read a ton of really great books (a lot of which came from Jabberwocky Literary Agency authors).
- Meet OLAN freakin’ ROGERS.
- Started writing short stories (and became a collaborator of a short story blog!).
- Participated (and kept up with, more impressively) in Mythgard Academy’s “Treason of Isengard” class.
- Was the Maid-of-Honor at my best friend’s wedding!
- Got (slightly) better at cooking.
- Participated in RevPit, P2p17 and PitchWars (and didn’t get into any of them).
A Hope for 25
- Get a puppy and name her Dovahkiin.
- Reestablish my writing habits and start writing books again.
- Return to the querying trenches.
- Keep up new lifestyle and lose those last 10 pounds.
- Finish and fill in my sleeve.
- Move into a house, maybe?
- Stop putting work before everything.
- Try to balance the few important groups of people in my life better.
- Become completely financially independent (so, so close).
- Continue to stay vulnerable with my heart.
- Build up my savings account.
- Travel somewhere neat (even if it’s in the States).
- Attempt to teach myself Spanish.
- Become less judgmental.
- Find my voice and the courage to use it.
- Continue becoming the woman I want to be and be proud of her.
24 was certainly not a bad year, at all. In fact, it was probably one of the happier years of my life, considering I actually made some changes I’ve always wanted to make and took self-care and self-love seriously. Sure, it had plenty of hiccups–the main one being my novel writing rut most of the year–and there were days where the tears definitely outweighed the smiles, but looking ahead to 25, I’m nothing but jazzed at the opportunities ahead of me and all the life that is left to live; both the good and the bad.
So…yeah, it’s my birthday today. Thanks for being a part of my life. I appreciate you and look forward to all the adventures being 25 brings!